A Merry Christmas

A Christmas card to my Grandmother Anna (Dillingham) Hansen from Alice Costello (DeRemer) Hansen wife of Peter Hansen. Peter was my grandfather Anton Hansen’s older brother. The card was not mailed so I don’t know the date. The postcard is heavily embossed.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from the WSGS Blog.

This is a postcard to my grandmother Anna (Dillingham) Hansen from Allie. Allie is Alice Costello (DeRemer) Hansen, wife of Peter Hansen, the older brother to my grandfather Anton Hansen. Peter was the first of five Hansen brothers to come to Austin Minnesota from Denmark in the 1880s. Four of the brothers never left Minnesota, but my grandfather was the one that went west, first to Columbus Montana and then to Blanchard Idaho.

Anna’s Dillingham family came to New England in 1632, and they were Quakers. They later married into six Mayflower families, Alden, Cooke, Doty, Hopkins, Mullins, and Soule.

Grand Opening Clark County Genealogical Society Library

December 7, 2019
Announcing Grand Opening of CCGS Research Library at 3205 NE 52nd St., Vancouver, WA 98663; Open House begins from 11am and Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle will officiate at 5pm ribbon cutting ceremony.  Serving Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters custom CCGS coffee blend “Library Blend,” Tea and Christmas cookies.  See you there! 

WSGS has received an invitation to attend Clark County Gen Society’s Grand Opening of their new research library on December 7, 2019 at 5 pm 3205 NE 52nd St  Vancouver, WA   RSVP ccgslibrarian@outlook.com  

Seattle Archives Fair

The Archives Fair at the Seattle City Hall, October 30 from 10 to 2pm. It is located in the Bertha Knight Landes Room on the main level of the City Hall 5th Ave entrance. I am attaching the flyer. There will be 19 Archives represented tomorrow.

List of archives attending:

Seattle Public Library Special Collections

King County Archives

UW Special Collections

UW Labor Archives

Providence Archives

Seattle Public Schools Archives

WA State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch

NARA Seattle

Seattle Genealogical Society

Lakeside School Archives


Living Computer Museum Archives

Museum of Flight Archives

Black Heritage Society

WA State Jewish Historical Society Archives

Puget Sound Navy Museum

UW Ethnomusicology / Media Archives

Seattle Municipal Archives

KRAB Archives   

FGS & NGS Plan to Merge

Today is a landmark day in the history of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. We are excited to tell you that this morning, at our national conference in Washington D. C., we announced our intent to merge with the National Genealogical Society.

The Federation was formed in 1976 in order to provide support to genealogical and historical societies. Key objectives during the past four decades have been to: promote the study of genealogy, stimulate the activities of state and local organizations, provide resources that enable genealogical organizations to succeed in pursuing their missions, advocate for the preservation of records. The intended merger with NGS will enhance our ability to support societies and offer services that will help strengthen them and help them to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing, technology-driven, volunteer-challenged environment.

You can read the full press release of the announcement on the FGS Voice blog.
  Preserve the Pensions Project You may be wondering how the merger will affect the Preserve the Pensions project. FGS launched the Preserve the Pensions project in 2010 and raised more than $3 million to digitize and make freely available the pension files from the War of 1812. Fundraising for the project was completed in 2016.

The Preserve the Pensions project will continue under its existing arrangements. FGS has an agreement with NARA for the preservation and digitization of the records and Ancestry is coordinating the digitization process. The funds for completing this project are set aside in restricted accounts.
  Conferences We also wanted to let you know that plans are still in place to hold our annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2020. Starting in 2021, the combined organization will hold one conference with four full days of genealogical lectures and a fifth day dedicated to society management topics.

I believe this merger will serve our members and the genealogical community by improving the support of both individuals and societies in the pursuit of genealogical excellence.


