Seattle Genealogical Society 2020 Tip of the Week

  Want to stay abreast of any new material on the shelves of the SGS library? It couldn’t be easier. Use the new, improved “Library Catalog” application on our website to quickly get a list of recent acquisitions. 

Navigate to our website 

Scroll down a little and click on the “Library and Catalog” shown on the left hand side. That displays two lines:  “Library Catalog” and “Journal of SGS”.  

Click on the  ‘’Library Catalog”.  
  That brings up the form which has four search criteria fields: Location, MediaType, New and Search. While these four search criteria fields allow for robust search capabilities in the app, for this example we will only be using the search criteria titled “New:”.   Click on the box next to the “New:” and it displays a drop down list, where you click on “New” to select that option.  A list of the titles of any new material acquired in the last six months will be displayed. Right now there are approximately 83 titles on that list. You may save or print this list as a PDF by using the button labeled “PDF List”. It’s toward the upper right corner of the entry form.  

We hope you will visit our website often and use the Library Catalog to explore all the wonderful holdings you can find on our shelves.  

Seattle Genealogical Society News


Coming up in 2020, the Seattle Genealogical Society will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage with educational events including lectures, workshops, articles, a resource guide, and an exhibit in our library.
  Join us on a path of exploration. Learn to access and use genealogical tools and techniques to successfully discover female ancestors and write their stories. Learn about the expanding civic role of women, explore the changes in women’s lives and that of their families and communities, culminating in the passage of the 19th Amendment.

In the Fall of 2020, SGS plans to publish a special edition of our Journal of the Seattle Genealogical Society with articles describing the changing roles of women’s lives from 1880-1920, especially in Washington state. We hope to hear the stories of your female ancestors; whether they resided in our state, or elsewhere.
  If you are interested in sharing a story, photo, or a genealogical gem, please contact Heidi Mair, Director of Volunteers, .  We want to thank the Washington State Historical Society for their grant in support of our project.  For more information, see

As we move towards the upcoming SGS election in April 2020. there are a few positions for which we need candidates:

  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Director of Publications
  • Director of Volunteers
  • Directory of Social Media
  • Nominating Committee (six positions, for 2021-2022 election)

Short descriptions of the duties associated with these positions can be found on the SGS website (see New officers and directors will assume their offices in early June 2020. If you have questions regarding these positions, the outgoing directors of these offices are more than willing to discuss the position responsibilities. The new Nominating Committee members (also voted on by the membership) will not start their work until Fall 2020 in preparation for the 2021-2022 elections. 

If you have any questions or are interested in any of these open positions. please email or call the main SGS phone number (206-522-8658) and leave a message.    
IT’S THE GIVING SEASON!   Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support the Seattle Genealogical Society and Library during our Annual Appeal this December.    SGS 2019 Annual AppealDonate Now Online   If you have a Paypal account, you may donate to SGS via the Paypal Giving Fund. The transaction fee will be waived and your gift will be matched with an additional 1% by the fund. Go to:  Paypal Giving Fund – SGS     THANK YOU!

MyHeritage and are pleased to announce that registration is now open for its 2020 Legacy Family Tree Webinars series, now in its 10th year. Choose from 100 classes on a range of topics from genealogy’s leading educators. Such an easy way to learn. Three SGS members are featured speakers: Janice Lovelace, Trish Hackett Nicola, and Jill Morelli. 
Click here to register (free).

SAVE THE DATEJewish Genealogical Society of Washington State, 
“Finding My Roots: Using the Entire Genealogy Toolbox”,

LDS Factoria Building,
4200 124th Ave SE,
Bellevue, WA  98006

Monday, January 13, 2020   The secrets that Coral Grant’s grandparents thought were safe eventually became unraveled through the magic of DNA, archival research, and tenacity. The truth revealed an unknown ancestor and a truly rich Latvian heritage. Working back in time, this adventure begins in the Garment District of Toronto, Canada in the early 1930’s and ends deep in the Latvian countryside of the 18th century. The journey includes a life altering deportation during World War I. Come hear all that speaker Coral Grant has to share. 

