Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society September Meeting


Please join the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society  (SVGS)  for our regular meeting Tuesday, September 12th at 1 pm.  Our guest speaker will be Rob Branigin, Sno-isle Librarian from the Stanwood Branch.  His topic is: Exploring Vital Records Onlinewith Ancestry and Family Search.
The meeting will be held at the SVGS library, 6111– 188th PL. NE, Arlington WA, is free and open to members and the public. We hope to see you there!
Pam Liebelt
Publicity Chair
Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society

Day 3 at the Northwest Genealogy Conference

Leslie Vogel from Seattle, winner of the WSGS membership raffle with President Ginny Majewski and VP Donna Potter Phillips

Last day of the conference, but it was a great one! First thing this morning, WSGS President Ginny Majewski and Vice President Donna Potter Phillips drew Leslie Vogel’s name from the new (and renewed) membership raffle tickets for an Amazon Dot. Congratulations, Leslie. And welcome to you and all our new members!

Kenyatta Berry

Keynote speaker Kenyatta Berry provided a thought-provoking presentation, asking us “Where Does Your Story Begin?” She shared her personal history, as well as how to make our own stories compelling. Much to think about…

Wouldn’t you think I would have heard enough about DNA on this third day? Nope. Attended Mary Kathryn Kozy’s “Can You Help Me Find My Cousins? Using atDNA for Family History” lecture. She’s a great speaker and always “delivers the goods.”

I’m sorry to say I had to leave early, missing Kenyatta’s afternoon talk and the afternoon workshops, but I know everyone enjoyed them.

A big thank you to Phil and Lisa Bartlow and all the volunteers!

I want to give another shout-out to the amazing volunteers from the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society. This conference is quickly becoming “the” event to go to. Speaking of that….mark your calendar for August 15 – 18, 2018! Don’t miss it!

Day 1 at the Northwest Genealogy Conference

Diahan, her mother and sister

Diahan Southard making science fun!

Close to 400 enthusiastic genealogists from all over the state and beyond gathered in the Byrnes Performing Arts Center in Arlington today for a full day of learning, sharing and networking. Our keynote speaker was Diahan Southard, a native Washingtonian transplanted to Florida. Her three keynote lectures were full of understandable information and inspirational stories about DNA. Repeatedly, she told us, “there is no one else on the earth exactly like you.” Her professional manner (and athleticism!) were admired by all.

In addition to Diahan’s keynotes, conference attendees had the opportunity to attend two additional lectures from the dozen offered. It wasn’t easy to choose, but I finally settled on “Ticked Off! Those Pesky Pre-1850 Census Tic Marks” with Peggy Lauritzen and “Land Records: Using Indexes and Deeds to Move Your Research Forward” with Michele Goodrum. It was a hard choice to make. Who would want to turn down an opportunity to learn about “angst-free” citations (really!) or how to find ancestors who owned slaves? Or what about “Criminals, Paupers and Lunatics”?

Larry Taylor and Michele Cozad, two of the conference’s hardworking volunteers

Dinner with Daniel Earl

Can I say a little about the volunteers? From the moment I drove into the parking lot (thanks to the parking crew), I felt well cared for. A volunteer greeted me with a warm welcome as he swung open the door. There were volunteers at the registration table, packet pick-up, book sales, direction givers, food organizers, and more. And think about how much behind-the-scenes work was done before today! So, if you see a Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society volunteer (and, of course, you will!), thank them for their dedication and making this conference such a success.

A small group of us ended our day with a great dinner at the Moose Creek BBQ in Arlington. Our token male was Daniel Earl, tomorrow’s keynote speaker. What an engaging, funny young man, but don’t take my word for it – show up tomorrow! On-site registrations are still being taken. More information about the conference is available here.

Next Generation Genealogist Attends NWGS

How many times have you heard, “How can we involve the younger generation in our passion for genealogy?” Well, let me introduce you to Kellen Shoe.

Kellen and his grandmother Michele Heiderer.

I met Kellen at Wednesday’s Meet-and-Mingle at the Northwest Genealogy Conference. He’s just turned 17 years old and is going to be a junior at Arlington High School. And he’s passionate about genealogy!

Kellen’s interest in genealogy began about four years ago. When asked why he became interested in a field not usually associated with youth, he responded that he wanted to know who he was. His mother had never talked too much about her family history, but did write down what she knew. With that information, along with DNA results, Kellen started searching and researching. He can now trace his roots back to Colonial America, coming from England to Virginia and Missouri as early as 1607. He’s full of facts, dates, relationships, some of it a tangled web of children born out of wedlock, half siblings and other delicate family matters.

Kellen is the proud owner of original family letters, some describing the complex relationship of his 2x great grandmother and 2x great grandfather who never married. He’s also got old photos including daguerreotypes. His next big research hunt is to find the half siblings of his 2x great grandmother. With the help of DNA testing, he’s optimistic he’ll find some answers.

While Kellen’s interested in becoming a mechanical engineer, it’s pretty safe to say, he’ll stay interested in genealogy. A future genealogist in the making.

Pre-Conference Day at NWGC

Peggy Lauritzen entertaining and educating the crowd.

The attendees at today’s “Free Day Wednesday” at the Northwest Genealogy Conference got more than they anticipated. Billed as a beginning genealogy class with accredited genealogist Peggy Lauritzen, the 200-plus attendees were treated to an afternoon with Peggy, local society management classes, vendors and book sales. In addition, a lucky few attended a fascinating “Genetic Networks Workshop” with Diahan Southard.

