Seattle Genealogical Society Announcements and Calendar



The Board of Directors has chosen Lisa Chan as SGS Volunteer of the Fall Quarter. Her contributions as the first technology director, and currently as chair of the technology committee, have hugely benefited the society. Lisa introduced us to Google Apps for Non-Profits, a suite of applications and cloud storage provided at no cost to the society.  SGS files have been moved from hardcopy or storage on individual computers to a common SGS Drive where they can seamlessly be accessed by all board officers.  She has made many SGS Library IT improvements including internal networking and patron computer upgrades. Plus she has been overhauling the SGS website which is so vital to our community outreach efforts.

On the first and third Tuesday of each month from 12:30-3:00 pm, Lisa offers her popular “Technology Tuesday” with discussions on technology, genealogical software, genetic research, internet resources and much more. Be sure to check the eNews! or the SGS website calendars for the webinars Lisa occasionally presents at the SGS library.

Lisa’s interest in genealogy began in 2014 after an autosomal DNA test from 23andMe led her to research the hundreds of matches received. She interviewed her maternal grandmother and learned about her maternal grandfather’s family in southern Illinois, discovering fifth great grandparents buried there, as well as third great grandparents from Ostfriesland, Germany. Relations are still living in the Illinois community the family had helped to settle. Her grandmother entrusted her with records passed down in the family, and Lisa has solved a good number of the “brick walls” going back seventy or more years in family members’ research. Last summer about ten family members met in Illinois  near the burial area of shared ancestors Alexander Rhodes (1787) and Elizabeth Poteet (1790).  With the help of autosomal DNA analysis Lisa was able to discover her biological father and found that she had both a living half brother and paternal grandmother, as well as many newly found cousins. Her interests in family history led her to join SGS, though her first ancestors in our area were second great grandparents who moved here in the 1940s. Lisa reports that these genealogical discoveries she has made over the last two years have been immeasurably enriching.


On November 17, 2016 Oxford University Press announced the release of the long-awaited, four-volume “Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland”. This massive reference work, edited by Professors Patrick Hanks, Richard Coates and Peter McClure, will be a standard in the field.

It explicates the origins, meanings (including etymologies) and geographical distribution of 45,000+ family names of the UK; covering English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Cornish, and immigrant surnames. It includes every surname that currently has more than 100 bearers and those that had more than 20 bearers in the 1881 census.

Entries include an indication of the specific locales in which the name is now most often found, and where it predominated in the 1881 UK census.  Research for this project was carried out in Bristol at the University of the West of England. The four-volume printed edition is very expensive, but it will eventually be available in larger libraries and digitally online. Unique to the online edition are maps for every surname which visualize the frequency of that name in the 1881 census.

This looks pretty exciting. You may view a sample of the online version at  :


SGS has found some 3.5 inch computer disks among our old records and would like to review and retrieve the data off them.  If you have a functioning PC or external floppy drive capable of reading these disks and you are willing to help, please contact SGS Secretary Reiley Kidd 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.  The SGS Library will be closed Saturday, December 24th through Monday, January 2nd.


Saturday, December 3, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Canadian SIG, David Robert, leader

Saturday, December 3, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, Family Tree Maker Users Group, This session of the Family Tree Maker Users Group will be led by Reiley Kidd and Betty Ravenholt. Come get help with FTM. Learn some tips and tricks. Please email if you plan to attend or if you’d like more information.

Tuesday, December 6, 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm, Technology Tuesday, Bring your laptop or mobile device, and enjoy discussions centered around technology and genealogy – software, genetic genealogy, internet research and more.  Hosted by Lisa Chan.

Saturday, December 10, 1:00 pm – 4:00pm, “Do You Have Irish Ancestors?” Learn about an Irish life that unfolded across two continents from the second half of the 1800’s into the early years of the 1900’s. Also, learn about the genealogical research that made this story possible as presented by Kim Burkhardt.

Sunday, December 11, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm, Scandinavian  Interest Group, Leader : Karen Knudson. Bring your laptops, your stories and projects. We’ll have Scandinavian treats and work on finding our families.

Saturday, December 17, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Irish Interest Group, an open session on Irish research using old and new resources   Leader: Jean A. Roth

Saturday, December 17, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, German Interest Group, an open session on German research using old and new resources   Leader: Jean A. Roth

Tuesday, December 20, 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm, Technology Tuesday, Bring your laptop or mobile device, and enjoy discussions centered around technology and genealogy – software, genetic genealogy, internet research and more.  Hosted by Lisa Chan.

** Closed Saturday, December 24th through Monday, January 2nd.