Doors open at 6:30 pm. Free admission, refreshments, & WiFi.  The program begins promptly at 7:15 pm. 
Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society, 
“Did My Ancestors Really Pay for the Mayflower Voyage?”,
6111 188th Pl NE
Arlington, WA 98223
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
1:00 pm- 2:00 pm

While researching her English ancestral roots, Lori Lee Sauber keeps seeing non-specific references to her family being among the merchant group who provided the capital for the Mayflower voyage…but is it true? Follow the research trail as Lori Lee identifies whether this may be factual or just a myth propagated by others through the years.This meeting is free and open to the public.

Spring 2020 SGS Seminar 
with Fritz Juengling,
Fairview Christian School,
844 NE 78th St,
Seattle, WA

Saturday, May 16, 2020   Mr Juengling is the German, Dutch and Scandinavian Research Specialist at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. SGS is happy to have Fritz as the presenter for our spring seminar.   SGS CALENDAR OF EVENTS
  Unless otherwise indicated all programs will be at the SGS Library, 6200 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle. Check the SGS Web Site for additions, changes,  and corrections. Programs may be canceled or postponed because of inclement weather. The Library will be closed Dec 21, 2019 – Jan 1, 2020 for the Winter Holiday. 
Sunday, January 5, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm, DNA Workshop SIG with leader Cary Bright

Wednesday, January 8, 7:00 pm-9:00 pm, MAC Computer SIG, co-chairs Lisa Marker & Diane Hettrick. Meets every other month at the Fiske Genealogical Library in Madison Park, 1644 43rd Ave E, Seattle, WA. Jointly sponsored by SGS & Fiske. Open to the public. Focuses on resources for users of Macintosh/Apple computers & the Reunion Program.

Saturday, January 11, 10:15 am-12:15 pm, Family Tree Maker (FTM) Users Group, with co-chairs Reiley Kidd & Jess Ramey, Learn and share tips and tricks for using Family Tree Maker 2017 by Software MacKiev   Saturday, January 11,  1:00 pm-3:00 pm, Second Saturday Series: “Fraktur und Fremdworter: Hacks for Reading Foreign Books & Newspapers” –  presenter will be Mary Kircher Roddy.

Sunday, January 12,  1:00 pm-3:00 pm, Scandinavian SIG, lead by Karen Knudson, this group will be reviewing new searches from Arkivdigital (Swedish Research) and Digitalarkivet (Norwegian Research). Everyone is welcome to come and share their research.

Saturday, January 18, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Irish  SIG, with Jean Roth
Saturday, January 18, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, German  SIG, with Jean Roth

Saturday, January 25, 10:00am-12:30pm, DNA SIG, Meets quarterly in the fellowship hall of Wedgwood Presbyterian Church, 8008 35th Ave NE, Seattle. Come early for the Beginner Session 9:30-10:00am. Co-chairs Cary Bright & Herb McDaniel. An annual $5 contribution is collected at the door to fund rental of the space.   


Saturday, February 8, 10:15 am-12:15 pm, FamilySearch  SIG, with leader Lou Daly, discover the many ways to use Family Tree & Each meeting will feature an aspect of the FamilySearch website.  There will be time for Q&A.  

Saturday, February 8,  1:00 pm-3:00 pm, Second Saturday Series: “The Price of Love: American Women, the Cable Act and Lost Citizenship” – presenter will be Lisa Oberg. American women proselytized and protested for more than 70 years to finally win the right to vote. And yet, the victory wasn’t complete with the ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920. Come learn more. 

Saturday, February 15, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Irish  SIG, with Jean Roth
Saturday, February 15, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, German  SIG, with Jean Roth 

Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State Meeting

Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State

You are invited to attend our upcoming free genealogy event, on
Monday evening, January 13, 2020.

