Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world with more than 162 million items including books, recordings, photographs, maps, sheet music, and manuscripts in its collections. Through its website,,  it provides access to many resources and services.

Monthly the Library of Congress puts on an orientation webinar to help you learn to navigate this sea of information. The webinar is an hour long and there are opportunities to ask questions and try out the search tools. This orientation will provide an overview of what’s available, provide strategies for accessing the materials, and introduce you to the resources created by staff to further your research into the Library’s collections.

The next two orientation sessions scheduled are for :
•Wednesday, March 15, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm PDT
•Tuesday, April 4, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm PDT

Registration is required. Confirmation and log-on instructions will be sent to you via email once you are registered. Here’s the link to the registration form:

Seattle Genealogical Society News

 MARCH 13-17

Here’s a St Patrick’s Day gift from findmypast.  Explore and access millions of Irish family history records for free from March 13 through 5:00 pm PDT on Friday, March 17. You will need to go through a simple registration process that merely entails providing an email address and setting up a password.

Census records, parish records, travel and migration records, and court registers are just some of the data available. findmypast has the largest collection of Irish records available anywhere online.

You might want to start by reading their blog article  “A Complete Beginner’s Guide to findmypast’s Irish Records”.  If you are interested, sign up for the free webinar with Irish genealogy expert, Fiona Fitzsimmons.  It’s scheduled for 9:00 am PDT on Thursday, March 16 and it includes a live question and answer session.

To get started here’s the url to findmypast :


Remember the Spring Membership meeting is this Saturday, March 18, 1:30-3:00 pm. Hope to see you there. Following the business meeting, Lisa Oberg and Jill Morelli will present “Rootless: A Retrospective Look at America’s Fascination with its Ancestry”.

For new members or genealogy beginners, notice on Sunday, March 19 from 1:15pm-5:00 pm, a Beginning Genealogy Class will be led by Linda Fitzgerald, a Past President of SGS, and it is open to all.

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Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

TIP OF THE WEEK –   Scottish Clans Archives

How far are you willing to travel to research your Scottish family history?  Is small town, southwestern Georgia out of the question?

In the south wing of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, Moultrie, GA,  is the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library, named for its benefactor.   This library is renowned for its collection concerning Scottish genealogy. It is the archival home for more than 130 Scottish clan organizations! And adding more all the time. It is also home to many rare books including an original edition of Scottish Perrage, as well as The Highland Papers, and Gaelic Bibles.

Other collections at the library are microfilms of 45 local newspapers (dating back to 1856) published in SW Georgia’s 21 counties. Also the Emmett Lucas Collection about the southeast United States, the Civil War, and migrations west is housed there.

For more info check out their website  at :

Seattle Genealogical Society News


The Board of Directors has named SGS member Laurie Clark as our Volunteer of the Quarter.  Laurie is a graphic artist who lives in North Bend. Now retired, she is part of a collective of artists and as such part owner and volunteer in a gallery in Snoqualmie where her artwork is displayed.

On the SGS Volunteer Interest Sheet she filled out, Laurie indicated she would be available to help with graphic arts projects. So when our technology expert Lisa Chan took on the task of finding some way  to freshen up our tried and true, but a bit dated looking Seattle Genealogical Society logo, she turned to Laurie.   The logo appears on virtually all our publications, flyers, and stationary and SGS members felt the old logo lacked the desired sharpness. An update was in order.

Laurie produced a work of art for us. The project included her actually redrawing the tree in the logo, selecting a new font for the motto, and slightly changing the shape of the shield outline.  She spent dozens of hours creating a sleek new look. The society is deeply grateful she was able to beautifully the logo, but still remain true to the original, traditional design; the familiar symbol of our association.

Laurie’s genealogical interest is more in the history involved in her family tree.  She is a DAR Registrar and a member of the Colonial Dames.  Part of her line stems from William Penn and the Quakers who arrived with him. She recently became a member of the Royal Order of the Crown of Charlemagne; this requires about 27 generations of proof.

Our deepest gratitude to Laurie Clark for her artistic contribution which will grace our publications and documents for many years to come!


Lisa Oberg and Jill Morelli will present “Rootless: A Retrospective Look at America’s Fascination with its Ancestry” for the membership meeting, at SGS on March 18th at 1:30. The program will follow the business meeting.

“Rootless” was first presented at the Popular Culture Association/Association of Culture in America conference in 2015, an academic conference focusing on social history. It examines trends related to family history and the popularity of genealogy, then and now.  Explore what’s behind the motivations and underlying the trends; there are some surprising results.

