Seattle Genealogical Society News


Each quarter, the Seattle Genealogical Society recognizes one member as our Volunteer of the Quarter. Our Volunteer for Fall Quarter 2022 is Jim Ryan. 

Jim is a second-generation member of SGS. He has been a very active volunteer. Prior to the covid shutdown, Jim had attended and assisted at nearly every seminar in the past 15 years. He would assist with set up, take down, lunch distribution, and clean up. 

Jim helped Jean Roth with the Irish and German SIGs for many years. He was also there to man the SGS booth for both the Irish Week Festival at Seattle Center in March and at the Scottish Highland Games in Enumclaw in July. Volunteering during these two outreach activities gave Jim the opportunity to promote SGS to non-members. Jim continues to help with the Irish SIG, now with Susan McKee. Jim has also served as a front desk volunteer. He feels the best part of volunteering is getting to meet and engage on a personal basis with other members of SGS. 

A native Seattleite, Jim was born at Fort Lawton post hospital. After high school at Blanchette, he attended Seattle University, and participated in ROTC and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the US Army in 1974. He graduated from Seattle U with a degree in civil engineering. He served active duty in Darmstadt, Germany for almost 4 years. 

Jim worked as a structural engineer at the Seattle District, US Army Corps of Engineers, for close to 28 years. Two projects of note Jim is particularly proud of are the Smolt Passage Flumes at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (aka Ballard Locks) and the Gas Abatement Spillway Deflectors at Chief Joseph Dam. 

Jim’s genealogy interests are, as you may have guessed, Irish, German, and military research. 

In his spare time, Jim is a USA Track & Field National-certified Official and the sole throws implement inspector for shot, discus, javelin, hammer & weight in his local association. He is the starter for Metro 3A league Track & Field meets at Ingraham High School. And fittingly, Jim has also been volunteering at the Ballard Locks since he retired.

Thank you, Jim, for your track record of continuous volunteer service to SGS. 


For SGS members who wonder what the SGS Board of Directors does at its monthly meetings, this is a reminder that every SGS member is welcome to attend and watch the SGS “sausage” being made.

The Board continues to meet via Zoom, and the information needed to log in to

this meeting can be found in the calendar section of the SGS website. The next meeting is on Monday, December 12, 2022 at 1:00 PM PDT and every SGS member is welcome to attend. Hope to see you there.

** Please note, the elevator will be out of service. 


SGS has been notified by the manager of the Good Shepherd Center that the elevator in our building will be taken out of service beginning on December 5, 2022 and it will be out of service for most of the month of December. Please plan according. Sorry for the inconvenience. 


If you missed the debut showing of this PBS show on Saturday, November 26, 2022, you have a chance to see it tonight, November 30th from 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm. Tune in or set your DVR.


Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State, 
usually 2nd Monday meetings
usually 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM PST

JGSWS meets on the second Monday of each month, from Sept-June. Doors open at 6:30 PM unless noted otherwise. The next meeting isMonday, Dec 12  2022 at 7:00 pm.  The presentation will be “Researching Your Litvak Family” with Judy Baston.

“RootsTech 2023”, 
Family History Library, 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Mar 2-4, 2023

Choose how to attend; in person or online! Visit the website for more info and registration.


Good Shepherd Center, Suite 302
4649 Sunnyside Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
206 522-8658

New Hours :  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
10:00 am – 3:00 pm ** Please call ahead to make sure our library will be open. We are short on front desk volunteers.  

Masks are recommended  inside the Good Shepherd Center. Due to COVID the events listed below continue to be virtual, online via Zoom. Always check the SGS Website Calendar of Events for the meeting links, registration, or for last minute updates or changes to the schedule. Be advised you may need to register in advance to join a meeting. 

NOTICE: SGS has imposed more security on our Zoom meetings. Some meetings will begin with a waiting room.  The host must take action to let people into each meeting.  The host will try to open the waiting room about 10 minutes ahead of time. Please be patient.

All times listed are Pacific Time unless otherwise noted 

Saturday, December 3, 2022, 10:15 am- 12:15 pm, FamilySearch SIG, with Lou Daly. Discover many ways to use the FamilySearch website in your research. Meeting includes instruction and time for Q&A. Email Lou to get on the email list: 

Monday, December 5, 2022, 10:00 am-11:30 am, Brags & Bricks Social Interest Group (Virtual), Join us for an informal social gathering. Share your recent genealogical successes and challenges, or just come to hang out with other genealogists.

Saturday, December 10, 2022, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, Second Saturday: Border Reivers: The Beginning of Scotch-Irish, with Craig Gowens

Monday, December 12, 2022, 
10:00 am-11:30 am, Brags & Bricks Social Interest Group (Virtual), Join us for an informal social gathering. Share your recent genealogical successes and challenges, or just come to hang out with other genealogists.

