Let’s Talk About….FamilySearch WIKI!

Have you accessed the wonderful, fantastic, FREE resource that is the FamilySearch WIKI? When you click to www.familysearch.org/WIKI this is the page that opens up to you. From this menu, you can “order” among over 106,000 articles……… articles about places all over the world, records of all types, and what records can be found where. When my Puerto Rican friend, Leticia, wanted help with her family tree, the first thing I did was to go to the WIKI and print out all the pages of tips, helps and websites. 

Danielle Batson at the 2023 RootsTech, gave these tips in her talk:

  • “The WIKI is your online genealogy guide linking you to all known records of the entire world!”  How can you top that??
  • WIKI is constantly adding newly found links/sites.
  • WIKI offer strategy papers.
  • Search by locality, she said. “That’s where things happen!”
  • Search top-down…. ie, start with Denmark or Virginia and then work your way down through the menu.
  • Realize that some countries (“Bulgaria for instance”) hasn’t as many records.
  • Don’t over look the sidebar with links to other related records.
  • You can also join a community group for your target area and ask locality-specific questions.
  • Wiki offers Guided Research….. Wiki offers guides to where you might look next.
  • You can book your free Virtual Genealogy consultation, a 20-minute time one-on-one with a FamilySearch specialist for that area or type of record. 
  • And this, the best words she said were these:

“The FamilySearch WII is your researchers’ Golden Ticket!”

Pioneer Pursuit Contest Winner: Ralph Brown

Wholehearted congratulations are extended to Ralph Brown from Bothell (Snohomish County). Ralph contributed an amazing 1,285 individuals to the Pioneer Pursuit Contest. Although the contest portion of Pioneer Pursuit ended 31 Oct 2024, Ralph is continuing to submit names, sources and associated stories of individuals, mostly in southwest Washington, who were in Washington Territory on or before statehood on 11 Nov 1889.

Although he now lives in Snohomish County, Ralph grew up in Underwood, an unincorporated community on the Columbia River in Skamania County. He went to school just up the river in White Salmon (Klickitat County).  

Ralph and his wife Ruth had three children of their own and adopted another. He was a missile technician in the Navy, then a long career with Pacific Northwest Bell. 

Trike Trips Lead to Discoveries

After he retired, Ralph spent the next ten years researching his wife’s and his families and got heavily involved in Find a Grave. In a wild and crazy decision, Ralph decided to buy a three-wheeled trike – without even knowing how to ride a motorcycle! Undaunted, Ralph and Ruth soon put more than 200,000 miles on that trike, traveling to all the local cemeteries in Klickitat and Skamania Counties taking pictures and satisfying photo requests for Find A Grave. 

Because of his ardent work on Find a Grave, Ralph decided to document all the pioneers in the Underwood Cemetery. One thing led to another and his interest soon mushroomed to document all the other small cemeteries in the area.

Pioneer Pursuit to the Rescue

Over the years, Ralph carefully documented Klickitat and Skamania Counties’ local history with a vast amount of research, documents, photographs, newspaper articles and interviews. But he needed to find a home all that research.

Fortunately for Washington State researchers, WSGS came up with the Pioneer Pursuit program – an effort to document every man, woman and child that lived in Washington Territory on or before statehood on 11 Nov 1889.

Ralph is a dedicated Facebook contributor, managing a group with over 2,000 followers. One of his followers, Bo/Casey Gleason had already submitted the Creviston pioneer family to Pioneer Pursuit. When Bo realized a connection with Ralph’s Gilmer family, they hooked up.

Continuing to Pursue Pioneers – and Quilting

Ralph still hasn’t stopped identifying territorial settlers and submitting them to Pioneer Pursuit. He’s also researching local logging, utilities and transportation histories and he hasn’t forgotten about schoolhouses and post offices.

But he’s also spending more time with his quilting longarm. Yes, Ralph is a quilter – supporting Ruth’s passion for creating intricate quilts, such as “Labyrinth Walk” shown here. “I can see me spending the rest of my life identifying people, but I have to get my passion aligned with my wife’s — which is quilting.”

According to Ralph, “There is a slogan for us motorcycle riders, “Too many roads, not enough time” and that applies to genealogy as well:  “Too many territorial settlers, not enough time” and “too much history to uncover and not enough time to document.”  

Congratulations, Ralph, for submitting 1,285 individuals to the Pioneer Pursuit. If anyone is interested in following your lead and participating in Pioneer Pursuit, visit our website here.

Genealogical Societies Support Patriot Week

Volunteers from the Grays Harbor and North Beach Genealogical Societies are hosting Genealogy Cafe’s during Patriot Week from April 23 – 25, 2024, in Ocean Shores. Patriot Week is sponsored by the Washington State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Volunteers will be available by appointment. The sessions will be at the libraries in Ocean Shores and Hoquiam. See the flyer for details.

