Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week -Irish Roots


Have you heard of “Ireland Reaching Out”? Their mission statement says “Of the estimated 70 million people of Irish descent living outside of Ireland today, many are unsure of where in Ireland they originate from, or if there are any living relatives still there. We aim to help these people discover the story of their family history and reconnect them with the Ireland of today.”

And their approach is a bit unique, “It is based on a simple idea; instead of waiting for people of Irish descent to come home to Ireland to trace their roots, local Irish parish communities go the other way. At a town land, village and parish level, local Irish communities identify who left their neighborhoods, and trace them and their descendants worldwide, proactively engaging with them and inviting them to become part of an extended “virtual” community with their place of origin.” 

“Ireland Reaching Out” has a Facebook Page in addition to their website: 
Join, post your family’s emigration story or browse the messages boards, communicate with a volunteer, learn about Irish history.   

Seattle Genealogical Society News


The SGS Board has reviewed the status of the SGS library facility in the context of the State and King County plans for reopening the community. We decided to link our plans for reopening the library to the State plan; the library will not be reopened for use by our members and guests until King County has moved to Phase 4 of the State plan. We are as anxious to reopen the library as our membership, but we believe that the safety of our membership is paramount, and the guidance provided by the State plan makes it clear that it is not safe for us to reopen the library until Phase 4. We will keep you posted on the library’s status via eNews! notices.  

Throughout our nearly 100-year history, the Seattle Genealogical Society has  compiled many databases and indexes from unique sources that you will not find anywhere else. Although the library is closed for now, we continue to provide research lookups in these databases, as well as in books and online archives. Research Requests are your lifeline to all SGS library resources.

For example, you might request a specific lookup in the King County Court Cases Index 1881-1980 (KC3I), Seattle area Veterans of Foreign Wars Membership Cards, SGS Bulletin and Journal 1952-2020, Seattle Obituaries, Seattle City Directories 1890-1990, or any of the books and periodicals listed in the  SGS Library Catalog.

Research requests may be submitted by anyone for a non-refundable fee of $7.50 per name, or by SGS Members at no charge. For more information, and to make a Research Request, click here: 
SGS Research Services

Very sad news. We just received notice that SGS member Walter Clinton, 68, of Seattle, passed away on Sunday, May 17, 2020. He was a much-appreciated volunteer here at SGS, serving most recently as Chair of the Nominating Committee for our 2020 election. Our condolences to his family.
  You may read Walter’s full obituary or share your memories of him here:

  The Seattle Genealogical Society (SGS) held its June Membership Meeting on June 13, 2020 with over 50 members tuning in on Zoom for a virtual meeting.  James Secan, the new President of the Society, welcomed the new Board, presented Marilyn Rose with a plaque in recognition of her Past President’s status, and reviewed both past, present, and future activities for the Society.

Minutes and attachments, such as financial statements, are located on the SGS website for members. Lori Lee Sauber gave an informative presentation on Trello and Kanban.

On Sunday, July 12th starting at 1:00 PM, Karen Knudson, leader of the Scandinavian SIG, will be hosting their first online virtual meeting via Zoom. Anyone interested in Scandinavian research is invited to join in. You will find the link for this Zoom meeting on the Calendar of Events section of the  SGS website: 

As part of the SGS commemoration of Women’s Suffrage, we are sharing women’s stories of 100 and more years ago. This month, we share The Boughten Dress.

Singer began mass-producing domestic electric sewing machines in 1910 and transformed many women’s lives. Imagine hand-sewing clothing for 12 children! The Boughten Dress, written by Jan Johnson illustrates the significance of the sewing machine in her grandmother’s and mother’s lives. They lived in desperate poverty during the Great Depression in northern Minnesota, close to the Canadian border. Jan inherited her grandmother’s machine and her love of sewing. She cherishes her memories and has carried on the tradition of sewing for her family.

You can view this story and others on the SGS website – Women’s Suffrage in Your Family History:

SGS CALENDAR OF EVENTS*** In consideration of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, the SGS Library is closed until further notice and all SGS in-person events have been canceled, postponed, or replaced with an online event.
Stay home – stay healthy – but stay engaged by attending one of our live, online events! 

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


Would you like one place to stay informed of  family history conferences, seminars, workshops, and other genealogy events? Then might be your place. Their goal is to increase the availability of information about opportunities for genealogists and family historians by providing details on Genealogy Conferences & Events, to genealogists’ knowledge, skills and enjoyment of genealogical research.

