Seattle Genealogical Society News

Watch your email inbox for a short two question survey from the SGS Library Trustees.  It will be sent out on November 3, 2019.

Whether you are an SGS Member or not, if you are a user of the SGS Library, your opinion is important to us. So please take the time to respond to the survey and email it back. Thank you in advance for your time. Click here to access survey


On October 12, 2019, at the regular SGS Board meeting, the Directors voted, as is allowed by the Bylaws, to instate James “Jim” Secan as Vice President.  Jim will be responsible for non-social media publicity and serve as Board contact for the Nominating committee for this next cycle. Jim is presently our grants writer, but will need to relinquish that position in light of this assumption of new duties.

Jim was an Army brat, and as a result never lived near any of his parents’ families (in Pittsburgh, PA, and Tupelo, MS).  That lack of connection with cousins, combined with his maternal grandmother’s family tree (for her DAR application) and an almost complete lack of detail on his father’s paternal side (Croatian immigrants from c. 1880) are the basis for his late-in-life interest in genealogy.  

Jim retired from NorthWest Research Associates, Inc., (NWRA) a small research company with headquarters in Redmond, in 2014.  He joined NWRA in 1989 after a ten-year stint in the US Air Force where he had begun his life work in the area now known as space weather, most specifically on the effects of the earth’s ionosphere on satellite communication systems.  When Jim retired, he was a Senior Research Scientist and Vice President responsible for NWRA’s operations in other states (Colorado and California).  After a lifetime spent doing scientific research, the transition into a retirement doing genealogical research was a natural.

Jim and wife Lisa have three grown sons, two living in the Seattle area (a Bothell fire department lieutenant and a Seattle-based architect) and one living in Vancouver, WA (a supervisor for a “boutique” moving company).  They lived in Bellevue, Redmond, and what is now Sammamish while their sons were growing up, moved to Tucson, AZ, for the college years (go Arizona Wildcats!), and care for aging parents.  They returned to Seattle in 2009 and plan to stay.

Please give Jim a hearty welcome when you meet him. Jim, thank you for volunteering for Vice President!

Steven Morrison will be the speaker at our last Second Saturday Speaker Series presentation for 2019.

Steven has been a professional genealogist since 2006 and has served on the board of the Puget Sound chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. He is a member of multiple local and national genealogical societies and is a past president of the Olympia Genealogical Society.

In this presentation, Steven explains how family records (including diaries, letters, and personal photographs) can be perceived as having little genealogical value, but nothing could be further from the truth! Come explore how original information can shine new light on undiscovered facts or family relationships. Hope to see you there, Saturday, November 9, 2019, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm in the SGS Library.   


Jewish Genealogical Society
of Washington State,
LDS Factoria Bldg,
4200 124th Ave SE,
Bellevue, WA

Monday, November 11, 2019

  • Doors open at 6:30 PM and the presentation starts promptly at 7:00 PM
  • Come early to network with other attendees and to enjoy the extensive JGSWS library resources, including FREE access to the FHC computers and genealogical websites
  • Free Wi-Fi available
  • Free admission and refreshments
  • At this meeting, Michael Saunders will present “Digging Deep: Doing Historical Research”

SGS CALENDAR OF EVENTS 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 Library will be closed from November 24, 2019 through December 2, 2019, for the Thanksgiving Holiday. 
Saturday, November 2, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Family Tree for Family Search Interest Group, with leader Lou Daly.  

Sunday, November 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, November 9, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Family Tree Maker Interest Group, with leaders Reiley and Jess.  Saturday, November 9, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Second Saturday Speaker Series – Using Manuscripts and Family Records for Genealogical, with Steven Morrison  

Wednesday, November 13, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Mac Computer Interest Group,  with Lisa Marker, held at the Fiske Genealogical Library in Madison Park, 1644 43rd Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112, jointly sponsored by SGS and Fiske. Meetings are open to the public and will address topics and resources helpful for those using MacIntosh (Apple) computers and the Reunion program in their genealogy research. $3.00 library use fee applies.

Saturday, November 16, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Irish Interest Group, with Jean Roth 
Saturday, November 16, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, German Interest Group,  with Jean Roth

Saturday, November 16, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Digging Deeper: Comparing Genealogical Software,  presenters will compare Legacy, Family Tree Maker, and RootsMagic.  Come see which one is right for you. 

Tuesday, November 19, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Family History Writers’ Group,  contact Gail Stevens for more info at 

Saturday, December 7, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Family Tree for Family Search Interest Group, with leader Lou Daly.  
Saturday, December 14, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Second Saturday – Holiday Potluck –  watch for details