Zimmerman and McLean Re-elected

Frank McLean
Valorie Cowan Zimmerman

Congratulations are extended to Valorie Cowan Zimmerman and Frank McLean who were re-elected to WSGS Vice President and Treasurer, respectively. Their terms run through Dec. 31, 2024.

Valorie and Frank, and the rest of the WSGS Board, are anticipating a year filled with growth and service to its members. They are particularly excited about the Pioneer Pursuit Contest which is running now through 31 Oct. 2023. For more about the Pioneer Pursuit Contest, click here.

Merry Christmas from WSGS

This penny postcard was from Allie Hansen (Alice Hansen, wife of Peter Hansen) to Anna Hansen, wife of Anton Hansen, brother of Peter Hansen. It was postmarked in 1918 and required a 2-cent stamp to help pay for WWI. I guess that is a gold poinsettia stuck on the back.

Merry Christmas from Kathy, Valorie, Roxanne, Frank, Charles, Virginia and Diane

WSGS Election Closes on Dec. 24, 2022

WSGS members received a link via email with their election ballot on Dec. 17. Your vote is important to us, so if you did not receive the link, please check your alternate email or Spam folder. If you still can’t find it, please email Info@wasgs.org.

Offices on the ballot include Vice President and Treasurer. Polls close at 11:59 p.m. 24 Dec 2022. Your vote shows support to WSGS. There is also an opportunity to share ideas or suggestions to improve our organization. We appreciate you taking the time to vote.

Happy Thanksgiving From WSGS Board

Valorie, Diane, Ginny, Kathy, Roxanne, Charles. Missing – Frank

We give thanks each and every day for our families, past and present. This is a special time to spend time with our families, whether in person or in our hearts, whether connected through DNA or friendship. As you’re gathered together during this holiday season, make time to take a few photos. Listen and share familial stories of days gone by. Preserve those photos and write down those stories. As genealogists, we know our ancestral searches are more than births, marriages and deaths. Preserve today’s memories for the future.

The WSGS Board wishes you a special Thanksgiving.

Kathy, Valorie, Roxanne, Frank, Ginny, Charles & Diane

Can your library become a Family Search Affiliate Library?

OK so what is a Family Search Affiliate library? Probably all of you have went to a Family Search Center and ordered microfilm to be sent to the Family Search Center, then went back a while later and view the microfilm. Today Family Search has digitized all that microfilm and stopped sending microfilm to the Family Search Centers. Some of those digitized microfilms are restricted to being viewed at only at Salt Lake City, A Family Search Center or an Affiliate Library. Spokane has four Family Search Centers close by, but staffed by volunteers and varying hours, so having the public library with regular hours is better.

In 2018 Spokane passed a bond issue to remodel several libraries and build three new branch libraries. The Special Collections (genealogy is one of them) were put into storage till the remodeling at the Downtown Branch was completed, estimated at 2 years. We closed out our meetings and cut down our collection to only have local reference materials go to storage, a few books went to other libraries, but the biggest amount went to Salt Lake City for digitization. We contacted the head of the Spokane Public Library Special Collections about becoming a Family Search Affiliate library while they were remodeling hoping to have it all in place when the library remodeling was finished (actually they are still working on some of the finishing touches). He was able to get permission from the library to become an Affiliate library, but he knows nothing about genealogy, so he kept wandering around Family Search looking for how to become an Affiliate Library. Central Library opened July 11th with a ribbon cutting, and still not an Affiliate Library. The new historian in the Inland Northwest Special Collections room was now tasked with contacting Salt Lake City to check out what was needed to become an Affiliate Library, she filled out the application waited a few days and was accepted. Next question? Only have the Central Library be an Affiliate Library, or should all the branches also be an Affiliate Library? The Genealogy collection along with a lot of other inland northwest books are at the Central Library, but we are meeting at the Shadle Branch Library for our monthly meetings and the free parking. So I said at least Central and Shadle. The IT department came back saying it was easier to include ALL the branches as Affiliates, so all the open branches now have Family Search, Two branches are still being remodeled and are expected to be done by the New Year. It took the IT department longer to do the connection to Family Search than to do the paperwork and get permission to be a Family Search Affiliate.

Click here to learn how to be a Family Search Affiliate Library.

Note after volunteering at the Downtown library for more than 25 years, I still have trouble calling it the Central Library, but the remodeling was amazing, and the Inland Northwest Special Collections room is wonderful.

From 990 Due May 16th 2022

Many tax-exempt organizations must file information returns by May 16, 2022

Even though organizations like charities and foundations may be tax-exempt, the IRS still requires them to file certain information every year. For many of these exempt organizations, the deadline to file their 2021 information return is Monday, May 16, 2022.

Here are the forms they may need to file, depending on the size and type of organization:

  • Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax
  • Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax
  • Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947(a)(1) Nonexempt Charitable Trust Treated as a Private Foundation
  • Form 990-N, Electronic Notice, e-Postcard, for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required to File Form 990 or Form 990-EZ
  • Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return
  • Form 4720, Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapters 41 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code

Mandatory electronic filing
Tax-exempt organizations must file their forms electronically. E-filing reduces processing time, making compliance with reporting requirements easier.

