Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week Finding your Family in Newspapers


“Finding Your Family in Newspapers: Using Chronicling America for Genealogical Research”

Presented by the Library of Congress  on August 3, 2022 at 3:00pm PDT. 

Discover your family’s past through the newspapers of their present. Join Digital Conversion Specialist Henry Carter to learn how to search for ancestors in Chronicling America, a free digital collection of almost 20 million pages from American newspapers published between 1777 and 1963. The presentation will discuss the collection, the search interface, and how to navigate the challenges of working with historic newINspapers. Chronicling America is jointly sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.

It is free to attend this event. Register HERE.

It will be available for viewing afterwards in the Library’s Event Videos collection.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week INDEX WASHINGTON STATE RECORDS


The Historical Records Project (HRP) for the Washington State Archives has been around for a while. Millions of records have already been transcribed and indexed, which makes them easily accessible to researchers and genealogists. But countless records still need to be done. Volunteers are the lifeline for this project.  So that’s where you come in! 

Scribe is the online application for entering this data. To volunteer to help you simply Register and Set Up your account, pick which record collection you’d like to work on, and start transcribing. It’s quick and easy. You work on this from the comfort of your own home, at your own pace. Do as many or as few records as you want, quit, and then pick it up again on another day. 

Washington Delayed Birth Records is one of the collections that need transcribing and this is a good record collection to start on. They tend to be easy to read. The image of the document appears on the left of your screen. On the right of your screen is the form into which you enter the child’s first, middle, and last name, gender, birth date, father’s first, middle, and last name, mother’s first, middle, and last name. Save the form. Check it over. Here’s your opportunity to Edit if you’ve made a mistake. Once it looks good, hit Finish for that record.  

Read the ten page “The Users’ Guide to Scribe”  found here:

Pay particular attention to the rules. They are on page 6. Here’s a visual reminder to print and keep at hand while you are transcribing: 

Any one of these rules is bound to come up early on.

Simply remember if a required item is missing enter the word blank.
But if the item is not required leave the space empty.

Don’t use prefix titles. Don’t use suffix titles. Don’t use punctuation.

So ignore Mr, Mrs, Miss, Sr, Jr, Dr, CPA, Esq, etc. As an example : Mr. John M. Doe, Sr, PhD becomes John M Doe. 

If you can help out and would like to Scribe, register here:

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week FRENCH GENEALOGY FETE!


July 14, 1789 is the day that marks the symbolic start of the French Revolution. Bastille Day, celebrated on July 14th each year, is France’s largest national holiday. In honor of Bastille Day, FamilySearch has scheduled four back-to-back webinars on French genealogical research. Register through your FamilySearch free account. Here’s the schedule for Family History Library Bastille Day 2022:

8:00 AM MDT/7:00 AM PDT; Reading French Civil Registration Records (60 min) – This class will cover basic French paleography by teaching you how to read and navigate French civil registration records.

9:15 AM MDT/8:15 AM PDT; Accessing the Archives of France Online (45 minutes) – Every department in France has placed the records of greatest genealogical value online, freely accessible to all. This class will demonstrate some tips and tricks to help you navigate these websites.

10:15 AM MDT/9:15 AM PDT; How Geneanet Can Help You with French Research (45 min) – The website is one of the best resources for French research. Not only does it contain thousands of family trees, it also houses indexed collections of genealogical society publications, books newspapers, and vital records. Learn how to access each of these collections and use them to optimize your French research.

11:15 AM MDT/10:15 AM PDT; Using the French Genealogy Website Filae (45 min) – Come learn the basics of navigating and searching on the website Filae. This site is a wonderful resource when searching your French ancestry.

These webinars, as well as other July webinars, are listed on the Family History Library Webinar Calendar for July 2022 :

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week Seattle at Gettysburg Tour


The Gettysburg campaign was a military invasion of Pennsylvania by the main Confederate army under General Robert E Lee in the summer of 1863. The Union army may have won a decisive victory, July 1–3, 1863, but there were heavy casualties on both sides. 

Did you know Seattle has a GAR Cemetery Park? Me neither. It’s up on Capitol Hill, literally a stone’s throw from the more known Lake View Cemetery. 

Did you know Seattle has a historian that specializes in walking tours, presentations, and local history stories linking Seattle citizens to the Civil War? Me neither. But I hear the tours are very entertaining, as well as informative. 

Civil War Seattle, which has a website and a Facebook page, is kicking off the summer walking tour season with “Seattle At Gettysburg” tour on July 2 and July 3 for the special, and clever, price of $18.63. 

Experience the story of the Battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of the dozens of Seattle Civil War veterans who fought there. To register for the tour, visit :

Even if you are not interested in taking a tour at this time, go to the website and read the BLOG. There is some good information there. 

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week NYC Records Go Online!