Remember to mark your calendars for the Spring Membership meeting, Saturday, March 18, 1:30-3:00pm. Hope to see you then.


Ulster Historical Foundation – USA Tour – Lecture,
Pierce County Libraries, Administrative Center Library,
3005 112th St E,
Tacoma, WA 98446
 Sunday, March 5, 1:00pm–5:00pm

Tel 253-548-3425 or 316-300-3383 (mobile)
Register online:

The Ulster Historical Foundation is a research and publishing agency based in Belfast, N.Ireland which uses its knowledge to help those looking for their Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors. They are conducting a USA Lecture Tour during the month of March  and fortunately this includes a stop in Tacoma on March 5. Hosted by the Pierce County Library System,  the lecture is free of charge, but registration is required.

Whether you are just beginning your Irish research or have been at it for years, you won’t want to miss this workshop. Learn how to get the most out of Irish resources and records, gain strategies for breaking down brick walls, and grasp important historical context that may help fill in gaps in your research.

 Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12

Kicks off with the Seattle St Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday,  followed by two days of Irish Festival and activities. Isn’t everyone Irish on  St Patrick’s Day?  Join in the fun. Stop by the SGS booth.  Parade route and more info at :

 Luther Memorial Lutheran Church,
130th & Greenwood Ave N,
Seattle, WA
 Saturday, March 25th

Sponsored by the Irish Heritage Club with help from the SGS Irish Interest Group. Speakers are Steve W. Morrison and Jean A. Roth. The schedule and registration are on the Irish Heritage Club Website at

For more information contact Jean A. Roth at


Unless otherwise indicated all programs will be at the SGS Library, 6200 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle. Check the SGS Web Site for additions, changes, and corrections.  Programs may be canceled or postponed because of inclement weather.


Saturday, March 4, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Canadian SIG, David Robert, leader

Sunday, March 5, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, DNA Workshop, Led by Cary Bright

Tuesday, March 7, 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm, Technology Tuesday, Bring your laptop or mobile device, and enjoy discussions centered around technology and genealogy – software, genetic genealogy, internet research and more.  Hosted by Lisa Chan.

Saturday, March 11,  1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Family Tree Maker Users Group, members helping one another with FTM, led by Reiley Kidd and Betty Ravenholt; email Reiley at  for more info.

Sunday, March 12, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm, Scandinavian  Interest Group, Karen Knudson, facilitator. Program this week will include a 42 minute video  about the history, farms, communities, clerical districts and counties of Norway by Jerry Paulson.

Saturday, March 18, 1:30 pm – 12:15 pm, SGS Spring Membership Meeting, business meeting will be followed by Lisa Oberg and Jill Morelli presenting “Rootless: A Retrospective Look at America’s Fascination with its Ancestry”

Tuesday, March 21,  12:30 pm – 3:00 pm, Technology Tuesday, Bring your laptop or mobile device, and enjoy discussions centered around technology and genealogy. Hosted by Lisa Chan.

Saturday, March 25, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm, DNA SIG, The group meets quarterly at the Wedgwood Presbyterian Church.  For more information contact Co-chaired by Cary Bright and Herb McDaniel.

Sunday, March 26, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm, “Making Sense of the US Census Records”, What can the genealogist learn from the data of the U.S. censuses from 1790-1940? What is included and why do we care? This session will also cover some special census schedules, including slave, mortality and agricultural schedules. This session takes an in-depth look at the value of census data and how to analyze the information.
Presenter: Janice Lovelace, BU Certificate in Genealogical Research; G&FHC (U of WA). Janice is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogist.


Saturday, April 1, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Canadian SIG, David Robert, leader

Tuesday, April 4, 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm, Technology Tuesday, Bring your laptop or mobile device, and enjoy discussions centered around technology and genealogy – software, genetic genealogy, internet research and more.  Hosted by Lisa Chan.

Saturday, April 8,  1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Family Tree Maker Users Group, members helping one another with FTM, led by Reiley Kidd and Betty Ravenholt; email Reiley at  for more info.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


Have an intractable problem? Have a real genealogical brick wall? Consider writing up a research plan. State what you are trying to accomplish or find, and then write up what you know. Revisit all the records while you are writing it up.  Then list 5 resources you haven’t looked at–probate, obituaries, vital records, newspapers, land records etc. Now start the search,  but with deliberation–write up the citation for each source you investigated and record your findings, even if nothing. Fresh eyes and a fresh initiative will often cause that wall to come tumbling down!