Faye Stallings
FGS President

Time is Running Out

Sunday July 28th the bill passed by the legislature to lock up Birth, Death, Marriage and Divorce records starts working. Births for 100 years and Deaths, Marriages and Divorce records for 25 years. You can still get your own record, your parents, grandparents and great grandparents, and the other way your children, and grandchildren, but if you are searching, or are an aunt, uncle, nephew or niece you are out of luck. The cost for a certified record goes up by $5 also. They will have information copies with a big disclaimer that cannot be used for any legal purpose. The information death certificates will NOT have the cause of death. The law did not list a cost for an informational copy.

So if you need a Birth, Death, Marriage or Divorce record right now it is cheaper, and available to all. After July 28th you might not be able to get it unless you wait 25 years or 100 for a birth record.

They did agree to leave the indexes open for research, but finding a Washington birth index is pretty hard. Family Search does have a birth index on microfilm in Salt Lake City from 1907 to 1954 and there are some of the birth certificate microfilms on permanent holds in our state. Problem here is that Family Search does not send out microfilm anymore, so you need to go to Salt Lake City to see the index.

Here is the article with the copy of the bill passed by the legislature.

Seattle Genealogical Society GiveBig Day

May 8th is a BIG day!

         The Seattle Genealogical Society is excited to be part of the           

2019 GiveBig campaign!

#GiveBIG2019                             What is GiveBig?
    A coalition of non-profits that come together for one day of giving for the
Seattle community. We need member support more than ever!
    Here’s how to show your support:

  Show your financial support by donating to the
Seattle Genealogical Society.
  Follow us
  Help build the buzz by following us on Facebook
and sharing our posts.

  Spread the word
                Tap into your individual networks to share                 the work that we do at SGS.

            Forward this information to your family and friends and share                 what you think is important about the SGS mission.

We are an all volunteer organization!

Volunteers maintain and update a 15,000 volume library that is open to the public. SGS offers a variety of services and databases for those researching ancestors from all over the world.  We have classes, seminars, publications, and knowledgeable volunteers to help in your genealogical journey.    


Make an IMPACT! Support us through GiveBIG, our community’s biggest day of giving of the year. Learn more at givebig.seattlefoundation.org 

Senate Bill 5332 Limiting Access to Vital Records

Well the House passed the Senate Bill 5332 on April 12th and the President of the House signed the bill on the 15th of April. It now goes to the governor for his signature, which I will guess he will sign it to become law.

Here is the summary of the final bill:


Synopsis as EnactedBrief Description: Concerning vital statistics.Sponsors: Senate Committee on Law & Justice (originally sponsored by Senators Pedersen, Rivers, Wilson, C., Walsh, Randall, Cleveland and Liias; by request of Department of Health).Senate Committee on Law & JusticeSenate Committee on Ways & MeansHouse Committee on Health Care & WellnessHouse Committee on AppropriationsBackground: History of Recording Vital Statistics.Before 1900, maintaining vital records was a state and local responsibility. Before 1900, the United States Census Bureau developed the first standardized reporting form for vital statistics, known as the U.S. standard certificate of death. The census bureau recommended all local vital records registrars to adopt the form by 1900. By 1902, federal legislation directed the Census Bureau to collect copies of records filed in vital statistics offices of those states and cities having adequate death registration systems. Beginning in 1891, Washington State’s laws required each county to keep vital records. In 1907, the state assumed responsibility for collecting birth and death records. In 1968, the state assumed responsibility for collecting marriage and divorce records. Depending on the date of a vital record, the records may be located in different places. The Washington State Library, under the Office of the Secretary of State, maintains a web page to assist persons searching for genealogical records.Current Vital Statistics Program at the Department of Health.Washington’s Department of Health (DOH) collects and stores all reports of specific vital life events in the state. These vital life events are births, deaths, fetal deaths, marriages, marriage and domestic partnership dissolutions, marriage and domestic partnership annulments, and legal separations. Under current law, DOH retains permanent custody of all vital records in its statewide vital records system.The state registrar of vital statistics oversees the system and is responsible for the system’s operations and integrity. The state registrar also develops uniform vital statistics reporting requirements and forms for local registrars across the state. ––––––––––––––––––––––This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.Senate Bill ReportESSB 5332- 1 –