Monday, December 12, 2022, 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm, SGS Board Meeting (Virtual), Remember all SGS members are welcome to attend the board meeting. Come see what it’s all about. 

Monday, December 12, 2022, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, Write It Up! SIG (Virtual), Join this group  to share and discuss writing projects, resources, and ideas.  To join or learn more, contact Alaine Keisling at 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 10:00 am-11:00 am, Tech Tuesday (Virtual), back by popular demand, the informal consultation time on DNA, genealogy software, or genealogy-related technical issues. All are welcome. No appointment necessary. 

Saturday, December 17, 2022, 10:00 am- 12:00 pm, Irish SIG, with Susan McKee and Jim Ryan. See the SGS website Calendar of Events for further information. Notice there is a new Zoom link.

Saturday, December 17, 2022, 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm, German SIG, with Carolyn Schott See the SGS website Calendar of Events for further information. Notice there is a new Zoom link.

Sunday, December 18, 2022,  1:00 pm-2:30 pm, Virtual Sundays: Something Old, Something New, Just Do It! Self Publishing Your Work,  Jill Morelli is the usual host.

Monday, December 19, 2022, 10:00 am-11:30 am, Brags & Bricks Social Interest Group (Virtual), Join us for an informal social gathering. Share your recent genealogical successes and challenges, or just come to hang out with other genealogists.

Monday, December 26, 2022, 10:00 am-11:30 am, Brags & Bricks Social Interest Group (Virtual), Join us for an informal social gathering. Share your recent genealogical successes and challenges, or just come to hang out with other genealogists.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022, 10:00 am-11:00 am, Tech Tuesday (Virtual), back by popular demand, the informal consultation time on DNA, genealogy software, or genealogy-related technical issues. All are welcome. No appointment necessary. 

South King County Genealogical Society December early January Meetings & Events


Be in the know! Receive notices for our virtual meetings, as well as the latest genealogy news and tips, by subscribing (free) to the online group at is the SKCGS online discussion and collaboration arena where:

  • we communicate and share information with each other
  • other than your email, you are not required to provide personal information
  • you can unsubscribe at any time


  • All meetings are online except the in-person Research Group and Genealogy Help at the Auburn Library
  • Live transcription (captioning) is available during our Zoom meetings by request
  • No General Membership Meeting/Speaker in December
  • Beginning in January, online meeting participants will need to register for SKCGS meetings held on Zoom. Upon registration, Zoom will send a confirmation email with instructions on joining the meeting.

Friday, December 2, 2022, 12:30 – 2:30 pm PT
EGS German Interest Group (online)
“Beyond the Nutcracker: German Christmas Traditions” by Claire Gebben

Learn about those traditions brought to the US by the German immigrants and the current ones in Germany.

Visitors welcome and more information at

Registration is required:

Saturday, December 3, 2022, 10:00am – 12:00pm PT
Family Tree Maker Users Group (online)

Question & Answer. Each month, we will learn about using the features of FTM. Go to for meeting link, meeting reminders and discussion.

Monday, December 12, 2022 1:00pm – 3:00pm PT
Genetic Genealogy/DNA Interest Group
“Boncella method of sorting DNA matches”
Watch in advance: group is for genealogists who use DNA data as part of their research. DNA evidence, like all genealogical evidence cannot stand alone. So we use DNA and other research to answer questions about who is related to whom genetically, and how can we support that conclusion? Subscribe for meeting invitations and discussion:

Friday, December 16, 2022, 1:00pm – 3:00pm PT
Research Group (in-person)
For SKCGS members
Kent Family History Center 12817 SE 256th St., Kent, WA
Seating is limited
RSVP REQUIRED to Winona at

Monday, December 19, 2022
1:00pm – 3:00pm PT
Technical User Group (online)
“Internet Archives”
How to submit websites to the WayBack Machine, how to search it, what you can find there. Watch
TUG is for sharing knowledge and learning about technology tools, media, apps and websites. Subscribe for meeting invitations and discussion:
Thursday, December 22, 2022 11:00am – 1:00pm PT
Genealogy Help with SKCGS at the Auburn Library
Genealogy questions? SKCGS offers one-on-one help with a volunteer
1102 Auburn Way S
Auburn, WA 98002
Registration not required. In-person event. Safety guidelines and current protocols followed. More information at King County Library, email

Monday, December 26, 2022
1:00pm – 3:00pm PT
Genealogy Chat
Meet up and chat about genealogy subjects and topics. We have no agenda; we just like one another! For meeting invitations and discussion, join

Tuesday, January 3, 2023, 6:30pm PT
SKCGS Board of Directors Meeting (online)
All SKCGS members are invited to attend; only Officers and Directors may vote. Write to for the meeting link.