We would also appreciate it if you could help us publicize this event using this email or our flyer, attached above, by emailing it out, posting it on your bulletin board or calendar, and/or website, or handing out flyers to or sharing this email with individuals and groups you think might be interested.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State is pleased to present our January 2020 meeting program:

“Finding My Roots: Using the Entire Genealogy Toolbox”

presented by Coral Grant, Genealogical Lecturer

DATE:  Monday, January 13, 2020

Location:  LDS Factoria Building
4200 124th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA  98006

·         Doors open at 6:30 p.m., for all to enjoy our extensive library of genealogical resources, including FREE access to the LDS FHC computers and genealogical websites!

·         Free Wi-Fi available. Come early and network with other attendees!

·         Presentation starts promptly at 7:15 p.m.

  • Free admission and refreshments


The secrets that Coral Grant’s grandparents thought were safe eventually became unraveled through the magic of DNA, archival research, and tenacity. The truth revealed an unknown ancestor and a truly rich Latvian heritage. Working back in time, this adventure begins in the Garment District of Toronto, Canada in the early 1930’s and ends deep in the Latvian countryside of the 18th century. The journey includes a life altering deportation from the Latvian countryside during World War I, a survivor’s struggle to return home, a deception to avoid military service, and a most reluctant immigration. Along the way, Coral encountered many genealogical roadblocks: name changes, protective descendants, and multiple individuals with the same name. Using her research to share her family story and Latvian Jewish history, Coral’s presentation highlights the use of all the tools available to the genealogist. Ultimately, the goal of our genealogical research is to honor our ancestors and to make sure we do not forget their stories. Coral’s presentation will leave you with the tools to break through your genealogical roadblocks and find your ancestors, for you to tell their stories.


As a retired Public Health Administrator and now a business owner and motivational speaker, Coral Grant developed a fascination/obsession with genealogy. Researching and exploring her family’s roots to preserve for the next generation has opened many new doors and fundamentally changed her life and perspective. Coral has had the privilege to have lived and worked from coast to coast in Canada but landed on the west coast of Vancouver Island, where she loves to run, hike and enjoy nature with her husband and dog.

Please    by clicking on

Please visit our website at to join or to donate to JGSWS to help support the incredible speakers and workshops we bring to you, to view library listings, download handouts, or for more information.  JGSWS is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization. Membership dues and donations are tax deductible.

Thank you very much and we look forward to seeing you, your friends and family members!

Karen vanHaagen Campbell
President/Publicity/Programs, Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State

QSL Card

The Seattle Genealogical Society receives many interesting and valuable donations. One such donation came in the mail from a gentleman in another state. Inside the letter was a post card with a photo of a man on it. The caption read “Old Man Ryan Ex US Navy.” Above his photo was a set of letters and numbers reading W7FSH. What is this? There were smaller words above the strange code that said: Amateur Radio Station.

The post card sent to us was a QSL card. A “calling card” for a Ham Radio Operator. Wikipedia says this about QSL cards: “it is a written confirmation of either a two-way radio communication between two amateur radio stations or a one-way reception of a signal from an AM radio, FM radio, television or shortwave broadcasting station. The QSL card derived its name from the Q code ‘QSL’. A Q code message can stand for a statement or a question (when the code is followed by a question mark). In this case, ‘QSL?’ (note the question mark) means “Do you confirm receipt of my transmission?” while ‘QSL’ (without a question mark) means “I confirm receipt of your transmission.”.

According to a knowledgeable volunteer at Seattle Genealogical Society, the QSL card is used to confirm contact between two radio stations, in a creative, personalized way. This QSL card was telling the recipient “W8JPY” that W7FSH had not received the maps that he requested. Our volunteer explained that Ham Radio Operators exchange these cards not only to let the other operator know that they contacted one another, but as a “simple gathering of printed documentation of a ham’s communications over the course of his or her radio career” from locations all over the world.

