Whatcom Genealogical Society Make Progress in Your Genealogy Research

At the November Whatcom Genealogical Society meeting Diana Elder, Professional Genealogist will present Part 2 of her presentation on “Make Progress in Your Genealogy Research:  Learn to Research Like a Pro.”

Try not to miss it on Monday, November 8, at 2 pm at our new meeting place, the Pioneer Pavilion, 2007 Cherry Street in Ferndale.  Doors open at 1:30.

A drawing will be held to win a free copy of Diana Elder’s book “Research Like a Pro:  A Genealogist’s Guide.”

It was wonderful to see everyone in person last month, so please join us.  Don’t forget your mask!

Lewis County Genealogical Society Genealogical Research at NARA

Lewis County Genealogical Society invites you to An Introduction to Genealogical Research at NARA presented at our meeting on Tuesday, September 21. We have social time at 6:00PM, business meeting at 6:30 and the NARA program at 7:00. Keep reading for more about the presentation and how to join us.

Crystal Shurley and Brita Merkel, Archive Technicians with the National Archives in Seattle, will present An Introduction to Genealogical Research at NARA.

Ms. Merkel will speak about the basics of genealogical research. Ms. Shurley will speak about the records and how to use NARA’s online catalog. Following the presentation there will be time for questions.

To prepare you may want to visit the Seattle NARA website https://www.archives.gov/seattle to get an idea of what is available. While in person research is not allowed at this time due to Covid, there are ways to access some records and to place orders online.

You are welcome to join us. Emailinfo@walcgs.orgfor the Zoom link by Monday evening.

Visit Lewis County Genealogical Society online at: walcgs.org

Applied Genealogy Institute

We would be thrilled if you would inform your respective societies and the members of your societies of our new institute. Here is the short announcement followed by the full press release. If you have questions, contact any of the three of us in the To: line above.

Mary Kircher Roddy, CG, Lisa Hork Gorrell, CG and Jill Morelli, CG are happy (gleeful even) to announce a new virtual practicum-based learning option for genealogists! Do you best “Learn by Doing”? Do you want smaller classes that allow for significant class discussion and to receive responses to your assignments–all at an affordable price? Then the Applied Genealogy Institute is for you! Check us out at https://appgen.institute and sign up for the mailing list at the website to be the first to get our opening window for registration.

Very interesting YouTube on the Applied Genealogy Institute: http://www.carolinagirlgenealogy.com/2021/07/genfriends-applied-genealogy-institute.html

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week Family Search Blog

FamilySearch BLOG
It can be a daunting task to stay abreast of all the updates and enhancements constantly being made by FamilySearch. To assist you in this quest, consider checking out their BLOG. Updates to FamilySearch are listed there in reverse-chronological order!

For example in March 2021, a new feature was installed to allow you to see which other researchers are following the same person/ancestor in a tree that you are following.   

There are also links to a list of enhancements from prior years. Scroll down to the bottom of the blog.  You will see:

  • More Updates from 2020
  • More Updates from 2019

I like the Nov 2, 2020, enhancement. It lets you create a slide show from the photos in your “Memories” area. You can then share this slide show with your family by emailing them a link. They do not need a FamilySearch account. Or you can share the slide show on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc.  FamilySearch has made this process easy.  

Read about all the updates at FamilySearch on their blog here: 

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week African American Genealogical Research

  Want a preview of the SGS Fall Seminar? 

An introductory presentation by Ari Wilkins, sponsored by the Chemung County (NY) Library District, will discuss the methodology, challenges, and myths regarding African American genealogical research. It will be an overview of useful sources for researching people of African American ancestry.

Ari Wilkins is a genealogy professional and staff member at the Dallas Public Library. She specializes in African American research and will be the speaker for our SGS Fall Seminar. 

This introductory event will be held via Zoom today, Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 4:00 pm PDT. Hurry, this event is free, but you must register in advance:

Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State JewishGen

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State proudly presents “How to Utilize the JewishGen Discussion Group Effectively” presented by Phil Goldfarb, Lead Moderator of JewishGen Discussion Group
DATE: Monday evening, May 10, 2021,
from 6 – 8 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, via Zoom (please note the earlier-than-usual start time) This free online meeting will be open between 5:30 – 6 p.m. PDT for chatting.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m., and the featured presentation will start at 6:15 p.m. PDT Registration for this meeting is required: To register for this Zoom meeting, click on this link or copy it into your web browser: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEpf-2prjIvHdNr-FQNFeQxb0Rgr75mXooP 2) You will be prompted to enter your name and email address and, when you hit enter, you will automatically be sent an email with the Zoom meeting link.
ABOUT OUR PROGRAM Do you have questions regarding your genealogical research that you would like to ask others via an email group that reaches across the world or have information you can share with others researching their Jewish ancestry? Would you like a forum where you can find world-wide resources to assist you in your genealogical research? Such a forum exists! The JewishGen Discussion Group (JGDG) is the most widely used email Discussion Group in Jewish Genealogy. This presentation is for anyone who would like to know how to access the JGDG, ask questions, and browse archived posts to find shared resources and information.
Come learn what the JGDG is all about, and the ways the JGDG can help you with your research. It will include the guidelines for joining and using this forum, including options for posting messages to the group, and how to find archival messages (back to 1998!) that pertain to your research. Information on how to use hashtags to filter messages and on who to contact for help will be included. This presentation is approved by JewishGen.
ABOUT OUR SPEAKER Phil Goldfarb was born in New Jersey and was the Division V.P. of Operations for a Fortune 19 billion dollar company. Researching genealogy for 35 years, Phil is the founding and current President of the JGS of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which he started in 2005. He has lectured extensively on various topics in genealogy, published articles on genealogy in numerous periodicals, and authors a monthly column in the Tulsa Jewish Review. He was written two books titled “A Page of History: Passport Applications 1851-1914” and A Page of History: Passport Applications Volume II 1915-1925.” Phil is a member of the Leadership Team for JewishGen as well as being the Lead Moderator for the JewishGen Discussion Group. He was the Chairman of the 2020 IAJGS Awards Committee and sits on the Board of Directors for several non-profit organizations. In July 2020 he won an Emmy Award as a Producer for the Tulsa Historical Society’s documentary titled: L’dor V’dor Generation to Generation: A History of Tulsa’s Jewish Community, which has been shown on PBS stations around the U.S.
Please visit our website athttp://www.jgsws.org to join or to donate to JGSWS to help support the incredible speakers and workshops we bring to you, view library listings, download handouts, and more. JGSWS is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization. Membership dues and donations are tax deductible. JGSWS, P.O. Box 53102, Bellevue, WA 98015

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week Beginning Genealogy Classes

On the Family History Library Calendar for January 2021, there are numerous educational opportunities for the novice genealogist, or user new to FamilySearch.org. Like FamilySearch itself, these webinars are absolutely free. You are asked to pre-register for each online webinar you’d like to attend. It’s that simple. Here’s a sampling of what’s coming up: 

  • Using the FamilySearch Catalog (Beginner)   –  Mon, Jan 4, 10:00 AM MST
  • The Research Process: An Introduction (Beginner) – Thu, Jan 7, 10:00 AM MST
  • How to Use the Swedish National Archive Website (Beginner) – Sat, Jan 9, 9:00 AM MST
  • Guiando tu educación: Usando el centro de aprendizaje de FamilySearch (Beginner) – Tue, Jan 12, 11:00 AM MST  
  • Introduction to US Military Records (Beginner) – Thu, Jan 21, 10:00 AM MST

Notice all times are listed as MST (Mountain Standard Time). Below is a link to the full January 2021 Calendar. You can register from there. 


Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week Free German Seminar

  Yet another online seminar! This one is free,  sponsored by the Sacramento German Genealogy Society, and featuring four German genealogy gurus from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Remember Fritz Juengling from the SGS 2020 Spring Seminar? He’ll be there.

This event is Saturday, October 24, 2020. Here are the four sessions on the schedule as well as the link to register. 

  • Resources on FamilySearch for German Research – with Fritz Juengling
  • Germany: Historical Genealogy – with Daniel Jones
  • Württemberg Family Books – with Charlotte Champenois
  • Using Historical Newspapers to Learn More about your German Ancestors – with Baerbel Johnson
  • Click here


Seattle Genealogical Society News


Each quarter,the Seattle Genealogical Society recognizes one volunteer as our volunteer of the quarter. Our Volunteer for Spring 2020 Quarter is Cecellia Rogers.

Cecellia joined SGS soon after moving to the Seattle area almost 3 years ago. She’s an active member and regularly attends the Fall and Spring Seminars, Second Saturday presentations, and the DNA Special Interest Group. Cecellia began volunteering to reinstate the raffle at our Fall 2018 Seminar and has done an exemplary job ever since. Last fall, she joined the Nominations Committee to help propose the slate of candidates for our incoming 2020-2021 Board of Directors. 

