South King County Genealogical Society Meetings

Monday, September 28, 1 – 3 pm PDT: Genealogy Chat. Meet up and talk genealogy. We have no agenda; we just like one another! Click or paste into your browser https://meet.google.com/zkj-fphx-qky?hs=122&authuser=0 or join by phone: ‪(US) +1 406-686-2783 PIN: ‪268 156 108#. Join https://skcgs.groups.io/g/Society for invitations, reminders and discussion.

Saturday, October 3, 10 am – noon PDTFamily Tree Maker User Group. We are just starting up online meetings – join us! Join https://skcgs.groups.io/g/FTMUG for meeting invitations and discussion.

Monday, October 5, 1 – 3 pm PDT: Persons of Interest #ResearchOpportunity. Our newest online meeting; join us to help tackle the frustrating people in your tree! Join https://skcgs.groups.io/g/Research-Group for meeting invitations, to share your #ResearchOpportunity and help others with theirs. 

Monday, October 12, 1 – 3 pm PDT: Genetic Genealogy/DNA Interest Group – When DNA is the Only Option: Hunting for Ann’s Father presented by Janet Stroebel. Please join https://skcgs.groups.io/g/Genetic-Genealogy for meeting invitations and discussion.

Saturday, October 24, 2020, 10 am – 1:30 pm PDT. Seminar: South King County Genealogy Society is pleased to present Diahan Southard, of Your DNA Guide, offering two topics: No Tree? No Problem starting at 10:00 to 11:30 and from noon to 1:30, Connecting your DNA Matches. This is a fundraiser for us, yet only $20! Register: http://skcgs.org/seminar.html Spread the word on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/346272226523013

South King County Genealogical Society October Seminar

Fellow Washington state genealogical and historical societies,
Normally your members might not want to drive to south King County for a DNA seminar. However, now everyone is just a few clicks away! We would appreciate you sharing news about our seminar with your members and Facebook and Twitter followers. We hope your group is well and healthy in these perilous times.

Registration is open! Attached is the flyer and registration form for our upcoming seminar with Diahan Southard. 
If you are feeling that your DNA data is not fully working for you, join us Saturday, October 24 for two sessions with Diahan Southard, a pioneer in the field. She will help you analyze and connect the data the companies give you with your family tree.
If you plan to pay by check, we suggest downloading and sending the registration form soon because of the Postal Service slowdowns. Payments using Paypal, Venmo and Square are all accepted. Just download the registration form: http://skcgs.org/seminar.html , fill in the PDF and email to treasurer@skcgs.org
Why not do it today and add it to your calendar?

South King County Genealogical Society Fall Seminar

Registration is open for the SKCGS Fall Seminar with Diahan Southard Saturday, October 24. Sessions 10 – noon, and 1 -3
 Registration is open! Click the image at http://skcgs.org/seminar.html to download the flyer and registration form for our upcoming seminar with Diahan Southard. 
If you are feeling that your DNA data is not fully working for you, join us Saturday, October 24 for two sessions with Diahan Southard, a pioneer in the field. She will help you analyze and connect the data the companies give you with your family tree.

If you plan to pay by check, we suggest downloading and sending the registration form soon because of the Postal Service slowdowns. Payments using Paypal, Venmo and Square are all accepted. Just download the registration form, fill in the PDF and email to treasurer@skcgs.org.

Why not do it today and add it to your calendar?

Becoming a “Virtual” Genealogy Society

South King County Genealogical Society did it!. . .

. . . and your society can, too!

Like most of the rest of the world, genealogical societies were not prepared for the corona virus pandemic. Faced with cancelled meetings and seminars, society function and governance as well as communication, education and service to our general membership were in jeopardy. In the first month of lock down we had to scramble to get online quickly or we would disappear. How can our societies fulfill their educational mission if we’re not providing education?

Online Groups

Fortunately, the South King County Genealogical Society was more prepared than we had thought. When the Rootsweb lists died in 2019, it seemed like a disaster. We decided to use Groups.io, a move that provided so much value to us, yet was free! Because we signed up early, we could create subgroups, had a built-in calendar, photo storage, file space and more. Some of these features are no longer available free but if funds are available and you need the features, Groups.io is still an excellent choice for getting your society online and educating. SKCGS special interest groups are thriving because we can share images via email or login directly to the group on the web, use the shared calendar to keep track of events, and discuss issues and deal with questions before, after and between meetings. Search https://groups.io/search?q=genealogy and find over 2000 groups so far. Find us at https://skcgs.groups.io/g/Society.

When SKCGS had to move to online meetings because of the lock down, we were already accustomed to the new online group.. Adding links to join a Google Meet session was just as easy as pasting in the street address for invitations and reminders for our previous physical meetings.

Virtual Spaces

Many years ago, a tech savvy person in our Society decided that the Google Suite for Non Profits would meet some of our needs for online file backup, now more commonly called “the cloud.” GSuite was then and still is free for nonprofits. It took us a while to begin using many of its features; but now its use is routine.

We place meeting minutes, committee and budget reports in a shared file folder rather than sending endless emails. We upload flyers in various formats for posting to Facebook, Twitter, newspapers and group emails. We use Google Docs and Sheets to collaboratively edit documents and spreadsheets. We even have photo storage.