Sponsored by the hard-working Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS), this fourth-year conference is one of the best in the region. Organizers, including conference chairs Lisa and Phil Bartlow, have planned all year to appeal to newbies and veterans, young and young-at-heart. Peggy’s Genealogy 101 class today yielded more than a few ah-ha’s, scribbled notes and mumbled “I didn’t know that’s” from the crowd, even the seasoned veterans. There’s always something new to learn — or relearn!

Attendees give Diahan Southard’s DNA class a big thumbs up!

I was one of the lucky 25 to atend Diahan Southard’s DNA workshop. This is a new class offered by Diahan, but you wouldn’t have known it. Good handouts and exercises, understandable explanations, even a case study (with assignments for us to complete!). She’s a pro — can’t wait to hear her as our keynoter tomorrow.

I visited a few vendors, including the WSGS Membership table, but will do more of that in the next two days. Stopped by the Heritage Quest Research Library to check out the book sales. They brought in 36 boxes of books, pamphlets and resources, covering every country. And don’t forget to check out the Flip Pal — an invaluable aid in scanning old photos. I love mine; I actually use it MORE than I thought I would!

Councilman Nehring presenting Ruth Caesar with a check for the Pioneer Cemetery kiosk.

We closed the day with a Meet-and-Mingle at the Gleneagle Country Club. Lots of networking, getting acquainted (and reacquainted) and enjoying a great taco bar. One of the highlights of the evening was Snohomish County Councilman Nate Nehring presenting SVGS President Ruth Caesar with an oversized check for a memorial kiosk at the Pioneer Cemetery, Arlington’s first official cemetery. The identification of those interred has long been an important project for SVGS.

Tomorrow is the official start of the NWGC. Fourteen speakers, including keynoter Diahan Southard, will provide lectures and workshops on a wide variety of subjects — something for everyone. I’m still trying to decide on what classes I’m going to attend after looking through the 180-page syllabus!

Registrations are accepted at the door (Byrnes Performing Arts Center, 18821 Crown Ridge Blvd., Arlington). Arrive early and stay all day!

Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society June Meeting


If you are like me, you may never have heard the term Melungeon before now.  According to Wikipedia, Melungeons are a people from the Cumberland Gap Area of East Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky and Southwest Virginia. They are of mixed European, African and Native American ancestry.  At our next Meeting, June 13th at 1pm, Jim Johnson, President of the Heritage Quest Genealogical Library in Sumner, will be speaking on the topic of Melungeons.  The meeting will be held at the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society Library and is free to attend.  Join us in learning about these unique people.



Pam Liebelt

Publicity Chair

Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society


Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society April Meeting


On Tuesday, April 11th at 1 pm, The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society will be hosting a free presentation entitled Read ‘Em or Weep, Promises and Pitfalls in Newspaper Research.  Our presenter will be Mary Kircher Roddy.  Mary is a member of the Puget Sound Association of Professional Genealogists and has written articles for Family Chronicle and Internet Genealogy magazines. This presentation will be held at the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society, 6111 – 188th PL. NE, Arlington, WA 98223 and  is open to society members and the public.
We hope to see you there!

Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society March Meeting

Professional Genealogist Karin Coppernoll of Brick by Brick Genealogy will be sharing how to search un-indexed databases in our family history research.  Don’t miss this unique educational opportunity.

The meeting will be held 1 pm, March 14  at the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Library, 6111 – 188th Pl. NE, Arlington, WA and is free to members and the public.



Pam Liebelt

Publicity Chair

Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society


Michele Cozad Awarded 2016 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized almost 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2016 award recipients and learn why they received the 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Michele Cozad

Michele Cozad

Today we’re introducing Michele Cozad of Arlington, Washington, who was nominated by the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS). She was recognized for her active volunteerism and many years of service to the society.

Ms. Cozad currently serves as SVGS and Northwest Genealogy Conference secretary and is vital to the success of the organization. Her exemplary recordkeeping skills keep all committees on track. She is also a gifted writer creating entertaining and informative pieces which are published, gaining the society great local press. She has been a librarian at SVGS since 2014 and serves on the Tombstone and Membership committees, and takes the lead on multiple conference teams.

Ms. Cozad also represents SVGS at many community events and at statewide genealogy seminars. In addition, she can be counted on to help others. Her delightful personality makes her a great asset to SVGS, and illustrate that she richly deserved being a recipient of a 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Recognition Chair, at

Leilani Lucrisia Named Region 1 South Representative

Leilani Lucrisia

Leilani Lucrisia

Leilani Lucrisia has been appointed Region 1 South Regional Representative by WSGS Mikal McKinnon. In his announcement, President McKinnon expressed his appreciation to Leilani for her willingness to serve. Her experience and enthusiasm will a great asset on the Board.

Leilani is an active member of the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society in Arlington where she served as newsletter editor. She has also been a member of the Northwest Genealogy Conference planning committee, responsible for the fabulous Syllabus. She is also a member of a genealogy society in Marysville and the Seattle Genealogical Society.

In a recent move by the WSGS Board, Region 1 (Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties) was split into two regions to ease geographical issues. Leilani, the Region 1 South Representative, will be assisting societies in part of Island and Snohomish Counties, including Comeford (Marysville) Camwood (Stanwood), Sno-Isle (Lynnwood) and Stillaguamish Valley (Arlington).

The Board is still in search of a volunteer to serve as the Region 1 North Regional Representative which encompasses Island (part) Skagit, Snohomish (part), Whatcom and San Juan Counties. More information on the responsibilities of a Regional Representative, click here or email WSGS Vice President Donna Potter Phillips at