Seattle Genealogical Society News

POPULAR SGS SPONSORED COURSES “Certification Discussion Group”, an online course to discuss the process and techniques of becoming a Certified Genealogist is taking registration for the fall series of classes. Dates and times have not been set. SGS members, WA residents, and those already with their pre-applications submitted to the Board for Certification of Genealogists have preference. Classes will be organized starting in August.  Sign up here for this SGS sponsored event:
  Also opening up to new registrants is Valerie Lair’s course, “The Level I-Genealogy Basics and Beyond”. This course is suitable for everyone and covers how to successfully conduct research in census records, vital records, newspapers, city directories, churches, cemeteries, military records; using major online resources along with libraries and archives; and so much more. The course will challenge you in perfecting your genealogy skills.     Sign Up for Genealogy Basics & Beyond  

Like many other programs this year, “Journey Home”, the Celtic Connections Conference, co-hosted by The Irish Genealogical Society International and the Irish Ancestral Research Association, had to be transformed from a traditional convention gathering to a virtual online format.

This online virtual conference will last an entire month, July 31 through August 31, 2020 and include : 11 Speakers 25 Pre-recorded Presentations 9   Live Chats All for only $99 (USD)! For more information and registration visit:
  Alice Eleanor McCoy, age 94, of Brier, Washington passed away on Thursday, April 30, 2020. She was a member of Seattle Genealogical Society for over 30 years. Our condolences to Alice’s family and friends. Memories and expressions of sympathy for the McCoy family may be shared at 
  SGS CALENDAR OF EVENTS   *** In consideration of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, the SGS Library is closed until at least July 5, 2020 and all SGS in-person events have been canceled, postponed, or replaced with an online event.
To stay up-to-date, check the “Calendar of Events” on the SGS website for any last minute changes. 
  Did you remember to renew your membership?   Log in at the SGS website Members Home to renew your membership for 2020-21.
  Or print out a Membership Application and send it with your payment to Seattle Genealogical Society, PO Box 15329, Seattle WA 98115-0329
  If you have questions, send a note to
  Thank you for your participation and continued support of SGS! 

Seattle Genealogical Society New Website

Thank you for having our information on your website, we really appreciate that! We have recently gotten a new website address and it is now: Would you be able to change the old link on your website?

Thank you so much.Sue
Sue Schack Jensen
Library Director


Seattle Genealogical Society

6200 Sand Point Way NE

Seattle, WA 98115


mail:  P.O. Box 15329, Seattle WA 98115-0329

Seattle Genealogical Society Meeting Changes


The SGS Membership Meeting is coming up Saturday, June 13, 2020. The room will open at 12:00 pm and the meeting will begin at 12:30 pm. Directly following the SGS Membership Meeting, the Second Saturday, presented by Lori Lee Sauber, will begin.  

Please note, the meeting ID for both of these events is different than the one previously published on the website and in the eNews!  Only this new meeting ID will work. 

SGS Membership Meeting 
Saturday, June 13, 2020 
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm 
Follow this link to join –
This will be an informal and “virtual” meet up using Zoom. The new SGS officers will be introduced. Room opens at noon; meeting begins at 12:30 pm. 

Second Saturday: “Do You Trello and Kanban?”  
Saturday, June 13, 2020 
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm 
Follow this link to join:

Discover how using these workflow visualization tools enable you to optimize the flow of your family research work and get more done. Kanban is a process taught around the world to businesses of all sizes. Now you can leverage its power in genealogy. Let Lori Lee Sauber show you how. 
  Have you remembered to renew your SGS membership? Log in at the SGS website Members Home to renew your membership for 2020-21. Or print out a Membership Application and send it with your payment to Seattle Genealogical Society, PO Box 15329, Seattle WA 98115-0329. If you have questions, send a note to Thank you for your participation and continued support of SGS! 

June 11, 2020

Seattle Genealogical Society News


The SGS Board of Directors has approved the nomination of Bernadette Laqueur to a three-year term as one of the three Trustees of the SGS Library. She will be replacing John Eshelman, who has been a Trustee for the past three years. The Trustees provide support and continuity to the operation of the SGS Library. The Board thanks John Eshelman for his years of service in this, and other, positions in SGS, and welcomes Bernadette Laqueur to the Trustees and thanks her for volunteering to take on this responsibility.   SECOND SATURDAY SERIES
SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 2020 1:00-2:00 PM

If you have lots of genealogy research projects in the hopper right now and don’t quite know how to get it all done, let Lori Lee Sauber help show you how. Learn the basic concepts of Kanban workflow management and how the FREE web application Trello can help support you every day regardless of whether you’re just getting started or are an “old hat”. Discover how using these workflow visualization tools enable you to optimize the flow of your family research work and get more done. Join in this online Zoom meeting by following this link :   VIRTUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING 
SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 2020 12:30-1:00 PM

  The next membership meeting of the Seattle Genealogical Society is coming up. This will be a real time, online meeting via Zoom. The “room” opens at noon and the meeting begins at 12:30 pm. The new SGS officers will be introduced.

Join the Zoom Meeting
  SGS members, have you renewed your membership for 2020-2021? If not, please do so using the renewal button on your  Members Home

Not yet a SGS member? We’d love to have you – Join SGS

Each month we are featuring a story of a female ancestor of 100 or more years ago. This month’s contribution, Women’s Voting Stories , was submitted anonymously by a member of the Seattle Genealogical Society. It includes a summary of the Women’s Suffrage movement followed by a series of vignettes, including life on a Kansas farm. 

