Seattle Genealogical Society September Updates


SGS has started a closed Facebook group led by member Lisa Chan – “The Seattle Genealogical Society Network”.  Available to anyone interested in SGS and genealogy, it’s an opportunity to discuss research interests and socialize with other genealogists from the Northwest and beyond.  Participants must have a Facebook account in order to join the group, but need not be a SGS member. To join, in Facebook search for the group by name and then click “Join Group”.

SGS is also on Twitter!  Keep up on interesting news and events concerning SGS and the world of genealogy.  Follow SGS at SeaGenealogicalSociety@SeattleSgs.


The first meeting of the Scandinavian Special Interest Group will be held on Sunday, September 20, 1:00pm-3:00pm, at the SGS Library. The time will be used to organize future meetings by reviewing people’s country of interest, level of experience, resources and simple facts on what is needed to get started. At least 10 people are needed to start a SIG so please email Karen Knudson at if you are interested, but cannot attend the first meeting. Also note there will be a Scandinavian Workshop Program, Sunday, October 11th.  See the SGS Calendar of Events below.

Immigration and Nationality Records Review:
At the Seattle Public Library

US Citizenship and Immigration Services historical records expert Marian L. Smith will present an “Immigration and Nationality Records Review,” an overview of the Federal immigration and nationality records housed both at the National Archives (NARA) and USCIS.  The talk will include examples, identify finding aids, and explain research procedures.

The Seattle Public Library
Central Library – Level 4 – Room 1
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
7:00pm – 8:30pm

Marian L. Smith specializes in the history and uses of immigration and naturalization records.  She served as Chief Historian for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) from 1988 to 2003, then its successor the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from 2003 to 2014.  During that time her articles appeared in the National Archives journal Prologue, the FGS Forum, and other publications.  Marian now serves the USCIS Records Division as an historical records subject matter expert, whose current work focuses on automation, digitization, data integrity, and training.

Registration is encouraged, but not required.  Send an email using the library’s Ask-A-Librarian service or call 206-386-4636 and ask for the genealogy desk to register.  Space is limited at library events. Please come early to make sure you get a seat.

At its most recent meeting, the SGS Board of Directors decided to cease publication of the SGS Newsletter, our quarterly eight page publication containing news, announcements and the SGS Calendar of Events for the coming quarter.  Originally the SGS Newsletter was mailed to all SGS members; recently, due to cost constraints, SGS stopped mailing the SGS Newsletter, instead posting it online on the Members Only section of the SGS web site.

In making this decision, the Board recognized that the SGS eNews!, our twice-a-month electronic publication, has subsumed the SGS Newsletter, providing the same content in a much more frequent and timely fashion.  In addition, it reaches far more members than the SGS Newsletter did.

Our plan at this time is to post a link to each issue of the SGS eNews! online, where the SGS Newsletter has been posted recently, as well as to continue to email it to all SGS members and anyone else who signs up to receive it, whether SGS member or not.

If you have any questions or concerns about this decision, feel free to contact Reiley Kidd at


All programs are at the SGS Library at 6200 Sand Point Way unless otherwise indicated. Please Check the SGS Web Site for additions, changes, and corrections. Programs may be postponed.

The Canadian Interest Group will not meet this month due to the Labor Day holiday

Saturday, September 12,  10:15am–12:15 pm, IRISH INTEREST GROUP- IRISH CATHOLIC PARISH RECORDS This summer – Ireland’s National Library introduced free online access to Irish Catholic Parish Records for both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  We’ll review this new major research tool with over 1,000 parishes digitized.  Leader: Jean A. Roth

Saturday, September 12, 1:00 pm-3:30 pm, GERMAN INTEREST GROUP-  “ODDITIES in GERMAN GENEALOGY”  From strange naming patterns to bizarre church record listings – we’ll hopefully clear up some of the research problems you may encounter. Leader: Jean A. Roth

Sunday, September 13, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm, PROGRAM MEETING:

Optical character recognition is the mechanical or electronic conversion of images of typewritten or printed text into machine-encoded text. It is a common method of digitizing printed texts so that it can be electronically edited, searched, stored more compactly, displayed and used in machine processes. Speaker: Mary Kircher Roddy

Sunday, September 20, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, SCANDINAVIAN INTEREST GROUP
First meeting of this new interest group. Organization for future meetings, countries of interest, levels of experience, resources and simple facts will be discussed. Leader: Karen Knudson

Wednesday, September 23, 12:00pm–3:00pm, BRICK WALL PROBLEM SOLVING
Join SGS members for a problem-solving session.  This is an open forum format. Leader: Jean A. Roth


Saturday, October 3, 10:15 am – 2:00 pm, ETHNIC SERIES
This expanded Canadian Interest Group meeting will be an overview of researching your ancestors from our neighbor to the north including the ethnic groups of French and Scots settlers. Leader: Dave Roberts
Sunday, October 4, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm,
PROGRAM MEETING: Spreadsheets 101: Excel-lence in Genealogy
Are you afraid of spreadsheets because you don’t know how or where to start? Or are you comfortable with spreadsheets but think there might be a trick our two out there that you don’t know? Mary will get the beginners up to speed, and share with experienced users tricks she’s learned in more than 25 years of spreadsheet use as an accountant, a writer and a genealogist.  Speaker: Mary Kirchner Roddy
Saturday, October 10, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm, SGS Membership Meeting.
We’ll also have a program on USING SOCIAL MEDIA for GENEALOGY: Especially Facebook. This modern research tool is becoming very popular and is easy to get started making connections and joining special interest groups.

Sunday, October 11, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm, ETHNIC SERIES –


Saturday October 17 and Sunday, October 18
Seattle Genealogical Society Fall Seminar
“The Family History Detective: Finding Solutions to Your Toughest Research Problems.” Speaker: Dr. Thomas W. Jones
Visit for more information.
Saturday, November 14

The free all-day annual Family History Expo has been scheduled for the Eastside . SGS will have a booth and there will be  many speakers and vendors.