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.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Improvements to  AncestryDNA Results Page

Ancestry has made some improvements to the AncestryDNA Results page. They are now showing the shared total DNA cM and segments in a prominent position near the matched member’s id. So it is no longer necessary to click on the grayed icon to get that information. Also looking toward the right, under the green and white  “View Match”,  is a new blue “Connect” with an intersecting circles icon. Click on that blue “Connect”. It displays a side-by-side comparison of your data and your DNA match’s data.

  • Your Photo / Their Photo
  • Your Ethnicity Estimates / Their Ethnicity Estimates
  • Matches You Both Share

Fun stuff,  in a more efficient, user friendly format.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


October is American Archives Month. If you feel you’ve already found everything you can at the usual genealogy websites, don’t overlook what genealogy resources are available to you at the state archives, as well as at local, university, and historical society libraries.

Study the library website and search their online catalog and indexes to get a feel for their genealogy collections. Need ideas for records to consult? Run a search of the  online catalog for your ancestors’ county or town, then browse the record categories to see the types of record collections available.

“OUT OF THE ARCHIVES” is a newsletter published by the Washington State Archives. It is designed to educate you on how to access and best use the collections available to you, through them. To read back issues, or subscribe, use this link :

Lighthouse Plans and Maps 1793-1939

For all of you Lighthouse affectionatoes out there!  The NARA online catalog now includes Lighthouse Plans and Maps, 1793-1939, Records of the U.S. Coast Guard, RG: 26.  These include architectural drawing, maps and much more info on Lighthouses in the U.S.  If one of your ancestors was a Lighthouse Keeper, don’t miss browsing through this collection.  Sign up for the NARA Newsletter for regular updates on collections added to the NARA Online Catalog.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Washington State Library Awarded $280,000

This recent $280,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant will enable the Washington State Library’s Washington Digital Newspaper Project to add 100,000 pages of culturally and historically significant newspapers from Asian-American, African-American, and World War II-era publications to its free public archives.

The grant is the fourth National Endowment for the Humanities award for the Digital Newspaper Project. Under the State Library’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program, more than 300,000 pages of historic Washington newspapers have been added to the 13 million newspaper pages publicly accessible at the Chronicling America website of the Library of Congress.

The lesson to be learned, it pays to keep checking sites such as Chronicling America often because records are being digitized so rapidly.