Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week



Between the years 1820 and 1920, thirty five million immigrants arrived at US ports and 82% of them came through the port of New York. Before Ellis Island was opened in 1892, Castle Garden was the official immigrant reception area. Combined, the three collections cited below have over 66 million searchable passenger records that cover the port from 1820-1957. Access is available to you through your account on the free genealogy website,  

Castle Garden (1820-1891 arrival dates)

Ellis Island (1892-1924 arrival dates)  

NY Passenger and Crew Lists, 1925-1957 dates

Seattle Genealogical Society News

Volunteers are needed to staff the SGS Booth, pass out brochures, and answer questions at the Irish Week Festival at Seattle Center Armory on Saturday, March 16 & Sunday, March 17. Each volunteer will be scheduled for a 2 hour stint in the booth. If you can help on either day, please contact Jean Roth at 206 782-2629. 
With Lincoln’s birthday just last week and President’s Day coming up on Monday, now is the perfect time for an anecdote about my ancestor, Wait Talcott, Abe Lincoln, and Abe’s friend, Elihu Washburne. When visiting the Talcott Free Library in Rockton, IL, the librarian showed our group some pieces of our family memorabilia they held in their collection. Here was this short, amusing note from Abe to Wait. A photo of the note will follow, but for ease of reading, I’ll transcribe it for you. It shows even Honest Abe was not above a little nepotism.

“Executive Mansion,
Washington   Aug 27, 1862

Hon. Wait Talcott,
My dear Sir,

I have determined to appoint you collector. I now have a very special request to make of you, which is that you will make no war upon Mr. Washburne, who is also my friend of longer standing than yourself. I shall even be obliged if you can do something for him if occasion presents.

Yours truly,  A Lincoln”

While Abe requires no introduction, the backstories for Wait and Elihu are, they were all politicians in Illinois. Wait aligned himself with the anti-slavery Liberty Party and was in the Illinois Senate, representing Winnebago, Carroll, Boone, and Ogle Counties, from 1854-1858. During that time he became friends with Abe. After the passage of the Internal Revenue Act, President Lincoln appointed Wait Collector of Internal Revenue for the Illinois 2nd Congressional District, a position he held 1862-1867. Wait was also selected to represent Illinois at Lincoln’s funeral.

Elihu Washburne was in the US House of Representatives from 1853-1869.  He was an early staunch supporter of Lincoln, both in his Senate and Presidential bids. Originally a Whig, Washburne evolved into a leader of the Radical Republicans, supporting African American suffrage and civil rights. 

Certainly, Abe appreciated and rewarded their long standing loyalty, when in his own words “occasion presents”.  



Using MacKiev’s Family Tree Maker Software, 
Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State,
LDS Factoria Church Building, 4200 124th Ave SE
Bellevue, WA 98006
Monday, March 4, 7:15 pm

Doors open at 6:30 pm for all to enjoy the extensive JGSWS library’s genealogical resources. Free Wi-Fi, admission, and refreshments.  Come early to network with other attendees. Presentation starts promptly at 7:15 pm.


Ulster Historical Foundation, USA Lecture Tour 2019
Lake City Center, 1916 N Lakewood Dr,
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814

Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 1:00pm-8:30pm

Enjoy this all day Irish & Scots-Irish Research Seminar with presenters Finton Mullan and Gillian Hunt from the Ulster Historical Foundation, Belfast.  Register by February 20th for the early bird price of $35. It will be $50 after that.

For more information on the USA lecture tour, or the Spokane area Coeur d’Alene, ID stop in particular, visit their website:


Beyond the Basics in Irish Genealogy,
Fairview Christian School,
844 NE 78th St,  
Seattle, WA 98115
Saturday, March 23, 9:00 am – 5:00pm

Irish genealogy workshop with regional specialists Steven W Morrison and Jean A Roth. Organized by the Irish Heritage Club of Seattle. More information and registration at the link below.

The ABCs of DNA Genealogy,
With Janet O’Conor Camarata,  
Mercer Island Library,
4400 88th Ave SE,
Mercer Island, WA
Thursday, March 28, 7-8 pm   

Genealogist Janet O’Conor Camarata provides tips and tools for selecting and interpreting DNA results from a variety of health and ancestry DNA providers, like Ancestry, FamilyTreeDNA, 23andMe and more. Designed for the non-technical, genealogy oriented audience. Please register. Sponsored by the Friends of the Mercer Island Library, in partnership with Mercer Island Historical Society.