More information about SAR’s Patriot Week, including a list of events, is available here.

Tacoma Pierce County Genealogical Society DNA SIG

Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society DNA Special Interest Group Meeting

Tuesday, April 23, Starting at 7:00 pm via Zoom

We will be reading Your DNA Guide by Diahan Southard.

This month we will discuss pages 40 to 61.

This book is available from the author, the publishers, Amazon, or perhaps through your local public library or via Inter-Library Loan.

Check WorldCat to see what libraries may have copies.

Calendar reminder: TPCGS DNA Special Interest Group Meeting

Every month on the Fourth Tuesday beginning at 7:00 PM Pacific Time

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.

Monthly: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/tZYqdeyrrz0iEtx-c_J3gNfcI8mebT1zajLo/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGqqTkvGdWTuBGPRpwQB4joZ-nzmCFHj7dF0RzaKXNUTAX1H7pPN7BLQcLR

Join Zoom Meeting:


Meeting ID: 827 2531 6888

Passcode: 811780

One tap mobile:

+12532050468,,82725316888#,,,,*811780# US

+12532158782,,82725316888#,,,,*811780# US (Tacoma)

Dial by your location:

        +1 253 205 0468 US

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

Meeting ID: 827 2531 6888

Passcode: 811780

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kIKCyZLQy

Let’s Talk About…Southern Research

Right off the bat, I’ll bet you’re surprised to see the number of states included under the umbrella of “southern,” as in Southern Genealogy Research. Surprise, indeed!

I attended the 2023 RootsTech and listened to a speaker (whose name I didn’t scribble down) speak about Southern Research and giving some tips for same:

  • Learn as much history on/from your family as you can! 
  • Reason out the facts……… was it indeed a southern state?
  • Brush up on your U.S. history from 1763 to 1775 for starters.
  • Then progress to the Civil War time period. 
  • Know that Georgia was only 1/2 British and was 1/2 Native American.
  • Yes, while many courthouses were burned and records lost, not everything was lost. The documentation of the county’s wealth and income was all important (how to levy taxes if you didn’t know who owned what land?) and were reconstructed.
  • Search the land records and deeds of target states.
  • Attempt a time line for each family in your target location.
  • Plot the family’s migration into and then through the Southern states. 
  • Check newspapers for that time and place.
  • Correlate info from all available records: land, census, probate, court, military
  • Use period maps.
  • Watch for name changes or just misspellings.
  • Southern “speech” often use “brother/cousin” when there was no relationship
  • Each southern state has historical societies and archives as do many of the counties in those states. Many of these societies had many much of their holdings available online. 

Example: My hubby’s great-grandfather, Seaborn Phillips, born 1844 in Georgia and died in 1906 in Texas. Why Texas? He was a Confederate soldier (was at the Battle of Gettysburg, he said) and after the war, Georgia was devastated and had no resources to pay pensions to veterans, so he moved his family west to Texas where pensions were to be had (Texas was not heavily impacted by the war). 

Let’s Talk About…Filles du Roi

Was your ancestral mother a filles du roi? If so, be proud. These women are known as the founding mothers of Canada.

Here’s the history:

To secure his colonial claims in North America, King Louis XIV of France had to strengthen his settlements in New France (Nova Scotia). French officials recruited girls and women to migrate to New France to increase the population. They became known as the filles du roi, or King’s Daughters.

From 1663 to 1673, nearly 1000 women came to New France. In exchange, the women received money, clothes and household items. Almost all of these women married and had children, doubling the population. 

From the perspective of the French Crown, the program was a success. However, little has been recorded of how these women viewed their experiences. 

The women were to be of child-bearing age and especially so, in good health. The women picked for this “adventure” were chosen by their age, health and physical strength, not necessarily for their looks. They had to be “in good health and strong enough for field work and have strong skills when it comes to domestic tasks…”

There are many Canada-based societies dedicated to preserving the memory, experiences and descendancy of these so-called King’s Daughter. Also, YouTube offers several video-stories. 

So be proud if your great-x-time-grandmother was a Kings’ Daughter!

Seattle Genealogical Society “Finally Get Organized”

SGS Second Saturday Program
Saturday, April 13, 2024, 1:00 – 2:30 pm (PT)

“Finally Get Organized:
Conquer the Clutter Using Your Natural Learning Style”

presented by Elizabeth Swanay O’Neal
To view at the SGS Library, register here. (Available only if 2 or more people register in advance. Call a friend.)
Registration is optional, but it helps us know how many seats will be needed, and it allows us to notify you in case of elevator outage or unexpected closure.  Elizabeth will be presenting via Zoom.  Library attendance is for social and research purposes.

To view online from home, register here.
After registering, you will be able to join the meeting immediately from the registration window.  If you register in advance, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

About the program: Have you tried organizing your family history documents, photos, and digital files, but you just can’t find a system that you can stick to? Start organizing according to your natural learning style! This talk will help you identify your specific learning style and will share brain- and research-based organizing strategies for each style. Learn how you learn so you can finally get organized with the right system for YOU!