Seattle Genealogical Society News

August 19, 1919 – February 5, 2017

A life member of the Seattle Genealogical Society, Verda Romayne Hansberry, died on February 5, 2017, in Seattle. Verda, a librarian by profession, worked at the  Seattle Public Library for much of her career.  She worked in the Mobile Outreach Department, headed the the Circulation Department, and ultimately was Deputy City Librarian in charge of the Central Branch, as well as acting City Librarian in 1975. She also was president of the Washington Library Association in the early 1980s and was active on committees of the American Library Association.

Verda was the driving force in publishing three genealogy books about her father’s family, her mother’s family, and her husband’s ancestors. She is survived by her two sons, Russ (Kitty) Hansberry of Keller, Texas, and Doug (Patti) Hansberry of Beaverton, Oregon, and by her daughter, Anne Hansberry of Seattle, Washington.

A celebration of her life took place on February 10th. The family requests any donations in her memory should be made to the Seattle Genealogical Society or the Seattle Public Library Foundation.

You can read her full obituary or sign the guest book at:

“Tracking Down Granddad” at SGS Library

Joyce Lindsey O’Keefe recently wrote a complimentary story about her experience at the SGS Library and the help she received from volunteers, Christine Shomaker and Jean Roth. This story was published in the February edition of  the local magazine, Northwest Prime Time.  The magazine can be found at King County Library locations as well as on-line. Check it out at :

Thank you, Joyce.  We appreciate the recognition.

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Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Tip of the Week – Scottish Research Site

Have you heard of this site for Scottish research?

Here you will find access to indexes of historic documents in Scotland.  Some of the records sets covered and free to search are the 1841, 1851, and 1861 Scottish Censuses, Deeds, Mental Health Records, Prison Registers, and Paternity Cases.  How fun is this!  Check back often as they continue to add new resources.

Seattle Genealogical Society News


The new large pull down screen has been professionally installed at the SGS library. Many thanks to Sellen Construction and their guys, Dean and Roland, for their generosity and time. Our own “vertically challenged” Jean Roth commented, “It’s so easy to reach and operate.  I usually have a problem with that”.


Fourteen individuals signed up for the Board Certification Discussion Group. Jill Morelli will lead the group and share her certification process experiences with everyone.  Since last month she has been notified that the Board for Certification of Genealogists has conferred upon her the title of Certified Genealogist. Congratulations, Jill. The group will begin meeting in February via Google Hangout.


O Canada: Children of a Common Mother
 Heritage Weekend and Genealogy Seminar
 in the Skagit Valley
 Friday thru Sunday, April 21-23, 2017

The Skagit Valley Genealogical Society invites you to enjoy a special heritage weekend. The O Canada theme is in honor of Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation coming up July 1.

There are activities on Friday evening and Sunday morning to complement the full day seminar on Saturday. Plus, remember the valley will be ablaze in tulip color and the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival has activities that weekend that your family can enjoy while you attend the Saturday genealogy seminar and Sunday historic Burlington walking tour.

You can find more information, the flyer, and online registration at:

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Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Tip of the Week – DNA Help

Have you read the latest DNA book by Blaine Bettinger and Debbie Wayne Parker, “Genetic Genealogy in Practice”? This is a workbook that provides step-by-step help in working with you DNA results. Each chapter includes exercises with answer keys for hands-on practice.

Another good resource  is “Watch Geoff Live: DNA”, a Legacy Software Webinar by Diahan Southard and Geoff Rasmussen. Diahan previously spoke on DNA at SGS.

Tag along as Diahan and Geoff look for the first time at Geoff’s DNA results and use it to solve a brick wall problem. It’s elementary and very useful in (a) what to look for and (b) how much information you can actually extract from the data. While not free, you will find it for a small fee at

Seattle Genealogical Society News


Last Chance to sign up! What is the process for becoming a certified genealogist? Join a facilitated discussion group to discuss the portfolio requirements, the process, and why apply at all! SGS members given priority. Cost is free. Contact Jill Morelli at for more information.


It’s unfortunate, but occasionally due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances, and with very little notice,  the SGS Library may be closed during its normal hours of operation of Tuesday thru Saturday 10am-3pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm.

Now you can call first to check the status.  SGS has a new phone system and has established a procedure that all unforeseen closures  will be announced on an outgoing phone message. So you are invited to call the Library at 206.522.8658 before heading out.

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