Seattle Genealogical Society News


Each quarter, the Seattle Genealogical Society recognizes one member as our volunteer of the quarter. Our Volunteer for Fall 2020 Quarter is Julia Marconi.

Almost 10 years ago, Julia joined SGS and immediately volunteered for the front desk. Later she served on the Nominating Committee before becoming the SGS Director of Membership. During this tenure she helped “bring membership into the digital age”, performing more tasks online. She worked on the old website updating events and keeping it current. When a vacancy arose on the publications committee, she volunteered to layout and publish the Bulletin, while simultaneously serving as Membership Director. The semi-yearly Bulletin was rebranded as the Journal and eventually became an online publication. Julia has continued serving on the publications committee with the help of her husband, Bob, who has acted as editor of the Journal. Julia credits him with being “very good at catching small errors.”

Julia has attended and volunteered at many seminars and library events. She once gave a presentation on social media and genealogy. On occasion, Bob has provided the board with legal advice. Julia says her volunteerism has been rewarding. “I enjoy meeting other members, putting faces to names, and learning about everyone’s genealogical journeys.” She also values the relationships she has developed through countless board meetings. ”It’s been fun and I’ve learned a great deal.”

In addition to her work with SGS, Julia volunteers with the Assistance League of Seattle and co-manages their thrift shop in Wallingford.  She also likes to read, garden, knit, and do other types of needlework, as well as watch reruns of Law and Order in all its incarnations.

Her genealogical interests focus mostly on Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. She is very interested in her Revolutionary War ancestors and has one ancestor who was “a big deal” during the War of 1812.

Her best story has also turned into a brick wall. While working on a project for her Certification in Genealogy and Family History at UW, she dug up an old family tree that her paternal great-aunt had drawn up years earlier.  She found a name—listed as her great-grandmother’s son—that no living relatives recognized. It turned out her great-grandmother left her first husband (who had gone to prison) in Indiana and relocated to Chicago with this son. She met and married Julia’s great-grandfather and had two more children.  Research into the mystery son revealed he was a victim of a little-known ship disaster on the Chicago River in 1915 (the Eastland disaster) in which more than 800 people perished. Fascinated, Julia continued.  

Further research provided no concrete evidence of her great-grandfather before 1904, the year he married Julia’s great-grandmother, who recorded on his death certificate “don’t know” for his mother, father, and POB. His own wife knew nothing of his past! (or wasn’t saying).  DNA research has revealed no one with the family surname other than immediate and known, close relatives.  “Who was this guy? I really want to find out.”  Well, now we do, too.    

Need some assistance? In response to numerous requests, SGS is reinstituting Tech Tuesdays, the popular informal consult time on DNA, genealogy software, and genealogy-related technical issues. Everyone is welcome. Especially helpful for beginners. 

These Tech Tuesdays sessions will be virtual via Zoom from 10am-11am on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. No appointment necessary. No guarantee we can solve your problem, but we certainly will try.

This service will be free of charge. Donations to SGS are always welcomed and appreciated.

Facilitators will vary.

The first session will be on November 10, 2020. 

There will be no session on December 22, 2020.

You are invited to the “Brags and Bricks Social Interest Group” (formerly called “Kaffee Klatsch”) meeting every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PST on Zoom.

Sue Jensen, the hostess, says, “We are a relaxed social group that discusses our genealogy research, or our intentions to do research,  with a bit of fun thrown in. Come join the fun.”

As always, the link to join will be in the Calendar of Events on the SGS website:     

“Help! I Tested My DNA and I’m Confused”, 
Jewish  Genealogical Society of Washington State,
Bellevue, WA
Monday, November 9, 2020 
7:00 PM PST

Gil Bardige will be the presenter for this online, virtual meeting. The “room will open” at 7 PM and the meeting will begin at 7:15 PM.  Visit their website for more info and the meeting id.