Virtual Meetings — Free

In these pandemic times, the most important feature of our GSuite is Google Meet. Meet is free, more secure than most of the competitors, easy for the users and presenters both, and very flexible. If a recording is wanted, there is one button to push to start and stop. People can successfully connect by telephone if their internet connectivity is temporarily bad. Did we mention, it is free and will continue to be free?

Our special interest groups have continued meeting once a month throughout the summer and our attendance is actually going up during the lock down, which is amazing. Due to special requests we have added a Genealogy Chat session; now we use G Meets at least once a week for online meetings. We have gained new members because of the friendly, informative interaction at these get-togethers.

Publicity

It is not uncommon to have visitors from other parts of the country. The wonderful site ConferenceKeeper.org has been a life-saver for our society. In publicizing SKCGS meetings, we’ve announced them here in the blog, on the Washington State events page https://wasgs.org/eventListings.php?nm=76 and in the local newspapers. But most of our visitors report that they find our meetings at ConferenceKeeper, and they tend to come back!

Virtual Genealogical Society Advantages

The Benefits of a Virtual Genealogical Society by Katherine Willson https://www.vivid-pix.com/ondemandclasses ($1.99 for 30 days rental) discusses some of the reasons societies go virtual, the benefits and some drawbacks. We are experiencing few of the drawbacks because of our use of Groups.io and Google Suite.

“The elephant is not in the room because there isn’t a room for an elephant”

Not yet mentioned is social distancing. Most of our population does not want to risk exposure. In our case, the facilities we were using no longer allow groups.

Increasingly we’re finding that people like access to meetings without having to leave home. Webinars and other video lectures and podcasts are booming. We want to be part of that! One advantage we didn’t anticipate is that nationally known speakers are still available for presentations. This opportunity is less expensive for our general membership, and has many advantages for the speakers as well. Virtual session contracts include no travel or hotel expenses and the speakers experience no travel fatigue, which is also true for our attendees.

There are now new ways to cooperate with neighboring organizations–societies, museums, libraries. We can advertise on each others’ platforms, do joint sponsorship of more expensive sessions, and give all of our members and patrons more ease of access.

We don’t know what the new “normal” will be or when it will settle in. The group that doesn’t act now will not be around to participate then.

Please thank the South King County Genealogical Society for letting me post this SKCGS blog. They have a very good blog and it is well worth your time reading it.

Coming To America

Talk: Coming to America, on Thursday, 20 August, 6-7:30 online.


South King County Genealogical Society President Barbara Mattoon will present Coming to America about how our immigrant ancestors got here, and how to find the records about their journeys. Online through the King County Library System Thursday, August 20, 2020 from 6 – 7:30 pm. 
Register here:

Word will spread quickly, so register soon. 

South King County Genealogical Society August Events

Monday, August 10, 1 – 3 pm: Genetic Genealogy/DNA Interest Group. DNA Catch-Up: Share Useful Techniques and Tips To Use DNA for Genealogy. For meeting invitations, reminders and discussion, join https://skcgs.groups.io/g/Genetic-Genealogy

Monday, August 17, 1 – 3 pm: Technology User Group. Data Mining/Web Scraping for Genealogy and Family History Research. For meeting invitations, reminders and discussion, join https://skcgs.groups.io/g/TUG

Monday, August 24, 1 – 3 pm: Genealogy Chat. Meet up and chat about genealogy subjects and topics. We have no agenda; we just like one another! Join https://skcgs.groups.io/g/Society for invitations, reminders and discussion.

Online: Genealogy-Homestead, Land of My Own

Online: Genealogy-Homestead, Land of My Own

Thursday, 23 July 2020 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Presented by MaryLynn Strickland and South King County Genealogical Society.
Register here: https://kcls.bibliocommons.com/events/5f091eb73446bf2e0091e71d

Since its inception, the growth of the United States has been based on its westward expansion by hearty individuals who were willing to meet the challenges of the frontier. These ancestors obtained land, developed it and left its heritage for us to appreciate.

After a brief review of land description terms, we will use genealogical databases such as Ancestry.com and land patents and military warrants at the General Land Office website to locate our ancestors’ homesteads. Then we will use online applications to find the old homestead on modern maps, even down to Google street view!

Registration required: https://kcls.bibliocommons.com/events/5f091eb73446bf2e0091e71d

South King County Genealogical Society July Events

Monday 13 July 2020, 1-3 pm: Genetic Genealogy/DNA group. Topic: Using the Leeds Method to sort your DNA Matches. Please join https://skcgs.groups.io/g/Genetic-Genealogy for meeting invitations and reminders.

Monday, 20 July 2020, 1-3 pm: Tech User Group. Topic: “Deep web” of FamilySearch unindexed images: How to find, link them to people in your tree, and cite them in your reports. This will draw on education we have received in the past about record indexing systems, analysis of the image filmstrip rolls, and how to find and use the excellent FamilySearch citations. To receive invitations and meeting reminders, please join https://skcgs.groups.io/g/TUG
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