Olympia Gen Soc Hosts Successful Spring Seminar

More than 150 people attended Olympia Genealogical Society‘s sold-out Spring Seminar on Saturday, March 30, 2019. Everyone left heap full of DNA-rich information and resources after hearing renowned DNA expert and author Blaine Bettinger. His topics included:

Blaine Bettinger autographing his book, “Genetic Genealogy in Practice.”
  • Using Autosomal DNA for 18th and 19th Century Mysteries
  • Using Third Party Tools to Analyze Your Autosomal DNA
  • The Danger of Distant Matches
  • Mapping Your Chromosomes Using DNA Painter

Always a first-rate affair, Olympia’s Spring Seminar also included book sales, non-profit organizations’ information tables and fabulous raffle baskets. It was also a great opportunity to welcome and network with fellow genealogists from the area.

Societies: If you’d like to promote your workshop or seminar on the WSGS Blog, send a flyer or paragraph to WSGSBlog@wasgs.org. We’d love to share it with our readers!

Northwest Genealogy Conference — Early Bird Discount Flying Away Soon

Register by April 15 for the Northwest Genealogy Conference to receive the Early Bird Discount. Held August 14 – 17 in Arlington, WA, this is the region’s premier genealogical conference. Keynote speakers include Thomas MacEntee, Angie Bush and Michael Strauss. 

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to make your room reservations. Hotels fill up fast!

See www.nwgc.org for more information on the conference, discounted hotel rooms and to register. You don’t want to miss this great event!

Some of the happy attendees at the 2018 conference.

New Blog Banner Photos Posted

Have you noticed the Blog banner changes every time you visit? The photos are submitted by readers like you — and Sue Schack Jensen, Library Director at the Seattle Genealogical Society. Sue recently sent us two beautiful scenic photos:

  • Puget Sound and the Olympics from Myrtle Edwards Park, Seattle.
  • Olympic Mountains from the top of Capitol Hill, Seattle (pictured at right).

We’re always looking for scenic photos of our beautiful state for the rotating photo gallery on the blog banner. It’s easy — just send a Washington State jpg image to wsgsblog@wasgs.org with a description of the photo. The blog masters will take care of the rest!

Okanogan County Gen Soc Uses Their Innovative Grant

 The Okanogan County Genealogical Society recently completed their Book Repair and Preservation project funded, in part, by WSGS’s Innovative Grant program.

On December 31, 2018, OCGS member Phil Brown completed repairs of the “Tonasket Times Newspapers” years 1913 – 1952.  Each of the 22 oversized books, which are located at the Okanogan County Historical Society, took five rolls of a specialized archival document repair tape.

The restoration project began in December 2017 and took almost 200 volunteer hours and 1,230 volunteer miles.

Besides the Okanogan County Genealogical Society, the four other successful 2018 grant winners were:

More information about the Innovative Grant program, including deadlines, will be available soon.

Kudos to WSGS Regional Rep Patty Olsen

WSGS Regional Representative Patty Olsen has been working with the Columbia Gorge Genealogical Society to revitalize their society. In the most recent issue of their “Tales and Trails” newsletter, the society thanked her for her energy and enthusiasm. 

Thank You, Patty Olsen! Our society would like to thank Patty Olsen from the Washington State Genealogical Society for her help in the past year.  She has brought new ideas and energy to our group. We are a small society with various hurdles to leap from time to time and she gave us some new insight for a more productive society.  She really knows her stuff!! Thank You, Patty!

For more information about Regional Representatives, click here.

A Message from the WSGS President

2018 is quickly drawing to a close.  Year’s end is always a good time for retrospection and planning for next year and years to come.  Each year I evaluate my genealogical successes, failures and unfulfilled plans. I use this information to prioritize my to-do lists and come up with a new research plan for the next year.  We are doing a similar process at WSGS.

WSGS President Ginny Majewski

As genealogists, you are aware of all the changes which have come about in our industry.  Some of those changes have drastically changed the way we do business, the way we work, the way we communicate, the way we educate and so much more.  What societies did for years, no longer works as well today.  This means WSGS must continue to change if we wish to remain alive and relevant. 