RootsTech Connect 2021 (Virtual),
hosted by FamilySearch International
February 25-27, 2021

This 2021 virtual conference is free. They do ask that you register. Something for everyone, no matter your age or experience:

  • Genealogy Classes
  • Food and Cultural Demonstrations
  • Mind-break Activities, Exercise and Relaxation
  • Travel and World Heritage 

Visit the website for more info and registration.

In consideration of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, the SGS Library is closed until further notice and SGS in-person events have been replaced with online events.
** Go to the SGS Website Calendar of Events for the meeting links and for any last minute updates or changes to the schedule.  

Wednesday, Nov 4, 2020, 11:00 am-12:30 pm, 

Brags & Bricks Social Interest Group (Virtual), With Sue Jensen, hostess/facilitator – Join us for an informal social gathering. Share your recent genealogical successes and challenges, or just come to hang out with other genealogists. 
** This workshop originally scheduled for Nov 1, 2020, will take place on  Sunday, Nov 8, 2020,  1:00 pm – 3:00 pm,  DNA Workshop SIG (Virtual), Is back! For now it will be online via Zoom. Watch for details. Chaired by Cary Bright and her new co-chair, Craig Gowens.

Saturday, Nov 7, 2020,  10:15 am – 12:15 pm, FamilySearch Interest Group, Discover the many ways to use Family Tree and FamilySearch. Featuring a different aspect of the website each meeting. There will be time for Q & A.  Chaired by Lou Daly.

Saturday, Nov 7, 2020,  1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Digging Deeper: Researching Women’s History, Beyond census records and vital records, a wealth of information can be found about the experiences of our female ancestors in archives and other special collections. This workshop is aimed at learning how archives are arranged in order to locate information when researching women’s history. Presented by Lisa Oberg. Lisa is the Associate Director and the History of Science and Medicine Curator for Special Collections in the UW Libraries.    This workshop is part of the Seattle Genealogical Society’s lecture and workshop series: Women’s Suffrage in your Family History. We thank the Washington State Historical Society for their grant in support of our project. For more information, see

Tuesday, Nov 10, 2020, 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 welcomed. No appointment necessary. Visit Calendar of Events for the Zoom meeting link. 
Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020, 11:00 am-12:30 pm, Brags & Bricks Social Interest Group (Virtual), With Sue Jensen, hostess/facilitator – Join us for an informal social gathering. Share your recent genealogical successes and challenges, or just come to hang out with other genealogists. 

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020,  7:00 pm – 9:00  pm,  Mac Computer Interest Group, sponsored by SGS and Fiske, this group meets every other month from October through June on the second Wednesday of the month from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. via Zoom. Meetings are open to the public and address topics and resources helpful for those using MacIntosh (Apple) computers and the Reunion program in their genealogy research.

The link to logon will be sent to the MAC SIG email list. People wishing to attend should email to be added to the mailing list.

Co-Chairs: Lisa Marker and Diane Hettrick  

Saturday, Nov 14, 2020, 10:15 am-12:15 pm, Family Tree Maker (Virtual), We’re back. Learn and share tips and tricks for using  Software MacKiev  With Rob Sexton.

Saturday, Nov 14, 2020, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm,  Second Saturday:  For the Record: Memoir, Oral History, And Writing Family Stories,  author and archivist Claire Gebben leads participants through exercises and strategies for writing about the past, especially in the creation of memoir. This session guides you to the art, and heart of telling your story.

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020, 11:00 am-12:30 pm, Brags & Bricks Social Interest Group (Virtual), With Sue Jensen, hostess/facilitator – Join us for an informal social gathering. Share your recent genealogical successes and challenges, or just come to hang out with other genealogists. 

Monday, Nov 23, 2020, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm,  Quilting Your Family History, Cozy up with a quilt and a cup of tea, cocoa or coffee and learn about the role of quilts in family history. Kathy Emmel’s special presentation will feature 14 quilts she has made that showcase family history, stories and heritage, as well as celebrations, historical events and groups of people.