Access to Birth and Death Records.Washington’s vital records certificates contain all the information required by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), including social security numbers. Under Washington’s current vital statistics law, the state Board of Health may require additional information in a confidential section of the birth certificate. The confidential section is not publicly available unless (1) a member of the public obtains a court order, or (2) the person who is the birth certificate’s subject, where it is limited to the information about the child, but not the child’s parents. The state has both a long form and a short form death certificate. The short form death certificate and informational copies of death certificates are not publicly available. DOH releases the long form death certificate to anyone who has the decedent’s name, date and county of death. The long form includes such information as the decedent’s social security number, residence and address, marital status and spouse, cause and manner of death. DOH sends a monthly death index to the state archives. The death index contains the decedent’s full name, county of death, county of residence, sex, age, and date of death. DOH sends its vital statistics data to NCHS. Contracts between NCHS and each jurisdiction’s vital records office set mutual responsibilities, uniform standards and procedures for reporting vital statistics.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Model Vital Statistics Act.NCHS operates and maintains the national vital statistics system as the official source for national vital statistics data. NCHS compiles, analyzes, and disseminates vital statistics from all 50 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, and five United States territories. NCHS provides data on health indicators to support public health policy work at the national, state, and local levels. For example, the system provides data on risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes, life expectancy, and leading causes of death. NCHS develops a model state vital statistics law and regulations to promote uniformity among the states in the definitions, registration practices, data disclosure, and other functions of state vital statistics systems. The federal government developed its first model act in 1907 and produced revised versions in 1941, 1959, 1977, and 1992. NCHS proposed its most recent version in 2011. The National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems endorsed the 2011 model act. NCHS’s purpose in developing its 2011 version is to address system security, the electronic information environment, continuity of operations planning, data confidentiality and disclosure, and changes to the scope of vital statistics data, for example assisted reproduction and same-sex marriage. The 2011 NCHS model state vital statistics law provided the framework for this proposed vital statistics bill.Summary: DOH may only release a certified death certificate to a qualified applicant. Qualified applicants include the decedent’s spouse or domestic partner, child, parent, stepparent, stepchild, sibling, grandparent, great grandparent grandchild, legal guardian immediately prior to death, legal representative, authorized representative with a notarized statement from a qualified applicant, next of kin, funeral director within 12 months of the date of death, or a government agency or court for its official duties. A short form death certificate does not display information related to cause and manner of death. The DOH may release a short form certificate to a qualified applicant. Additionally, DOH may release a short form certificate to a title insurer or title insurance agent handling a real property transaction involving the decedent, or a person who shows the short form is necessary for a Senate Bill ReportESSB 5332- 2 –

determination related to the death or the protection of a personal or property right related to the death.DOH may only release a birth certificate to the subject of the record or the subject’s spouse or domestic partner, child, parent, stepparent, stepchild, sibling, grandparent, great grandparent, grandchild, legal guardian, legal or authorized representative, or a government agency or court for official duties.Informational copies of vital records are available to the public. Informational copies only contain the information allowed by rule. Informational copies are derived from the original document but cannot be used for legal purposes.Access to vital records is not governed by the Public Records Act, but is governed under this vital records chapter in the RCW. DOH is authorized to investigate fraud including periodic testing and auditing of the vital records system to detect fraud. The DOH will provide adjudicative proceedings for certain adverse actions.The state registrar must transfer custody of records to the state archives. The transfer applies to: ŸŸŸbirth records, 100 years after the birth date;death records, 25 years after the death date; and marriage, divorce, dissolution of marriage or domestic partnership, declaration of invalidity of marriage or domestic partnership, or legal separation, 25 years after the event.The state archives may provide noncertified copies of original vital records in its custody to the public. The state archives may charge for the cost of operating the state archives through the central services billing model. Sealed records must remain sealed and in DOH custody. DOH may retain records for the purpose of providing certified copies.

Votes on Final Passage:

Senate 33-15

House 79-16

Effective: The bill contains several effective dates. Please refer to the bill.Senate Bill ReportESSB 5332- 3 –