Here are a few things organizations should know about filing:

  • Organizations can e-file most returns through an IRS Authorized e-File Provider.
  • However, organizations filing Form 990-N must e-file through the Form 990-N, e-Postcard, page on IRS.gov.
  • The IRS will reject incomplete or incorrect returns. Organizations should check that they’re using the right return, have fully completed it and don’t have missing schedules.
  • The IRS has a series of pre-recorded online workshops for exempt organizations. For organizations filling out one of the Form 990 series, the Form 990 Overview Course may be helpful.

    Members: Don’t Forget to Vote on Proposed Bylaws Change

    At their 18 Feb 2022 meeting, the WSGS Board approved a change to the bylaws allowing all Board members, regardless of election status, to vote. The change must be approved by the WSGS membership to become official.

    Currently, the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and past president are the only members allowed to vote on board matters, while appointed chairs of the standing committees (web master, blog master and Pioneer Certificate program) are expected to attend and participate in Board business, but not allowed to vote. After a discussion about the value of all those who participate on the Board, the Board voted unanimously to allow chairs of standing committees to vote.

    All WSGS members received an email with a link to vote on the bylaws change on 20 Mar 2022. If you are a member of WSGS and need a reminder email, please email Info@wasgs.org and put “Bylaws Link” in the Subject Line. Balloting will close at 11:59 p.m., 20 Apr 2022.

    The proposed change affects Articles V and VI:


    Section 1. The Board of Directors shall consist of the elected officers, and the immediate past president and heads of the Standing Committees. The Board shall:

    1. Conduct the business of the Society, referring major decisions and unusual expenses to the membership for approval or ratification.
    2. Meet at least three (3) times a year, the dates and places to be determined by the Board members.
    3. Potential Board of Directors Conflicts of Interest shall be addressed annually.

    Section 2. Members of the Board are expected to attend all meetings, called by the President or three members of the board.

    Section 3. All elected Board Members shall be current members of the Society.

    Section 4. Notice of all board meetings shall be given to each member not fewer than five (5) days prior to the meeting.


    Section 1. The Standing Committees will be: Web master, Blog master, and Pioneer Certificate.

    Section 2. The heads of Standing Committees or other Appointed Positions are expected to attend meetings of the Board of Directors and contribute to the deliberations, but are non-voting members of the Board.

    How to Post Your Meetings & Events on the WSGS Blog and Website

    Do you want to broadcast information about your local society, workshop, genealogical tip, or a research query? Just send it to the WSGS Blog and WSGS Meetings and Events! You can reach hundreds of genealogists from around the state. Just email a Word document, text file, PDF or graphic to WSGSBlog@wasgs.org and WSGSWebManager@wasgs.org and we’ll do the rest!

    We’re always looking to publicize local events and workshops, feature stories, updates from your society, and other genealogical information that might be of interest to our many subscribers and viewers.

    We hope to hear from you soon! And don’t forget to encourage your Society members to subscribe to the Blog for the most up-to-date information from around the state.

    You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

    Washington State New Non Profit Law FREE Training for Membership Non Profits

    Local genealogical societies that have bylaws and/or a board of directors (most of us!) should consider attending this webinar explaining the new “Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act.” The act was passed by the Legislature in 2021, modernizing the nonprofit statutes for the first time in 50 years. Sign up for this FREE webinar (08 Feb 2022, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.) to find out what has changed and what you need to know. This webinar is hosted by Washington Nonprofits, in partnership with the Secretary of State.   To register: Click here:

    I am already registered for that training session.

    You will receive an email with all the information to watch this webinar on February 8, 2022

    Later in February is another training that looks interesting. But right now it says it is NOT free.

         Washington’s New Nonprofit Corporation Act: How does it affect you? – February 24, 2022, hosted by our partner 501 Commons

    Dear WSGS Members

    Dear WSGS Members,

    We are off to a New Year and a change in leadership. It has been my honor to have served as your president for the past 6 years, but it is well past time for me to move on. Hopefully now I will have time to work on my own genealogy!

    Kathy Sizer has been elected as your new President for 2022/2023. Please wish her well and offer any support you can. Especially now as she deals with the unexpected passing of her husband. My hope is that we can all continue to work on supporting each other as societies. We all have something to offer each other and our communities. Communication and support go a long way!

    I wish to thank all of you who worked so hard over the past few years to keep WSGS viable and a continued presence in this ever-changing world we live in today. All Societies depend on our volunteers. WSGS is blessed to have some very dedicated ones. They kept us going when the going was tough. I am forever in your gratitude, amazed at your many talents and humbled by your dedication. To all of our members, thank you for continuing your support and financial contributions. You help us keep our presence in the genealogical community.


    Virginia “Ginny” Majewski, Past President, WSGS