Seattle Genealogical Society Closure News

March 10, 2020 

Dear SGS members, friends and sponsors,

As you know Seattle is the country’s epicenter of the Covid-19 virus outbreak. All experts urge those who are vulnerable due to older age or with compromised immune systems to stay at home.  While not all of our SGS friends fall into these categories, many do.

Yesterday, at our monthly Board meeting, which was held virtually, we decided to close the physical facility at 6200 Sand Point and to cancel all meetings and gatherings of our members held there until 30 March 2020. The facility is not being closed due to any known contamination, but rather as a pro-active move to avoid possible person-to-person transmission of the virus. The Board will meet on 23 March to reassess the situation and we will let you know when this policy changes.

Our ability to help with your family history has not stopped, however!  Here are a few things we will be doing in the next few weeks of this shutdown to reach out to you and help with your genealogy:
  The eNews! will be issued more frequently in order to keep you apprised of the situation; inform you of new online resources; and outline upcoming online opportunities. Thanks to Deb Klein, our editor! We are postponing all meetings and volunteer events held at the Society at least until 30 March.This includes all Special Interest Groups (SIGS), SGS Writer’s Group, our Second Saturday (and quarterly meeting) session, the Centennial Planning Kick-off meeting and any volunteer work at the desk or for the Library. The events will be rescheduled. We are NOT cancelling SGS sponsored events which are held at off site locations, e.g. “Digging Deeper: Researching Women’s History” (UW) by LIsa Oberg.  This event and its potential closure will be decided by the institutions or individuals who run them. If it is held, it is your decision whether you attend or not. At the Board meeting today, the Board approved the slate of officers and authorized SGS to inform the members of the slate via eNews! on 15 March. We have several openings still unfilled; if you know of someone who might be good to fill the position, please let us know.  We will contact that person and see if they are willing to serve before placing them on the ballot. The ballot will go to the members electronically on 31 March. Note: There will also be a couple of by-law issues that we ask for your consideration. These were missed last year. Don’t forget that we have two Facebook pages “Seattle Genealogical Society and Library” and “Seattle Genealogical Society Networking.” The former is generally for announcements and the latter is for asking your research questions. If you get stuck with your research you can also always request help through the FB page or by submitting a research request through the website. SGS will ramp up its online offerings during this period that our physical facility is closed.  Watch your eNews! for the link to join the presentations by Heidi Mair and me.  We will soon be announcing 2 new online courses–“Genealogy Basics & Beyond,” and “DNA by the Numbers.”. Stay tuned for registration information. The online offerings will use Zoom as the meeting platform, the same as we use for our Board meetings. Zoom is very easy to use…click on the link provided for the class or the meeting, click positively through the question and you’re in! 
We certainly hope that you are safe and well. Our thanks go out to the scientists at the UW, Fred Hutch, the CDC and other institutions who are working overtime to tame this beast.  In the meantime—have you washed your hands recently?

Thanks so much for your support of SGS.

Jill Morelli, CG
Seattle Genealogical Society, President