Registration for Ancestry Day Open Now

Ancestry Day Conference — Sept. 23 & 24, 2016, Tacoma

Join experts from Ancestry, Washington State Archives, Washington State Library, Legacy Washington, and the Washington State Historical Society for this great event. Registration for Ancestry Day presentations on Saturday is $35. Registration for Friday’s presentations is $15.

Saturday, Sept. 24, will feature a full day of classes, including:

• Ancestry101: New & Review
• Getting the Most from
• Using AncestryDNA to Further Your Family History Research
• Ancestry FAQs
• Sharing Your Family Story

Friday, Sept. 23, will feature several presentations from area experts, including:

• Tracy Rebstock, Washington State Archives
• Mary Kathryn Kozy, Professional Genealogist
• Lynette Miller, Head of Collections at the Research Center of the Washington State Historical Society
• Karen Wallace Steely, Professional Genealogist
• Kathryn Devine, Washington State Library

For more information, schedule and registration, click HERE.

More Details About Ancestry Day — Sept. 23 & 24

The Office of the Secretary of State and the Washington State Historical Society are partnering with Ancestry to bring a very special genealogical event to the Pacific Northwest.

Ancestry Day in Washington will be held in Tacoma on Saturday, September 24, and is expected to attract more than 1,000 family historians. Whether you are a new subscriber to Ancestry, an experienced genealogist, or just interested in finding out what genealogy is all about, this is the event for you!

Activities on September 23 will be held at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma and will include access to the museum and special presentations on outstanding genealogical resources in Washington.

On Saturday, September 24, Ancestry will take center stage at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center. They will be bringing their expertise, engaging speakers, door prizes, and Ancestry DNA kits to purchase.

There also will be vendors from around the state sharing their products and ideas.

Keep an eye out for upcoming registration information about this can’t-miss event.

Archives Month at Washington State Regional Archives

Poster (2)

Archives Month celebrates WA bridges

If it’s October, then our State Archives is celebrating its annual Archives Month. This year’s theme is Washington’s historic bridges, those indispensable links for moving people and goods around the state. I’m a big fan of our bridges and have my favorites, as I’m sure you do.

I want to give you a head’s up that as part of the month-long celebration, the main State Archives in Olympia and the regional branches in Bellevue, Bellingham, Cheney and Ellensburg will host open houses or Basics of Historical Research workshops on Saturday, October 24. Contact the State Archives at (360) 586-1492 or for more information about these events. Another research workshop will be held October 10 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center in Stanwood. For more info about the Stanwood workshop, contact Janette Gomes at the Northwest Regional Archives at or (360) 650-2813.

A great-looking free poster helps commemorate Archives Month. The poster (shown here) is available in the State Archives headquarters in Olympia, the front desk of our Executive Office at the Capitol and at all regional Archives branches, as well as several local historical societies, universities with archives/library collections, museums and heritage centers. Get your poster while supplies last! If you want to see the digital version of the new poster, just go here. The poster was designed by Archives’ own Benjamin Helle.


If you want a larger version of the poster go here:

State Archives’ Southwest Regional Property Search Challenge…Answered!


Patrick Murphy home, Montesano, Washington, circa 1914. Used by permission of the Murphy Family Archives.

In the May 2015 edition of Out of the Archives, Maggie Cogswell, Washington State Archives Assistant Research Archivist in the Southwest Regional Branch,  offered to assist with challenging property research within the Southwest Region of the state (Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Skamania, Thurston, and Wahkiakum counties). Maggie received a letter from Roxanne Lowe* interested in learning more about her family’s property in Grays Harbor County (pictured here). Always up for a challenge, Maggie started this project in earnest, learning more about the Murphy family from Montesano than she knows about her own!

Follow Maggie’s journey here, and learn about how she used the records in the Washington State Archives to begin a quest to uncover as much information as she could for her researcher. You may just get inspired to research your property! 

 If you’d like to know more about your home, contact the regional branch that serves your county. Or–Ask An Archivist!” and they’ll help you get started.

*Roxanne Lowe is a member of the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society, WSGS Recognition Chair and a member of the WSGS Blog Team.


Washington Remembers World War II Special Exhibit

Join us for an exhibit opening!

August 20, 2015 | Office of the Secretary of State | Olympia 3-5pm

The Secretary of State cordially invites you to the opening of Washington Remembers World War II—a special exhibit marking the 70th anniversary of the conflict’s end.

At an event honoring survivors  of the war, hear from one of the first black Marines since the Revolution who served his country in a prejudiced America. Meet a Holocaust survivor from Poland who hid in a barn loft to escape the death camps, and  a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge whose letters home detailed the grueling day-to-day life of a soldier.

Join Secretary of State Kim Wyman on August 20 at the Capitol Building on the 2nd floor in the Secretary of State’s Office.  The program starts at 3pm. Reception to follow. To RSVP or for more information: or (360) 902-4171.

Physical Address:
416 Sid Snyder Avenue SW, Room 250
Olympia, WA 98501

For parking information please see the Capitol Campus parking map.

Check out our Faces of Heroes. | Read the stories of our veterans. | Support Legacy Washington.