Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

TIP OF THE WEEK – NOTICE FOR FTDNA CUSTOMERS   Listening to angry customers, FTDNA has provided a separate option so one can now opt out of the new Law Enforcement Matching (LEM), but still maintain matching with DNA Relatives. If you care to adjust your Matching Preferences, visit the Privacy & Sharing section within Account Settings as shown in the steps below: 

1. Log in to your FTDNA account
2. Use the dropdown arrow in the upper right, to the right of name, to open the menu there and choose Account Settings
3. On the Account Settings page, open the Privacy & Sharing tab
4. Cursor down to the Law Enforcement Matching (LEM) section and slide the marker from the right (where it’s blue) to the left (where it will turn grey)

If you manage multiple accounts, you’ll have to log into each account individually and repeat steps 1-4.   Judy G Russell, the Legal Genealogist, wrote an insightful blog on the Law Enforcement Matching issue and what it might mean to you, as well as any other kits you administer. It’s dated March 13th.  If interested, you can read it here:

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


The 2019 International German Genealogy Conference, to be held June 15-17 in downtown Sacramento at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, will offer three days of German-centric presentations in multiple tracks –Geographic, Technology, Advancing Your Research, and more. Attendees will learn from genealogists, authors, historians, and archivists who are top presenters with advanced proficiency in their fields of study.

This is the 2nd international conference of the International German Genealogy Partnership, a federation of German genealogy organizations whose mission is to facilitate German genealogy research globally. The first was in Minnesota in 2017.  

The  local sponsor for this 2019 conference is the Sacramento German Genealogy Society. This is billed as the largest worldwide gathering on the specific topic of German genealogy this calendar year; 700+ attendees are expected.

Use either organization’s website for more information or registration:

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week



Between the years 1820 and 1920, thirty five million immigrants arrived at US ports and 82% of them came through the port of New York. Before Ellis Island was opened in 1892, Castle Garden was the official immigrant reception area. Combined, the three collections cited below have over 66 million searchable passenger records that cover the port from 1820-1957. Access is available to you through your account on the free genealogy website,  

Castle Garden (1820-1891 arrival dates)

Ellis Island (1892-1924 arrival dates)  

NY Passenger and Crew Lists, 1925-1957 dates

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Legacy Family Tree Webinars has announced they will add the option of closed captioning to all their new webinars going forward. Also, the most popular 50 webinars on their platform, as well as the MyHeritage-specific webinars, have been captioned.

Geoff Rasmussen, founder and host of Legacy Family Tree Webinars says, “Captioning is an excellent way to make online education more accessible, and is also a benefit to non-native English speakers who struggle with spoken English, but have an easier time with written English”.

Beginning this year, they also have plans to host webinars in non-English languages, as well as translate English closed captions into select foreign languages.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars makes each new live webinar, and its recording, free to watch for the first 7 days. With a paid subscription, you get additional benefits, plus access to the library of past webinars, containing over 1,000 hours of quality genealogy education.  

To try out the newly implemented Closed Caption option, just click on the blue CC icon displayed in the right hand, bottom corner of the screen of the webinar.

Here is a link to some free webinars at Legacy Family Tree Webinars with the closed caption option:

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


Review your resolutions from last year. If you didn’t accomplish many of them, ask yourself why not. Try again. Be realistic and set reasonable goals. Stay on top of the basics.

Visit and interview your older relatives, carefully recording their memories.

Backup the genealogy data you keep on your computer – family tree, photos, documents. Set a schedule for this. Create a gedcom of your family tree. Back up to the cloud or to an external drive.   

Review your sources and documents

Start writing your family history. Make a list of stories to tell. Commit to writing one story monthly, or every other month, or even just quarterly – whatever frequency suits you. Have fun with it.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Katherine R Willson, professional genealogist, has done for genealogy related pages and groups on Facebook what Cyndi Ingle, of the renowned Cyndi’s List, has done for genealogy resources on the Internet.  She compiled them into a searchable, clickable, comprehensive, very useful list.

Last updated in November 2018, Katherine’s list, “Genealogy on Facebook”, is 351 pages, contains 13,200+ Facebook genealogy links. The first 11 pages is a Table of Contents organized by geographical categories (states, countries, regions) and non-geographical categories (adoption, lineage societies, ethnicity, military conflicts, etc). One group named “Associated Daughters of Early American Witches”, in the category of lineage societies, certainly piqued my interest.  

Why join a Facebook genealogy related group?  

A Facebook group is a place where people with common interests (for example-genealogy research in Allegan County, MI) can go to communicate, share ideas, and ask questions. You are more likely to solve your Allegan County brick wall by networking with genealogists actually in Allegan County.

Our Seattle Genealogical Society Networking Group  recently accepted a new member from Norway. He was trying to find descendants of his great-grandfather who immigrated to Seattle from Norway. The family in Norway lost contact with the Seattle family more than 30 years ago. Within the day, several group members came up with data, including obituaries, to help him, and he was able to establish contact with his US cousins.

Here’s the link to Katherine’s list, “Genealogy on Facebook”.  See what groups might be of interest and help to you. Also, which groups might you help? As genealogists we love to dig in to help a fellow genealogist solve their mystery; it’s just in our DNA.      

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


There is a wonderful on-line resource for people researching in Lewis County, Washington: the website for the Lewis County Historical Museum:

Their web page includes links to a searchable index of their obituary collection, with obits from 1880 to 2016; and a biographical and family history database for Lewis County as well.  The links to the latter database are currently not working, but one can email the library, and they’ll provide a search for free:

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

 MyHeritage Live 2018 – Online

At the beginning of November, MyHeritage hosted their first ever 3 day user conference in Oslo, Norway. It was a big success. Hundreds of people attended from 28 different countries. Now, for those that were not able to attend, two dozen of the lectures were recorded and are available for viewing online, absolutely free. Thanks to Dick Eastman, one of the presenters at this conference, for this great tip.

Visit MyHeritage Blog for a list of each of the lectures, as well as a brief description, and a link to each lecture video. You’ll find the MyHeritage Blog here:

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


It is easy to become lackadaisical and accept research data you have found in a public family tree at face value. Remember to treat information you get from someone else’s family tree as a helpful hint to aid you in your own research. No matter how credible their source citation looks, until you have examined a source yourself, it is just hearsay.

Likewise, don’t put speculative information in your public tree, where it can be perpetuated by others.  A good practice is to have two family trees. A tree you make public should only have substantiated data in it. Research you are still working on, not yet verified, should be in a private tree, your WIP (work in progress) tree, so to speak.