The name under the photo “Old Man Ryan” has a special meaning also. Male radio operators are called “Old Man” while female radio operators are called “Young Lady”. Each operator creates a card with enough information on it so that the person receiving the QSL will know just where in the world they came from. As you can see on this card Mr. Albert H. Ryan used to be in the US Navy, lives in Seattle and his station call letters are W7FSH. The date that Mr. Ryan communicated with the station W8JPY (Mr. K.S. Vogt of the Tower Club at Ohio State University) was 7 April 1937.

QSL cards are still in use today and our volunteer has a vast collection of her own cards with one sent from Christmas Island!

Thanks to Mr. David Doss from Michigan for sending us this card and to A.W. for her explaining its significance to us.

Sue Jensen, Director of the Library, Seattle Genealogical Society


THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition December 26, 2019
Curious about the status of your GFO Membership? We’d love to have you as a GFO Member! | 503-963-1932 | Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
Genealogy Boot Camp for Beginners — only 1 seat left!
This popular class is nearly sold out! The next Boot Camp won’t be until Saturday, May 30. Class is geared for beginners and computer skills are a prerequisite.
All communications are done via email, and you must be able to download and print the class notes. GFO members may attend for free, non-members $20.
Register for Boot Camp
News from the Library: We’re Digitizing Periodicals
Look for this logo in our catalog for searchable digital periodicals. We’ve got a big improvement to announce! Until now, you’ve had to go through periodicals issue by issue and page by page in hope of finding something relevant. Now, you’ll be able to use a computer to search for any word or name in a decade’s worth of periodicals! We’re creating digital files that you can access when you visit the library. Each digitized periodical will have an icon in the catalog to indicate it is an ePublication. Here are the family history newsletters we’ve done so far:
▪ Adams Addenda ▪ A Day to Remember (Aday) ▪ Agnewsletter ▪ The Alden Letter ▪ Alee’s All Around ▪ Alexander Agenda ▪ Alton-Allton-Aulton Family Association Newsletter ▪ The Anderson Album ▪ Babb Family Association News and Notes ▪ Backenstoss Family Association of America ▪ Baker Family Newsletter ▪ Baldwin By-Lines ▪ Francis Ball Bulletin ▪ Barnard Lines ▪ Barnett Banner ▪ Barrett Branches ▪ Canfield Family Association Newsletter
Want to help? Send a message to or come to the work party on Sunday January 29. As a team, we’ll be prepping more items for scanning–and the work will probably go on all day. So, if afternoon is better for you–here’s your chance to help.
Is a Train Blocking 11th? New Website Can Tell You
We’ve all long been frustrated with Union Pacific trains blocking SE 11th Ave. near the GFO for up to an hour. There’s nothing to be done about the trains, but now you can get a heads up if the trains are there. Save this website:
Screenshot from website of It’ll tell you if a train is currently blocking the tracks and for how long the blockage has lasted. A team from DevelopmentNow “used AI/machine learning, vision processing, predictive heuristics, and off-the-shelf hardware to build a cloud-based prototype of this application. After a bit of tweaking and testing, the application tells us with reasonable accuracy whether a train is blocking the intersection outside our window.“
Shhhhhhh, We’re Researching
Have you noticed what’s not in the GFO Library any more? Screeching chairs! We found some better chair glides that don’t make such a racket on the concrete floors. They may wear down faster and have to be replaced, but we think it’s worth it. Several members have already commented they like how quiet the chairs are.
Surplus Book: Willamette Valley History
Here’s a fun book for the Oregon history aficionado in your family. Robert Carlton Clark published History of the Willamette Valley Oregon in 1927. He covers geography, boundary disputes, early settlement, pioneer life, the Pony Express and railroads, politics, and more.
It’s a large volume filling 888 pages, complete with a thorough index and pages of photos. This book is in sound shape with a great binding. However, as a former library book, it contains marks on some pages. Elsewhere we’ve seen this book for sale for $70.
Our price for pick up at the GFO: $40 Our price to ship to you: $48 Please contact if you’re interested.
Survey Results: Giving the Gift of Genealogy
Seventy percent of the people who responded are giving genealogy-related gifts this year. Here are some of the replies:
A y-DNA test for one brother, and an autosomal for the other . Trying to find their grandfather thru dna. A 23andMe test kit destined for a friend interested in knowing more about his paternal and maternal lines (the y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroup designations are included in the 23andMe ancestry test). And for another friend searching for an unknown grandparent: a Family Tree DNA “Family Finder” (autosomal) test kit.
Photographs and family trees I have already gifted an electronic copy of over 300 pictures from my deceased husband’s family to cousins of his that most have never seen.
I have given of my time to help others break down brick walls and learn how to use resources new to them. Then I helped someone who had forty years of pedigree charts and family group sheets in paper form only create a database. Hoping to convince that person of the usefulness of having a personal database. We also scanned a book of family photographs to be able to share copies with other family members.
A Civil War publication Our Cards – playing cards with pictures, vital statistics and other facts of 52 ancestors. I am gifting family and some genealogy research groups (including GFO) a copy of the 1841 Missouri to Oregon book once the copyright office approves the copyright.
New Survey: New Year’s Resolutions
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions about our genealogy. “This year I’ll get organized,” or “This year I’ll break through my brick wall.” What about you? Are you making any resolutions?
Take the Survey Now
This week at GFO …
Sunday, December 29th
Library Work Party 9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m
Come on by, any time this Sunday. We’ll be prepping periodicals for scanning and doing some scanning too!
Tuesday, December 31st
Library Closed: New Year’s Eve
Wednesday, January 1st
Library Closed: New Years Day

