Seattle genealogical Society Tip of the Week

SVAR, the National Archives of Sweden

Don’t have an ancestry account, but want to access original Swedish records? Beginning this year, SVAR, the National Archives of Sweden, are offering their previous subscription records for free. These records are the same film you see if you log into Ancestry. It is still an open question of how many of the other records they possess will be made available under this program. Thanks to the Swedish government who funded this initiative in an effort to make all Swedish records freely available to all. Did you catch the word “free”?

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

TIP OF THE WEEK – Affiliate Libraries

In the last issue of the eNews! we reported that as of December 13, 2017, patrons visiting need an account and need to login. In this issue we’re going to explain the different meaning of these two camera icons used at and when you need to visit a Family History Center or a FamilySearch Affiliate Library:

When you search historical records or the catalog at you may see one of these two similar looking, camera icons. They have totally different meanings.

The first icon, a camera alone, means there is a digital image available. You can click on it and view this image even from your personal computer, in the comfort of your home. Wonderful.

The second icon, the camera with a key over it, means access is restricted to these images and you must do one of the following:

  • Access the images from a Family History Center computer
  • Access the images from a FamilySearch affiliate library

An affiliate library will have access to nearly everything a Family History Center does. There are 3 affiliate libraries in the greater Seattle area and you may prefer to visit one of these, instead of a Family History Center, for the convenience of its location, or for its extended hours.

If you are far north of Seattle, the Snohomish Library in Snohomish, WA is an affiliate library with 40+ computers available and the reputation of having a very, helpful staff.

In South Seattle, the Northwest African American Museum is another affiliate library. They have two computers for your use. The computers are in the free area; no need to pay the museum entrance fee. Right now they are doing some updating, so hold off on your visit until the middle of January.

Last, but not least, is the Seattle Public Library. While you can access from any of the internet workstation computers in the library, the staff in the genealogy section, on the 9th floor of the downtown central library suggest you, as a newcomer to the process, come up and use one of their 5 computers. They are experienced FamilySearch users, and will be glad to help you navigate the slightly more complex login process. Don’t forget you will need your library card number, your library card password, your user name and FamilySearch user password.

No matter what affiliate library or Family History Center you use, don’t forget a USB thumb drive/flash drive with plenty of space. You will want to download copies of all those documents you are going to find.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

TIP OF THE WEEK – Get a FamilySearch Account Now

As of December 13, 2017, patrons visiting are asked to log into their account, and if they do not have one, they are asked to open one. Not to worry; registering is a very simple process, and it is free.

I have had an account with for years and will vouch for them. They will not try to sell you anything and they will not bombard you with email. They promise not to pass your name and information to a third party without your consent.

If you had been using without logging in, you may not realize you were missing out on much of what had to offer. Without an account, you only had access to a small portion of their world class records.

Why is this login change necessary? FamilySearch is rapidly working toward their goal of getting all family history data into digital format, to be available online. Remember much of it was available only on microfiche and on paper in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. With these changes, many of their data partners are asking for a more controlled environment and an authentication process, and with some providers, it is a contractual issue.

For over 100 years, FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, has been dedicated to preserving the records of the family of mankind. Their purpose, to help people connect with their ancestors through easy access to historical records.

Signing in is a small price to pay for access to so much free, quality data. If you haven’t been to for awhile, be sure to visit soon.

Watch the upcoming eNews! issue for a tip on local FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries. There are a few you probably didn’t know about.  Possibly, there is one near you.

Chinese Exclusion Act Files

The Chinese Exclusion Act files.

The files are located on the National Archives at Seattle. They covered the Chinese who came into the ports of Seattle, Port Townsend, Sumas, WA; and Portland, OR. The act was in effect from 1882 to 1943 and there are over 50,000 files at the Seattle branch of the National Archives.

The files contain a variety of genealogical information on the subject of the file and their family, documents and most include photos. Sometimes there are affidavits by Caucasians in the files.

I highlight a different file every week. The final destination of the Chinese coming into the PNW ports may have been anywhere in the U.S. but most of the files on the blog are for people who lived in Washington or the PNW.

The blog is located at

Trish Hackett Nicola

Tri-City Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Timelines: How to Get More Out of What You Know

Whenever you start researching an individual or family one of the most helpful things to do is make a timeline, or chronology, for them. By creating an outline of what you know you can gain ideas of where to search for the additional information you need and identify conflicts with the information you already have.  Timelines are especially useful with families that have not lived in the same place…

Heather Murphy

TCGS Social Media Manager

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


If you haven’t tried a surname search in the National Archives Catalog in awhile, Claire Kluskens, Archivist with the National Archives, urges you to try again as there are so many newly indexed databases.

A search for the surname “Bode” provides good examples of what’s been added thus far. On the first page, there are references to persons named Bode in:

  • Labor Camps Bibliography

  • Military Service Records

  • Records of Lawrence Walsh, related to Iran/Contrai

  • Military fatal casualties of Vietnam

  • Presidential Appointments by Harry Truman (Post Masters were presidential appointees)

  • Records of the US Naval Academy

  • Records of the US Fish & Wildlife Service

  • Naturalization Index

  • Prologue article on Chinese Exclusion Act files

  • OSS Art Looting investigation

And, that’s only the first page!!

Just put your surname of interest in the search box at the top right of the home page:

Give it a try. What might you find?

This tip was modified from “The Twelve Key”, informational blog about U.S. archival records, by Claire Kluskens, archivist of the National Archives in Washington, DC., 4 November 2017.

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Tri-City Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

If you are doing research in North Carolina for a possible Revolutionary War Ancestor, you may want to take advantage of this free upcoming webinar on the National Genealogical Society (
This recorded Webinar will be freely available to the public from 1-3 December 2017 (12 am Friday to 12 pm Sunday, EST)
Art Kelly

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


Set up an account, register for free and search for free! I often shy away from this offer, finding it to be more trouble than it’s worth. But not in this case. I truly like the National Records of Scotland – Scotland’s People website.

A list of records you will find there include :
• Statutory Records – Birth, Marriage, Death – 1855 to present
• Census Returns – 1841 to 1911
• Valuation Rolls – 1855 to 1935
• Legal Records – Wills, Etc. – some as old as 1513
• Old Parish Records – some as old as 1553

The search tool is very comprehensive. Check out all the search options – exact, fuzzy, wild card. Valuation rolls are tax rolls of structures showing owner/occupant data including occupation.

Sometimes you can take what information you can glean from the search results and use it to find additional information in your Ancestry, FindMyPast, or FamilySearch account, thus avoiding having to pay-per-view at Scotland’s People.

If you want to purchase the actual record image it’s a simple process. You buy “credits” with a credit card or PayPal. Remember currency conversion and fees may apply. These credits are good for a year. If you allow them to go inactive after a year, they will be reactivated when, and if, you purchase more credits. The cost of record types varies. One experienced user estimates a ballpark figure for the cost of a record averages less than $2.50 US Dollars. Certified copies are more expensive and usually unnecessary, is another good tip from experienced users. Once you have purchased an image it is stored on your account. There will be no need to purchase it again. A purchase buys you the entire page, not just the record of the individual you are researching.

At Youtube, there are four videos, about 15 minutes each, on using Scotland’s People by Amberly B. They are worthwhile in helping you get started and comfortable with the process. The urls you will need are listed below.

Tri-City Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

With the end of the year comes opportunities to gather together generations of family.  Why not take advantage of that to share with your living family the people who came before them?  Remember to keep your ideas simple and brief to not overwhelm family members with too much information.  Pick out little pieces of interesting information to share and don’t explain distant relationships in detail because most won’t be able to follow you…