Registration link:

Olympia Genealogical Society,
Beyond the Basics: Genetic Genealogy In Practice
Olympia, WA
Saturday, March 30, 8:30am-3:30pm   

Seminar presented by Blaine Bettinger, the Genetic Genealogist. Additional information and registration 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, February 16, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Irish SIG, Jean Roth, leader ** Canceled due to weather **

Saturday, February 16, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, German SIG, Jean Roth, leader ** Canceled due to weather **


Saturday, March 2, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Family Tree Interest Group, Lou Daly is leader of this special interest group exploring all the features of the tool Family Tree on

Sunday, March 3, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, DNA Workshop, with Cary Bright. Q&A first hour, while focus second hour in on Genome Mate Pro.

Saturday, March 9, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, (FTM) FAMILY TREE Maker Users Group, co-leaders Reiley Kidd & Jess Ramey, meets on the 2nd Saturday of every odd month (Jan 2019, Mar 2019, May 2019). Family Tree Maker is the genealogy software long associated with 

Saturday, March 9, 12:30 pm-1:00 pm, Seattle Genealogical Society Membership Meeting, important meeting – discuss proposed bylaw changes and board nominees 

Saturday, March 9, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm, Second Saturday Speakers Series – “Finding Your Female Ancestors” with Lisa Oberg

Saturday, March 30, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm, DNA SIG , this group meets quarterly at Wedgwood Presbyterian Church, 8008 35th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115, co-chaired by Cary Bright & Herb McDaniel. For more info contact


THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition February 14, 2019
Curious about the status of your GFO Membership? We’d love to have you as a GFO Member!
For more information visit
Contact us at or 503-963-1932.
Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider During inclement weather this winter, please be sure to check our Facebook Page or website to see if we’re open! Or, call the library at 503-963-1932 to insure someone is here.
GFO’s February GenTalk: Google Searching Computer Lab
When: Saturday, February 16th, at 2 p.m.
Where: GFO Research Library
Presenters: Kristin Parks & Joann Taylor The best way to learn to use a computer is to use a computer. This GenTalk Computer Lab will start from the beginning with Google search engine queries for online genealogy research, by walking you through the process, click by click. Whether you have a Mac or PC, Kristin (Mac) and Joann (PC) will be there to help you. If you have a laptop of your own, please bring it! If you do not, then sign up to use one at the GFO. GenTalks are free and open to everyone, but the number of GFO computers is limited, so please register online to use one. Kristin Parks and Joann Taylor are members of the GFO, and both volunteer as Research Assistants and as researchers for the GPS SIG. Joann is a researcher for the GFO Look-Up Service, and Kristin is the Education Committee Chair. Both attend numerous educational seminars and conferences and are holders of the Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University’s Center for Professional Education. Click here to reserve a GFO computer for this free and public event.
February Brings Faster Internet to GFO!
This month, GFO is upgrading our internet connection to take advantage of the new fiber-optic connection that was installed at the Ford building last fall. Our bandwidth capacity will double to 100 Mbps. Even better, latency decreases–this is the delay time it takes to get a network packet from GFO across the internet to the final server. We are not close to using our current capacity, so the primary benefit is reliability. Patrons using any of the databases that we offer at the library will experience a smoother search experience with fewer hesitations.
NEW! Free First Monday Hours Extended to 8 O’clock! 
We’re making it just a bit easier to see everything the GFO Library has to offer. The First Monday of each month has long been free to everyone. For the next three months, we are extending our hours until 8 p.m. that day so you can come after work or when parking space may be easier to find. So, on March 4th, April 1st, and May 6th, come stay late with us! And please, be sure to share this with friends who are not members of the GFO.
GFO’s Most Valuable Surplus Books Date Back to 1889
Featured Book of the Week: History of Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington, Volumes One and Two are the GFO Bookstore’s most valuable surplus books. Volume One is in remarkably good condition for a book printed in 1889 with perfectly intact spine, and clean pages which have not faded. Both the front and the back covers have a blemish and worn corners. This copy was a gift to Berte Reeder “Given by his Mama,” November 8th, 1892. “Be sure to read them,” she wrote on the inscription page. See history through the eyes of your ancestors in this book described as “Embracing an account of the original discoveries on the Pacific Coast of North America.” We’ve seen comparable copies of this book for sale online from $500 to $1200.
Our price is $375. Volume Two has pages which are in excellent shape but the spine and binding are severely damaged. It’s available for $50. If you buy the exceptional Volume One, we’ll include Volume Two at half off for a total of $400. BONUS: Guess what? We actually have a second full set of these books; these also have poor spines and binding but the pages are in great shape. This Set #2 is available for $100. To buy these books, contact All book sales support the daily operations, keeping the GFO library open daily.
Our Newest Records: Newspaper Clippings of Marriages & Obituaries
Did you know the GFO is constantly adding new records to our collections and our website to help you with your research? Many volunteers work from home or at the GFO scanning obituaries from newspapers and other newspaper articles which have been donated over the years. They include marriage reports from the 1930s, Oregon obituaries from the 1950s to 1990s, and West Point obituaries from about 1944-1987. You can find indexes on our website. If you locate a person you care about, the website has a form to send us a request for a copy of the actual clipping. Or, come into the library and find it in the books and CDs we have compiled of these clippings.
These are the newest indexes we’ve put online: Newspaper Clippings Oregon Obituaries Oregon Obituaries II West Point Obituaries This is a continuing process as we receive more clipped articles and full newspapers. So, check our website regularly. We’re adding more records all the time!
The Norway Project Calls for Crowdsourced Assistance
The Norway Cemetery Association Board has given its blessing for “The Norway Project.” The project is working to create an online searchable database of those buried at the Norway Cemetery, located at Norway, Coos County, Oregon. There are 5,000 grave sites at the Norway Cemetery; however, Find A Grave has only 3,300 listed. The Norway Project’s goal is to have all 5,000 grave sites listed and available for researchers. Currently, information about those buried at the Norway Cemetery is being housed in a 4×6 notebook. As part of the Norway Project’s effort to make the burial information more accessible, a new website has been made available at the project’s website. The site may be searched without registering, but please note that volunteers must register to help out on the project. Family members may also register to add information about their loved ones buried at Norway Cemetery. The Norway Project needs your help to enter data on the new website. This will be a long-term effort. GFO member Darrell Gulstrom is the project coordinator. To register as a volunteer or as a family member, email Darrell at Gulstrom said he hopes for many volunteers to help in this effort. “It is long overdue,” he says.
This week at GFO …
SATURDAY, February 16th
Genealogy Problem Solvers (GPS)
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. While an ancestor named John Brown may pose obvious challenges, one would think Wiley Wingo was a strictly unique name. This Saturday’s Problem Solvers presentation will demonstrate the value of establishing a Detailed Timeline to tackle the problem of multiple persons with identical names. Join us Saturday at 9:30 AM to learn how this technique can help you in organizing your research. For more information contact Katie Daly at
GenTalk: Google Searching Computer Lab
2 – 3 p.m. Have you ever watched someone do something amazing on the computer, but when you tried it yourself it somehow just didn’t work? Or maybe you didn’t even try because it seemed like teaching calculus to a panda bear. What we’d like to do at our February GenTalk is practice doing some of those amazing things until you can do it yourself. This GenTalk Computer Lab will teach attendees how to utilize Google searches for online genealogy research. If you have a laptop of your own, please bring it! If you do not, then please sign up to use one at the GFO. GenTalks are free and open to everyone, but the number of GFO computers is limited, so please CLICK HERE to register online to use one.

SUNDAY, February 17th

Library Work Party 9 a.m. – noon
There’s another work party at the GFO library today for those of you who can come. There’s lots to do and we’d love to have your help. Doors open at 9 and work usually wraps up around noon. Some people come for just an hour or so; others work the full time. You are welcome to do either. Any time you can share is valuable. Hope to see you there.
Family Tree Maker Users’ Group
Join other users who want to work through the 2017 Companion Guide to Family TreeMaker. Please bring your laptop with 2017 version of FTM installed and an empty usb thumb drive. This group is facilitated by Joyce Grant-Worley. Please send questions to

French Canada Group 3:30 – 5 p.m. Sharing stories of our history. Come and join this group to learn more about French Canadian ancestry and Acadia. The group leader is Bob LaMarche and can be contacted at

WEDNESDAY, February 20th
Learn & Chat 10 a.m. – noon The group’s very own Lori Washburn will present her often requested approach to Scanning, Archiving, Photos and Documents. Lori’s work is meticulous and she’s generous to share! At Learn & Chat some of the learning comes from speakers with particular expertise but most of it comes from the sharing of experiences and knowledge of attendees who have developed methods that work for them. And if you have been doing genealogy for any length time you have likely experienced the wonderful moments of exhilaration, the successes that you then share with others and that drive you to continue researching. Unfortunately those times can be few and far between. Join us to talk about your genealogy questions and help provide support to others. Facilitators Jean Quan can be contacted at

DNA Q&A 1 – 3 p.m. Lisa McCullough leads a discussion on various DNA related subjects, with each meeting focused on a particular subject. General questions are welcome at the end of each planned discussion. Questions? Message Lisa at

Irish Group 6 – 8 p.m. Mike Dalton will share information on the following topics: Tithe Applotments of 1823 to 1837 were the first rateable valuations of Ireland of arable lands that could contribute to support of a minister. Survey of all of Ireland began in 1844 under the leadership of Dublin based Sir Richard Griffith. It is officially named: General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland. The Griffith’s Valuations published from 1848 to 1864 for each of the 32 counties are a census substitute of householders who owned or leased homes and lands. They are not a population census count of those who lived in the household. The listed occupier may have been your ancestor or his father, his widowed mother or his father in-law. We shall also dedicate some time to assist members with research questions they may have. If you are struggling with your Irish heritage research please bring what you know and formulate a question regarding what you would like to learn or email in advance to The Irish group meets on the third Wednesday of the even months February,April, June, August, and October (there will be no meeting in December). Contact for more information.

Eastern Washington Genealogical Society Spring Seminar

Sunny McClellan Morton

Coming to the EWGS Spring Seminar on Saturday April 6. 2019


8441 N Indian Trail Road, Spokane WA. 99208

Doors open 8:00 a.m., Registration at 8:30 a.m., Seminar begins: 9:00 a.m.

Sunny is an internationally known, award winning writer and speaker for the genealogy industry



Finding Historical Records on the Giant Genealogy Websites

Meet PERSI and Discover Treasures in Genealogy Periodicals

Exploring Church Records

Finding your way on

Deadline to register March 20, 2019

Member $35 – Non Member $40 – Pay at the door $40

Box lunch by Christ Kitchen -$12-must be preordered

Or you may bring own lunch

Click here for more information and to register

Friday Serendipity

Did you click on any of the links to help convince yourself that you really do want to make the easy drive to Spokane to hear Sunny Jane Morton?????

NEXT APRIL 6th for EWGS Spring Seminar

And who is Sunny Jane McClellan Morton, you rightfully ask?

Sunny Jane Morton is an internationally-known, award-winning writer, editor and speaker for the multibillion-dollar genealogy industry. She is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems Podcast, with more than 2.5 million downloads worldwide, and a Contributing Editor at Family Tree Magazine, the U.S.’ premiere publication for genealogy hobbyists. A popular speaker at events across the country (including RootsTech), Sunny is especially known for expertise in tracing U.S. ancestors, particularly in church records; her unique comparisons of the industry’s largest websites; and inspiring presentations on how to reconstruct and tell meaningful stories from the past. Sunny is the author of Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your LegacyGenealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites and the forthcoming How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records (working title), co-authored with Harold Henderson, CG. She is the Co-Editor of Ohio Genealogy News and winner of the prestigious NGS Newsletter Competition (2017) and writing awards from the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors. She holds degrees in history and humanities from Brigham Young University.

Stay tuned to for more information. That’s the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society in Spokane. 

German Interest Group of the Eastside Genealogical Society

The German Interest Group of The Eastside Genealogical Society (EGS) will meet on Friday, March 1, 2019, from 1 to 3 pm in the Primary Room of the Latter-day Saints Church at 10675 NE 20th St, Bellevue, WA 98004 with doors opening at 12:45 pm for networking. Enter through the double wooden doors on the right side of the Chapel. Visitors are always welcome at our meetings.

Topic: German Immigration Patterns – Since the 17th century, millions of German-speaking emigrants were leaving Europe for places far and wide, especially North America. Who were they? Why did they leave? The answer? It’s complicated. This talk explores waves of emigration in historical context, for reasons of war, religion, politics, weather, economics and other factors. Talk also takes a look at patterns of settlement of German-Americans once they arrived in North America, and its far-reaching effects today.

Presenter: Claire Gebben is the author of the historical novel The Last Blacksmiths (Coffeetown Press, 2014) based on the true story of her German immigrant ancestors. Her family memoir about writing family history, How We Survive Here: Families Across Time, was just published in November 2018. Her articles on blacksmithing, German Separatists, immigration and genealogy have appeared in German Life, Family Chronicle, and other publications. More info about her:

For more information about our Group, kindly visit our website at