Friday, January 6, 2023, 12:30 – 2:30 pm PT
EGS German Interest Group (online)
“Start the New Year Right – Get organized by letting software do the work”

Several EGS-GIG members will demo free software that can help turn your piles and files into easily stored and retrievable data. 

Visitors welcome and more information at

Registration is required:

Saturday, January 7, 2023, 10:00am – 12:00pm PT
Family Tree Maker Users Group (online)

Question & Answer. Each month, we will learn about using the features of FTM.
Register in advance for this Zoom meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Subscribe to the free SKCGS FTM email list for meeting reminders and discussion:

Volunteers Needed (in-person)

SKCGS partners with the King County Library System in Auburn by offering a Genealogy Help Desk (GenDesk) to assist library patrons with ancestor research. GenDesk is available monthly on the fourth Thursday from 11 am to 1 pm. We have materials to help anyone coming to the desk and we use our own genealogy research skills to show how to research and make progress on genealogy questions. And we are LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS to help with this project! If you would like to volunteer once a month, help others, and improve your own skills, let us know! Having a tablet or laptop to bring with you is valuable, but library computers are available to use as an alternative. We’d love to hear from you. You don’t need to have an advanced skill level to help. E-mail with some information on your research skill level.  


MEMBERSHIP:  We welcome guests to our meetings and special interest groups, which are free. Naturally we hope that visitors will want to become members. Support like yours helps us to educate and engage with our community to foster interest in family and local history. Regarding our programs, even if and when we can meet again in person, we will continue with some virtual programs. You can find more information about membership at our website at

You are receiving this email because you have attended a SKCGS meeting and indicated you would like to receive periodic notice of events. If you would like to be removed from our list and stop receiving emails from us, send an email to

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PO BOX 582

MyHeritage Cyber Monday Sale

Our Cyber Monday sale is on, and your audience won’t want to miss it! This is our best deal of the year — and our lowest price ever. Plus, we’re offering free shipping on 2 kits or more! But this offer will be over soon, so please spread the word and help more genealogists enjoy all the benefits of DNA testing.

Order MyHeritage DNA now

Cyber Monday DNA Sale

Whether you’ve been waiting for a great deal to purchase one for yourself, or are looking for a meaningful, affordable holiday gift, now is the perfect time to order MyHeritage DNA! Our simple cheek swab test reveals your origins across 2,114 geographic regions and connects you with new relatives. As the #1 DNA test in Europe, it’s the best option for exploring origins and finding family members overseas.

Please spread the word so your friends and followers can enjoy this special price and make sure the kits arrive in time for the holidays! Feel free to use the graphic above.


Daniel Horowitz

Genealogy Expert

MyHeritage Ltd., P.O.Box 50, 3 Ariel Sharon Blvd., Or Yehuda, Israel 6037606, Israel, +972-3-6280000

Richard Adams Named One of 2022 Outstanding Volunteers

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 600 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 weeks, you will be introduced to each of the 2022 award recipients and learn why they received the 2022 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Today we’re introducing Richard Adams of Yakima, Washington, who was nominated by the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society (YVGS).

Richard joined YVGS in 1985. He is an invaluable member wearing many hats. He worked as part of the team serving coffee to travelers at Indian John Hill rest area on I-90 many years and for ten years he has set up and staffed the raffle table at YVGS’s general meetings and sets up their coffee bar. He helps with the transportation of goods from two local churches back to YVGS’s lot in preparation for two yard sales held each year, selling items and with cleanup after each sale. Richard researched and obtained quotes on prices and had a new sound system installed in the YVGS library. Since 2003, Richard has cleaned YVGS’s restrooms every week with his wife Carla. When the maintenance committee needs extra help, Richard is right there.

Richard is a highly valued member of YVGS, and richly deserves this recognition.

Tacoma Pierce County Genealogical Society Legacy Family Tree SIG

Tacoma Pierce County Genealogical Society

Legacy Family Tree SIG Meeting Dec 6th, 2022, 7:00 pm

This week we will begin reviewing a longer video presented by Geoff Rasmussen that is free and available from the Legacy Family Tree Webinars site.  The direct link to the video is listed below its title:

Legacy 9 Unlocked (part 1): Your First Few Tips

We will watch the first 3rd of the video this month and then finish up with the middle 3rd in January.

We hope to see you this coming Tuesday, Dec 6th!

******************* NOTE CHANGE OF SCHEDULE FOR LEGACY MEETINGS********************

Starting September the Legacy SIG will only meet the 1st Tuesday of each month


Our meetings are held on the 1st Tuesday of each month from 7:00 pm until 8:30. The link to the reoccurring Zoom Meeting is located at the bottom of this page.