Cecellia enjoys the contacts she has developed at SGS. Joining and participating in the Seattle Genealogical Society made moving across the country to start a new life much easier. Sharing an interest in genealogy is a good starting place. Cecellia also likes to feel useful and to contribute to the success of the organization. 

Speaking of genealogy – Cecellia is currently fascinated by genetic genealogy. She continues adding to the family trees started 50 years ago by her paternal aunt and maternal first cousin. Her aunt discovered they were NOT related to Will Rogers as they previously thought. Cecelia is now searching for a connection to Thomas Rogers of the Mayflower. If that were not enough, she is finishing the year-long ProGen study group and hopes to apply for BCG certification within the next year. Jill Morelli’s Certification Discussion Group was a real boost in that direction.

Besides genealogy, Cecillia has been very active in community theater – acting, directing, backstage – but she has not yet found a theater group home in the Seattle area.  She is creative and knits, crochets, and makes jewelry. You may have seen her necklaces and earrings on the raffle table. Cecellia also enjoys jigsaw puzzles, especially electronic ones, with no pieces to lose.

Cecellia grew up in Western New York, outside Buffalo. She attended school in Syracuse, NY and Bloomington, IN. She has lived in Phoenix, Maryland, and now Seattle.  She has two children – one here in Washington and the other in Washington, DC. The one in Seattle shares her two children with their Gram, which is Cecellia. She is grateful for the community SGS offers. And we are grateful she found us.
Due to COVID-19 virus concerns, the Seattle Genealogical Society (SGS) Library will remain closed at least through the 4th of July Holiday 2020. SGS will continue to adhere to state, county and city guidelines as to opening our doors in the future. If it is determined by governing entities that it is safe to allow libraries to open, we will inform you under what conditions your visit will be allowed. We anticipate that initially social distancing and masks will be required of all patrons.    SGS ELECTION RESULTS
The Seattle Genealogical Society’s 2020 Election was closed April 30, 2020. The Election Committee made its report of the tallies and write-in votes. This report was reviewed by the SGS Board May 11, 2020. Congratulations to the new officers and directors on the SGS Board: 

  • President – James Secan
  • Vice-President – Karen Rathe (write-in ballots)
  • Treasurer – Karen Knudson
  • Secretary – Amandalei Bennett
  • Director of Education – Heidi Mair
  • Director of Operations – Rob Sexton
  • Director of Volunteers – Cecellia Rogers (Board action)
  • Director of Technology – David Rimmer
  • Director of Library –  Sue Jensen
  • Director of Membership –  Christine Schomaker 

The position of Director of Volunteers was filled by Board action when Cecellia Rogers volunteered to fill this empty position after the election had finished. Jill Morelli will serve as Past President and Mahina Oshie is the representative from the Seattle Public Library. This Board will serve from June 2020 through May 2021. In addition, the proposed changes to the Bylaws passed.

The positions of Director of Publications and Director of Communications had no candidates so the Board is looking for volunteers. If you would like to serve in either of these positions, please contact Amandalei Bennett at secretary@seattlegenealogicalsociety.org.

A special thanks to our Nominating Committee: Walter Clinton, Cecellia Rogers, and Judy Lysiak; and our Election Committee: Bruce Finlayson, Lisa Oberg, and Kim Waggie. We also thank Jill Morelli for serving as SGS President for the past three years and Janice Lovelace for serving on the Board as Director of Education these past two years.      SGS MEMBERSHIP MEETING NOTICE
  Please note the next membership meeting of the Seattle Genealogical Society has been scheduled for Saturday, June 13, 2020  from 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm PDT.  This will be a real time, online meeting via Zoom. The room opens at noon and the meeting starts at 12:30 pm. The new SGS officers will be introduced.

Bring a genealogical discovery to share. Below is the Zoom meeting link.

Join the Zoom Meeting
  The Second Saturday Series presentation “Do You Trello and Kanban?” will be presented by Lori Lee Sauber from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, directly following the SGS Membership meeting. What exactly is Trello and Kanban? Here’s your chance to find out. 
SGS members, it’s time to renew for 2020-21. Use the quick and convenient “Renew Membership” button at the SGS website. You can print out an invoice and mail it to SGS with a check. Or, you can pay your dues right then and there with a credit or debit card.

Yes, you must first log in to your SGS member account; the renewal button will be just a click away. Start here: Members Home

Remember, you can always email membership@seagensoc.org for help. 