If you have a story to tell of one of your female ancestors of 100 or more years ago, submit it to  Stories can be as brief as one or two paragraphs, or longer. 
SGS CALENDAR OF EVENTS*** In consideration of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, the SGS Library is closed until at least July 5, 2020 and all SGS in-person events have been canceled, postponed, or replaced with an online event.
Stay home – stay healthy – but stay engaged by attending one of our live, online events! 
Saturday, June 6, 2020Time: 1:00 pm -3:00 pm PDT  ONLINE

Digging Deeper : “How I Discovered My Female Ancestor”  with Jill Morelli and Mahina Oshie

Follow this link to join

This workshop is part of the Seattle Genealogical Society’s lecture and workshop series: Women’s Suffrage in your Family History. We thank the Washington State Historical Society for their grant in support of our project. For more information, see

Saturday, June 13, 2020
Time: 12:00 pm -1:00 pm PDT ONLINE

SGS MEMBERSHIP MEETING  with the new SGS officers

Room opens at noon. Meeting starts at 12:30 pm. 
Follow this link to join in:
Saturday, June 13, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm -3:00 pm PDT ONLINE

Second Saturday: “Do You Trello and Kanban?”  with Lori Lee Sauber. 

Follow this link to join in:

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week Family Search Communities


SGS had a full house for the Spring Virtual Seminar with guest speaker Dr Fritz Juengling. One tip offered at this seminar was about a resource at  you may not be aware of – online FamilySearch Community Research Groups – where like minded people can ask or answer research questions and share resources. You can join any of dozens of different research groups. Join a group to get help yourself, or to share your expertise with others. Groups cover geographical areas, as well as areas of interest. Example group include the likes of Georgia, Germany, Greece, Genetic Genealogy, Adoption, African American Genealogy Research, First Nations of North America, Family Bibles, just to name a few. 

Need help with your research? Once you join a group you can: 

  • ask questions
  • upload documents and get help with translation
  • participate in discussions
  • learn about upcoming webinars
  • discover new resources

Or join a group to offer your help to others by: 

  • answering questions
  • translating documents
  • sharing new resources

Get involved and make these groups more valuable for everyone! Like FamilySearch itself, these community research groups are available to you absolutely free of charge. Start here to find a group that interests you:

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


This question came up on the SGS Networking Group Facebook page, “Is there an online map of Seattle as it would have looked in the 1940 census?” Normally a King County resident would go to the downtown Seattle Public Library and search the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, but with SPL closed, what is a person to do? 

Group member, Darren, advised that while Seattle Public Library has an extensive map collection, they do not have much online. He suggested checking for Sanborn maps  online at  the Library of Congress website.  Great, they had maps of Seattle, King County, WA for years pretty close to 1940. 

Whether you want an old Sanborn map for Portland, Cumberland County, ME or Portland, Multnomah County, OR, you may be able to find it with a simple online search at : 

Seattle Genealogical Society Spring Seminar

May 16, 2020   9:00 am-1:00 pm (PDT)

  Seats are still available for our virtual seminar using Zoom.

Submit your registration by 9:00 pm Thursday, May 14, 2020.
Space is limited to the first 97 registrants.
SGS Members $30.00, All others $40.00

  Registrants will receive a link to the Zoom meeting and a program syllabus by email the day before the seminar, on May 15th.  

New to Zoom? It is as easy as 1, 2, 3 to download, then on Saturday follow your link to the seminar. Here is a quick tutorial: How to download Zoom 

SGS 2020 Spring Virtual Seminar
with Fritz Juengling:
“Old European Records Research”

ONLINE via Zoom

Saturday, May 16, 2020
9:00 am – 1:00 pm PDT   

Welcome and Introduction

“Names – Their Origins, Meanings, and Characteristics” – Meanings of given names and the four types of surnames.  We also take a ‘world tour’ to learn how names are constructed in different cultures.

15-minute Break and Door Prize Drawing

“Historical Events that Affect European Genealogical Research” – Learn about historical events, such as wars and foreign occupation, and their impact on European research, especially records and jurisdictions, looking at examples where appropriate.

30-minute Lunch Break and Door Prize Drawing

“The Genealogical Value of Guild Records” – The history, structure, and purpose of guilds. Then, we look at some of the many record types that guilds created and how they can be of use to the researcher, especially when church records are missing and how these records can fill those gaps.
  Adjourn       Dr. Juengling holds a Master’s and Doctorate in German Philology with minors in both English and Linguistics. Philology is a highly specialized field of study, combining languages, linguistics, paleography and history. He is an Accredited Genealogist for Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden. Fritz is the German, Dutch and Scandinavian Research Specialist at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and speaks widely at genealogical conferences and seminars.