Happy New Year

The card is embossed to look like a real bow above, but it is just printed.

This postcard is from Jennie (Cronk) Dillingham, wife of my grandmother Anna (Dillingham) Hansen’s first cousin Erland Burtrand Dillingham to Anna Hansen. My grandparents and four children had moved earlier in 1910 to Columbus, Montana from near Sebeka, Minnesota. Soon the fifth child Leigh Erland Hansen would be born.

International German Genealogy Partnership

International German Genealogy Partnership   2021 CONFERENCE

1 January – 29 February 2020
The Call for Proposals will open on 1 January 2020 for presentations during the 2021 International German Genealogy Conference in Cincinnati, sponsored by the International German Genealogy Partnership and hosted by the Hamilton County (Ohio) Genealogical Society.

Potential speakers with specialized genealogical knowledge, skills, or techniques are invited to submit proposals.

A flyer on the IGGP website has full details about the types and lengths of presentations desired, the selection process, and compensation. Check out the flyer to see the types of tracks and topics anticipated for the Conference, and pass this message on to speakers who may wish to submit proposals.  

New this year: All sessions must address German genealogy topics Some sessions may be conducted partially in the German language Two-hour workshops and thirty-minute express sessions in addition to one-hour presentations  Increase in honorarium The portal to submit proposals for presentations will be live beginning 1 January 2020. Go to the IGGP website, then click on the Conference 2021 tab. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm ET on 29 February 2020.

The International German Genealogy Partnership’s Conference has become the largest in the world devoted exclusively to German genealogy. Nearly 1,000 people are expected to attend the 2021 conference in Cincinnati, a center of German-American heritage since mass immigration began in the 1830s.

Genealogists dedicated to serious research will come to the International German Genealogy Conference from around the world to attend 80 sessions on German genealogy, sharpen their skills, and interact with other researchers.

Questions may be emailed to You may also subscribe to receive conference updates from IGGP.

Columbia Gorge Genealogical Society January Meeting

The Columbia Gorge Genealogical Society will meet on January 11, 2020 in the downstairs classroom at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. This months program will be the ” Individual Research Assistance” project. The project consists of members collaborating with other members in solving their research dead ends or brick walls.The project will run both January and February. Members are encouraged to bring their laptops and their research data. A short business meeting will begin at 10:30 followed by the beginning of our research assistance project. There is no admission charge to the Discovery Center for attending our meetings. A $1.00 donation is appreciated to cover room rental.