Are you an eNews! reader who hasn’t joined SGS yet? Our membership year runs from June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021. Now is a great time to become a member and obtain a full year of discounted class and event registration fees, free research requests, and access to exclusive SGS publications and databases. Annual dues are $40.00 for an individual, $50.00 for a dual membership (two people at the same mailing address). Click here: Join SGS
SGS CALENDAR OF EVENTS*** In consideration of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, the SGS Library is closed until at least July 5, 2020 and all SGS in-person events have been canceled, postponed, or replaced with an online event.
Stay home – stay healthy – but stay engaged by attending one of our live, online events! 

Saturday, May 16, 2020
Time: 9:00 am -1:00 pm PDT  ONLINE

Online seminar : “Spring 2020 SGS Seminar with Fritz Juengling: Old European Records Research”   Meeting live, online via Zoom.  Registration required. Register by 9:00 pm, May 14, 2020. 

Mr Juengling is the German, Dutch and Scandinavian Research Specialist at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. This will be an online, virtual seminar.

Saturday, June 6, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm -3:00 pm PDT  ONLINE

Digging Deeper : “How I Discovered My Female Ancestor”  with Jill Morelli and Mahina Oshie

Follow this link to join https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87966848541

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 https://www.suffrage100wa.com/

Stories Behind the Stars

I would like to make you aware of a project that may be of great interest to your organization and many of your members.

I am the director of a non-profit initiative known as Stories Behind the Stars, under the auspices of The Greatest Generations Foundation.

The ambitious goal of this project is to collect short profiles of all of the 400,000+ US World War II fallen in one online database. There will be a smartphone app that will allow anyone visiting a war memorial or cemetery to scan the name of the fallen and get a link to automatically take them to his/her story. This will work at Arlington National Cemetery, Honolulu’s National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, even memorials in Washington state. It will make visits to the final resting places of our World War II fallen a much richer experience. Whereas now, a visitor just sees names and dates, when this project is finished, a visit to any WWII memorial or gravesite will come with that person’s story.

As a genealogy organization, you are aware that resources online now make genealogical research easier than ever. I learned this first hand over the past three years. I have had a lifelong interest in history, and particularly enjoyed reading memoirs. After the 2016 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a lot of news coverage was given to the remaining World War II veterans. It bothered me that little attention was given to any of the 400,000+ fallen who did not come home. WWII memoirs all mentioned how much these fallen meant to a victory they did not enjoy. I decided to do something about this.

I began a daily personal passion project to start writing about these mostly forgotten heroes. Each day I wrote a profile of one of the fallen on the 100th anniversary of his/her birthday. I recorded these stories in a  blog at www.ww2fallen100.blogspot.com. I shared it with various World War II groups on Facebook. Others started joining me to write these stories and there are now more than 1,200 of these short profiles, including more than a dozen from Washington (see http://ww2fallen100.blogspot.com/search?q=washington) that have been read more than one million times. The newspaper in the town where I grew up, the Pueblo Chieftain, did a story about my efforts that was picked up by many papers around the country (see https://www.chieftain.com/7070e3a4-c500-11e8-9745-33c162a7202a.html). The project was slated to end this September with the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. However, at the encouragement of others, I decided to expand this project so that the stories of all of the 400,000+ US World War II fallen can be told.

The 400,000+ number is very daunting, but it is much more manageable for western states. In the case of Washington, WWII losses were probably around 6,000. I already have access to a database that has 5,000+ Washington related names. I just need help finding people who want to write profiles of the Washington fallen.

Ancestry.com has generously agreed to provide free access to their research tools (Ancestry.com, Newspapers.com, and Fold3.com) to anyone helping me with this project.

I created the website www.storiesbehindthestars.org to promote and manage this project. Though it just barely started, I already have volunteers helping from a dozen states.

The reason I am contacting WSGS is that I am sure you know of many, many Washington residents who would be interested in helping with this project. I need volunteers to research and write the stories of these ~6,000 Washington World War II fallen. It takes less than 45 minutes to research and write the average story. I have created a YouTube page (see https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6iv4ZzBam5y_yXk546P7Fu6bEIrz9jb5) with short training videos showing how to do the research.

Can you share information about my project with your members? At this time of social distancing, I think this project would be a wonderful use of time for those with their skills.

Feel free to call or email me to move this discussion further.


Don Milne

Stories Behind the Stars Founder and Director