About the Speaker:Elizabeth Swanay O’Neal is a professional genealogist who writes, lectures, and consults on a variety of topics. For 35 years, she has made it her goal to research, preserve, and share her family stories. Elizabeth is the author of the family history lifestyle blog Heart of the Family™, and her mission is to help others make the past part of their present.

Watch the Calendar of Events for more programs from SGS!
Click here to make a $5.00 donation for a program you enjoyed or plan to attend.
Copyright © 2024 Seattle Genealogical Society, All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
Seattle Genealogical Society
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Suite 302
Seattle, WA 98103-6955

German Interest Group of the Eastside Genealogical Society National Socialism and Family Research

The German Interest Group

of The Eastside GenealogicalSociety (EGS)meeting

When: Friday, May 3, 2024 from 12:30 to 2:30 pm PDT

Zoom Registration required: https://tinyurl.com/mrwca3bd

(This presentation will not be recorded.)

Topic:  National-Socialism – “Euthanasia” and family research
During the Nazi era, people were transferred from hospitals and homes for the disabled to various institutions in the German Reich and in the annexed territories and murdered there. This took place in 2 phases.
Based on the speaker’s own relative, it is possible to follow his path in today’s Poland and the Pomeranian institutions until he was murdered in Meseritz (today Międzyrzecz) in Brandenburg. There will be an overview of the history surrounding the forced sterilization of mentally ill and disabled people and their murder (“euthanasia”).

Presenter:   Inga Guttzeit

Inga Guttzeit, is a Citizen Scientist and Genealogist residing in Lübeck, Germany. She has been doing genealogical research for more than 20 years. She is a volunteer on several projects such as “Transkribus for Hanse-Documents” where she is helping to train the Transkribus AI Software platform, building the “Hanse-Recess Model” enabling better transcriptions of handwritten and printed documents of the Hanseatic League. Inga is a member of the “Working group for research into Nazi-“euthanasia” and forced sterilization” ( www.ak-ns-euthanasie.de ) which was founded in 1983 and she is a member of the group “Researching Lübeck 20th Century”. She has spoken several times in person and online about genealogy and Euthanasia. In June 2023, she began working on a remembrance book (Gedenkbuch) for victims of National Socialist-“Euthanasia” who were born in, deported from, or lived in Lübeck. Inga’s areas of research are Silesia, East Prussia, Thuringia (South), Schleswig-Holstein (near Kiel) and the Salzburg Protestant Expulsion. 

More information: Visitors are always welcome. Our website is https://egsgermangroup.wordpress.com/

Italian Interest Group of the Eastside Genealogical Society AI

20-Apr-2024 Meeting
Welcome to Italian Genealogy Let’s explore the world of Italian genealogy together, one person at a time.
                          ZOOM Meeting Topic:    FamilySearch.org – Full Text Search
When:        20-Apr-2024, Saturday
Time:         1:30 PM – 3:30 PM (PST)
FamilySearch has introduced a new full-text search feature for historical records. This powerful tool leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to help you uncover valuable information in historical documents. This innovative search capability allows you to explore historical records more comprehensively, making your genealogical research even more exciting! AI Searches every word of text including unindexed documents.
If you aren’t an active member, please request a Zoom meeting request. Request Here
Days Hours Minutes Seconds
Eastside Genealogy Group – Italian Interest Group 2410 East Helen Street, Seattle WA, United States of America

Heritage Quest Research Library Finding Ohio Ancestors before 1850

Shelley Bishop is a professional genealogical researcher, writer, and speaker with a passion for finding and preserving the stories of our ancestors.  She is a frequent contributor to Family Tree Magazine, NGS Magazine, and other publications.  As the owner of Buckeye Family Trees, Shelley specializes in Ohio and midwestern research. Her projects often involve work with military, court, and land records. Shelley is President of the Great Lakes Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild.  You can find out more at www.buckeyefamilytrees.com
Finding Ohio Ancestors Before 1850 Researching Ohioans before the advent of birth and death records and an every-name census presents a challenge to genealogists of all skill levels.  Yet by employing time-tested research methods, seeking out some lesser-known resources, and understanding how to work with evidence, you can overcome difficulties caused by the scarcity of early Ohio records.  When:
April 18, 2024
11:00 AM to 12 PM

ZOOM or limited in-person

Cost: $20 members
               $25 non-members

  Sign-up and Payment:
go to the HQRL Store (be sure to sign in as a member to receive the discount)
In-Person (8 only)
Call 253-863-1806 or come into the library.
2102 E Main, Suite 105
Puyallup, WA 98372
Copyright © 2024 Heritage Quest Research Library, All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
Heritage Quest Research Library
2102 East Main Suite 105
Puyallup, WA 98372-3205