Several years ago, WSGS began an evaluation of itself by looking at what we were doing well and what we weren’t doing so well.  As a result, we began making changes in the Society. Our first changes were to improve the WSGS website and the Blog. Next, improvements were made to the Recognition and Awards program. We initiated the Innovative Grant program to help societies with special projects and educational events.  For the most part, these endeavors have been successful. 

This past year, we focused on making further improvements to the website.  Our goal was to provide better access to resources for genealogists and for genealogical societies. Information on each genealogical society in Washington was updated and expanded, including info on special collections held by societies. Information on museums in Washington was added to the website. We began revitalizing the Speakers’ Directory. In addition, for the second year in a row, WSGS provided Society Management classes at the Northwest Genealogy Conference in Arlington. We are working on a collaborative relationship with the owners of the Civil War Veterans Buried in Washington State website.

The WSGS Board will be holding a two-day retreat this spring to bring forth new ideas, evaluate, plan and move WSGS forward.  Board meetings are open to the membership.  I welcome any thoughts you have on WSGS.  Just drop me an email at geneahunter@gmail.com

Wishing you all peace, hope and joy in the New Year.

Ginny Majewski, President

New APG Officers Have Washington Ties

The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) recently announced the results of its election for new board and nominating committee members.

Washington is well-represented at APG:

Click here for a complete list of the APG’s at-large board and nominating committee members.

The Association of Professional Genealogists, established in 1979, represents more than 2,700 genealogists in various genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring, and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy and history. Its members come from all fifty U.S. states, Canada, and forty other countries.

Looking for a Last Minute Christmas Gift?

Looking for that last minute Christmas gift for someone — or yourself? How about a WSGS membership? It’s only $12/year whether an individual or couple — only $1 a month! We need your membership support so we can continue sponsoring this WSGS Blog; promote local genealogical meetings, workshops and conferences; and — it’s the right thing to do to support statewide organizations like the Washington State Genealogical Society.

It’s easy to join (or renew). Just click here to join (new members) or here to renew (current members must log in). 

Banner Photos Identified

Have you noticed the Blog banner changes every time you visit? The photos are submitted by readers like you — and Carol Ballard of Olympia. Carol recently sent us three beautiful scenic photos:

  • A wintery shot of Henderson Inlet near Olympia (pictured at right)
  • State ferry on its way to Bremerton
  • Millersylvania State Park near Olympia

We’re always looking for scenic photos of our beautiful state for the rotating photo gallery on the blog banner. It’s easy — just send a Washington State jpg image to wsgsblog@wasgs.org with a description of the photo. The blog masters will take care of the rest!

Gift Idea: Washington Pioneer Certificate

pioneerIf your ancestor was one of the 350,000 people who lived in the Washington Territory when it became the nation’s 42nd state on 11 Nov 1889, you may be eligible for a Washington Pioneer certificate. Or if your ancestors arrived a little later — before 31 Dec 1900 — you can get a First Citizen certificate. What a great gift for yourself and your family members!

We began the Washington State Centennial Pioneer Certificate Program in 1984 in anticipation of the state’s centennial admission to the union in 1889. The initial certificates were issued to applicants who could prove their ancestors were in Washington Territory prior to 11 Nov 1889. Those descendants’ names, almost 18,000, were printed in a two-volume set of firstcitizenbooks entitled “Washington Pioneers” in 1992. A third volume, published in 1993, included Pioneers and First Citizens (those in the state on or before 31 Dec 1900). The three original volumes are out of print, but an index is available here. WSGS members have access to family lineages in the Members’ Only section of the website.
Pioneer and First Citizen Certificates are still being issued, although they are published only on the WSGS website at this time. If you can prove your ancestor was in Washington prior to 11 Nov 1889, you may be eligible to purchase a Pioneer Certificate. If your ancestor was in Washington on or before 31 Dec 1900, you may be eligible for a First Citizen Certificate. More information, including resources to prove residency, is available in the Pioneer and First Citizen Program brochure. An application and instructions are available here.