The first half of each meeting we will work thru training videos, watching, and then pausing to talk about the section we just watched before moving on to the next section.  The second half will be used for open discussion of topics related to using Legacy. This could include any questions or problems we are having with the program or tips and features we have discovered.  If you think of something you would like to bring up, please write it down so you can share it with the group.

1st Tuesday of Month Meeting Link:

As always if a hyperlink is not active just copy and paste it into your browser.

Pioneer Pursuit Contest is off to a Start! 

The Pioneer Pursuit Contest is off to a Start! 

Congratulations to Saundra Middleton of Anchorage, Alaska!  Saundra is the first to submit applications for the Pioneer Pursuit Contest.   She has submitted six names independently and three names on behalf of the Kirkland Heritage Society.  Job well done, Saundra. 

Please join us in trying to document all of the people and families who were in Washington Territory when statehood was achieved in 1889.  Help us leave a legacy for future genealogists.   For more information and instructions, go to our homepage at and follow the links.  

Let’s Talk About: A 12yo prison inmate in 1931

Jarred by an old newspaper article, I had to dig into the sad story of Herbert Franklin Niccolls, Jr. Most of this information comes from Find-A-Grave. 

Born in 1919 in Boise, Idaho, to Bert and Hazel Niccolls, he was one of the younger children. The family lived in extreme poverty. When Herbert was 9, his father was declared insane and committed to an asylum. Hazel, with no other recourse, gave away her sons. 

Herbert was incorrigibly delinquent. The loving foster parents who took him in had to send him away after he repeatedly lied and stole from them. Herbert finally was released into the care of his paternal grandmother “a religious zealot who was determined to starve and beat the sin out of him.”

On the night of 5 Aug 1931, 12-year-old Herbert broke into a store for candy and tobacco. The break-in was discovered and 73-year-old Sheriff John L. Wormell entered the store to investigate. Herbert, crouched behind a vinegar barrel with a stolen gun, fired one shot, hitting the sheriff in the head and killing him instantly. 

The arrest of the 12 year old killer, barefoot and dressed in ragged overalls, made headlines across the country. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Herbert, 80 pounds, 4 foot 8 inches, with delicate features, curly brown hair, bright and polite, became a poster child for reform of the incarceration of juveniles. 

Herbert fared fairly well in prison. He was kept under close supervision of the wardens, kept away from the general population and assigned tutors and mentors, and achieved a good education behind bars. He remarked to his brother many years later that prison saved his life.

Herbert was released from prison at the age of 21. After a brief, unsuccessful start at a bakery job just after his release from prison, Niccolls worked in the accounting department of a Tacoma shipyard and there he excelled. He subsequently moved to California and joined the accounting department at MGM and later worked for 20th Century Fox in Hollywood. He married and had a son, John.  

Herbert died of a heart attack in 1983, having lived a crime-free life since his parole 42 years earlier.

Washington Becomes a State

133 years ago on Nov. 18, 1889, hundreds gathered at the portico of the Capitol in Olympia to celebrate Washington’s newly acquired statehood and to view the inauguration of the state’s first governor, Elisha P. Ferry.

More than 3,000 Washingtonians celebrated their new statehood that day, marching in parades and celebrating by “shooting off Roman candles” in the capital city.

One week earlier, President Benjamin Harrison signed the bill admitting Washington to the United States.

Photo and Article courtesy of the Washington State Archives Newsletter Out of the Archives.

Let’s Talk About: $10,000 Silver Dollar Bar

Everybody stops there; the gravity and allure of the place (not to mention clean restrooms) pulls you in right off of I-90 if you’re on your way east from Washington state.  You’ve been there, right? Probably more than once!

Here’s the history of the famous bar:  The story begins in 1951 when Gerry and Marie Lincoln moved from Libby, Montana, to Alberton, Montana. Two miles west of this small Montana town on what is now I-90, they built a small bar and named it “Cherry Springs.” Soon, however, they realized that people needed a reason to stop, an attraction, and they got an idea.

At that time the local customers (loggers and miners) were paid in silver dollars. Also, travelers to Montana always received their change in silver dollars. They weigh a ton in your pocket! (This is why loggers wear suspenders.) So on October 1, 1952, Gerry cut a round hole in the bar top, hammered a silver dollar into it, and inscribed he and Marie’s names beneath it. 

The idea caught on and by December 1953, over 2000 people had placed their coins and names in the bar top. As a result of this, the name was changed to Lincoln’s 2000 Silver $ Bar. The original bar top is still intact and in use. It contains 2115 pieces and all the other coins in the collection are embedded in boards and displayed around the barroom. Each coin is the possession of the individual who left it and many people, or their children or grandchildren, return year after year to visit “their” coin. 

Today, according to their website, there are over 75,000 silver dollar coins on display! If you haven’t, maybe you ought to stop on your next trip east.