This tip comes from Jill Morelli, past president of SGS, and her source for this tip is the March 16, 2022, blog by Judy Russell, the Legal Genealogist. And by the way, we are so excited to have Judy Russell lined up for our fall seminar! 

Do you have New York City connections?  In March 2022, the NYC Municipal Archives launched free online access to millions of NYC historical vital records – birth, death, and marriage. Finally! In the past, we only had the index on Ancestry, and while helpful, it was a derivative record and did not contain all the information available on the originals.
If you want to read more about the launch of this record set, Judy Russell (our Fall Seminar speaker) discussed it in her daily blog The Legal Genealogist
In mid-March, 9 million records were available online with another 4 million yet to be digitized and uploaded.
The record set is a little hard to find, so bookmark it if you plan to spend much time there:
The easiest way to access the records for your ancestor is to find the index entry at Ancestry. Make note of the certificate number. Now, go to the NYC site and enter that certificate number.
The site has a Browse All tab: just insert your certificate number.
The site has a Search tab: here you can search by certification or by name.
In both cases you can search on a particular borough.
The site does warn us that 25% of all births before 1909 were never reported.
Happy Hunting!

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week Ask Your United States & Canada Research Questions


  FamilySearch holds several online classes/webinars each month to educate us. In this coming week alone, there are 3 on the schedule! As always the classes/webinars at FamilySearch are free, but you are asked to register in advance. Start time for each of these 3 webinars is 10:00 AM MDT; that is 9:00 AM PDT.  It is recommended you enter the webinar 15-20 minutes before the start time. 

  • FamilySearch Family Tree: Overview & Navigation,Tues, May 17, 2022
  • Research Process: The Ins & Outs, Wed, May 18, 2022
  • Ask Your United States & Canada Research Question
    Thur, May 19, 2022

If you have a US or Canada research question, consider attending the webinar on Thursday. You will be invited to submit your question in advance when you register. 

Here’s where you can check out what FamilySearch classes/webinars are coming up:

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week Salt Lake Tribune Online


  133 YEARS OF THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE are now keyword searchable and available to the the public online thanks to a partnership between the University of Utah –  J. Willard Marriott Library,, a division of Ancestry, and The Salt Lake Tribune. The site now covers the  years 1871-2004 of the Salt Lake Tribune. There are over 6.7 million pages on this site and another 2 million pages  will come online in the next two to three years.

The Tribune issues can be accessed through Utah Digital Newspapers, a collaborative project based at the J. Willard Marriott Library since 2001.  Powerful searching options allow users to find terms in combinations or terms that appear in proximity to one another. Check out “How to Use Advanced Search” help here:

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week Genealogical Translations


This issue’s tip came out of this month’s Second Saturday Speaker Series presentation by Carolyn Schott. There is a Facebook Group called Genealogical Translations and their purpose is just that, the translation of genealogy documents only. It is a private group so you must ask to join. This group might be the answer to your prayers.  Here’s how they describe themselves: 
  “Genealogical Translations was established to provide amateur family researchers a place to have their genealogical documents translated. We are a global volunteer group whose members help other members by offering free translation of their genealogical documents such as vital records, postcards, obituaries, and more, in languages including – Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and many others!

▶ Before posting, new members are expected to familiarize themselves with the Posting Format and Group Rules, and all other Featured posts.” 

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week Maryland Land Records


Here’s a tip came from a fellow SGS member for everyone interested in land records of Maryland.  

All land records for Maryland are available online from the Maryland State Archives at this URL:

Use of this site is free, but you will need to create an account. Here’s the blurb from their main home page expressing their intent:

“The Maryland Judiciary, the 24 elected Court Clerks of Maryland and the Maryland State Archives have joined in partnership to provide up to date access to all verified land record instruments in Maryland. This service is currently being provided free to all those interested in testing the system. Users are encouraged to provide feedback and inform the Maryland State Archives of any problems encountered.”

Once you have arrived at the home page, use the drop-down menu in the upper left part of the page to select your county of interested, and you’re off and running.

While these same land records are available via FamilySearch, most of them fall under that “restricted access” requiring you to be at a FHC or affiliated library to access the image. From the MDLANDREC website, you can view and download Maryland land records from the comfort of your home.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week Webinar on Using PERSI


Context is what changes genealogy from a collection of names and dates to our ancestors’ stories, and stories will get the attention of our otherwise disinterested family members. This webinar conducted by Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana addresses how to use the newly reconstituted PERSI database, searching by location to discover context for your genealogy research.

Watch the video here:
The Allen County Public Library is an invaluable resource for genealogical research. PERSI (the Periodical Source Index) is the largest subject index to genealogy and local history periodical articles in the world. This one hour webinar comes highly recommended by your fellow SGS members. 

  Some feel 2 years is long enough and NARA can safely reopen the research rooms with some safety precautions in place. If you’d like to sign the petition or learn more about the campaign, visit: