How to Post Your Meetings & Events on the WSGS Blog and Website

Do you want to broadcast information about your local society, workshop, genealogical tip, or a research query? Just send it to the WSGS Blog and WSGS Meetings and Events! You can reach hundreds of genealogists from around the state. Just email a Word document, text file, PDF or graphic to and and we’ll do the rest!

We’re always looking to publicize local events and workshops, feature stories, updates from your society, and other genealogical information that might be of interest to our many subscribers and viewers.

We hope to hear from you soon! And don’t forget to encourage your Society members to subscribe to the Blog for the most up-to-date information from around the state.

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

The Year in Review

Well are you glad 2020 is almost over? I know I am. Lets hope 2021 will be better than 2020. Above is the Google Analytics view of the top ten most clicked on pages in the WSGS Blog for 2020 (thru December 28th).
I was not really surprised by number 1 as many subscribers just click on the blog, but I was totally surprised by number 2 as it was written by Roxanne Lowe in June of 2015 about an upcoming genealogy class at the university of Washington. I do know it popped into the top ten most clicked on posts several weeks during the year.
Number 3 on the list continues to be read and I hope it has helped a lot of societies that use Easy Net Sites.
Number 4 on the list is 2020 Seminars-Conferences which was pretty much a disappointment to everyone this year.
Number 5 and 6 are on how we are changing from in person conferences to online conferences.
Number 7 and 8 was kind of new as I had shied away from posting about the Payed genealogy sites before this. Should I cover them more in the blog?
Number 9 is kind of sad for me as it was on the death of my cousin Myra Vanderpool Gormley. Myra is probably the reason I am here blogging, and I was amazed by E-Mails I received from all over the USA after I wrote this blog post. Myra will be missed.
Number 10 is from Skagit Valley Genealogical Society one of the societies that has switched to online meetings.

Thanks for Your Help

I want to thank all the people that have been sending me the information on cancelled or postponed meetings, and hope all of you are well and not too bored to work on your genealogy while you sat away form other people. Lets hope it ends soon so we can get back to work before we all look like shaggy dogs. There are many free seminars this month so I hope you can find the one that will give you the clue to break all your brick walls.

WSGS Blog Analytics

One of the more interesting part of posting all these articles on the blog is checking to see which blog posts are read by the most people. Google Analytics keeps track of which blog posts are read the most, which have the highest bounce rate (people that only read one article), and duration of time on the article. They recently added a switch to turn off listings from known search bots which really are not blog readers.

The majority of our readers are from the United States, but we get readers from many countries, today ten countries are listed from Brazil to Slovakia. I am always amazed we get very few from Canada even though we are very close to British Columbia.

To break down where the readers are, Google Analytics also lists the city of the reader, and for the past year or so that city is Chicago. In case you did not know they collect information on conferences, seminars and even monthly genealogical programs and post them on a list of genealogical happenings for the whole country and that is done in Chicago. Number 2 on that list is always Seattle, I guess since they are the largest city in Washington. Past Seattle is a bunch of other cities that change places almost daily, but usually the next two are Spokane and Wenatchee. In this weeks top 25 is Brookline, San Francisco, Des Moines Iowa, San Antonio, Ashburn and New York. There was also two readers from Busan in Korea.

We have as of today 875 subscribers to this blog, and I guess it is one of the largest of any of the blogs from the Easy Net sites that many genealogical societies subscribe to. Only about half of those subscribed read the blog weekly. So how do others find the blog? Google is the most used method. All blogs are easily found by Google and all the other search engines. So what article was most searched by Google this last month? It was an article on the University of Washington genealogy Class that was posted in 2015:

Unique Sources for Research

On June 11, 2019 I wrote an article calling for the viewers of this blog to help by sending in articles that might interest our 850+ readers. I received one article and I want to thank the person that sent it in.

Last weekend the WSGS board met and we are going to try to get articles by having an idea to write articles about. This is the first one on unique sources for your research that may be hidden in your genealogical society library, a local museum, or privately owned.

Eastern Washington Genealogical Society had collected what we called the postal forwarding books. They were city directories that had been taken apart, 4 blank lined pages added between each city directory page then they were rebound in books about an inch thick, so you might get a 1915 A as one book, 1915 B another book and so on. EWGS has about 200 of these books, earliest is 1903 and the last ones are in WWII. There are many missing letters. We contacted the post office in Washington DC to see is this was done anywhere else in the country, and they were surprised any post office did this. Unlike normal city directories that only went to the city limits, the postal forwarding addresses also includes county residents that had their mail forwarded also.

1915 L-Mc page

Notice the red line in each column, the page is divided into 4 parts, pages 1 and 2 in the left column and pages 3 and 4 in the right column. Notice also some of the new addresses are in this page where they crossed out the old address and added the new address.

1915 Page 3 forwarding addresses

Notice some people moved several times Miss Agnes McLean has 4 addresses on this page, the first three crossed out. Most new addresses are still in Spokane, but many are in other cities or states.

1915 Postal Forwarding addresses Page 4

These books used to be on the shelves in the genealogy section of the Spokane Public library, but their condition got so bad they were pulled and put in storage in the library. You could still look at them but you had to ask at the office for someone to bring it up from storage. A grant from Washington Digital Heritage has allowed the library to start putting them online so everyone can have access. 1915 and older are online here:

So do you know of a unique source that would interest other genealogists? Write a small article preferably in Word, with or without graphics and send it to me Charles Hansen at

DNA Painter – A Cool New Tool

Have you found a DNA match but you can’t figure out how you are related? Who is your Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA)? DNA Painter is a fairly new tool that just might solve the puzzle. is a free on-line program that “paints” (pastes, really) your DNA comparison with a match. It uses a chromosome browser from 23andme, MyHeritage or FamilyTreeDNA. It will not work with DNA as that site does not have a chromosome browser. And you will need permission from your match to share chromosome information.

First of all, read the tutorial which will walk you through the step-by-step process. It takes about an hour to do the tutorial. You don’t need to completely understand the science of what all those numbers mean. Just remember: the greater the number of centiMorgns (cMs) you share with a match, the more closely you are related.

You then begin painting matches into Painter. I recommend starting with a known cousin to use as a control. I chose a known maternal cousin and a known paternal cousin.

When you paste a match into DNA Painter, the shared segments show up as a colored line on various chromosomes. As you paint more and more matches you will see where the segments overlap. It is a very graphic visual that shows those overlapping segments in a very visual pattern.

Using known cousins gives you clues as to which side the unknown matches are on. Once you know which side of the family your match is on, you can then start searching for documentation. Of course, you will be emailing back and forth with your match to exchange more information.

If you don’t have any known cousins, don’t worry, Painter still can help you. Once you have painted several matches you will begin to see patterns. Since several of the DNA testing sites also ask you for your ancestors’ birth places, you can compare that information with your matches. Also, your ethnicity and your matches ethnicity estimates provide clues.

DNA Painter is not the be all and end all of genealogical research. It is a very helpful tool. Give it a try. You just may get hooked!

This is from Barbara Gorham Johnson the WSGS Region 1S representative. Thanks Barbara. You too can have your blog post published here, just contact me

Call for Blog Articles

If you have noticed the blog has been rather boring lately, the lists of meetings is very important, probably the most used part of the blog. The articles of interest have always been near the top of the most read articles each week, so I am asking for our members to submit articles to me to post on the blog. It could be a local attraction, a historical society, a cemetery, a project your society is working on, a review of a book, review of a genealogy program, a tip of the week. or anything else that might interest 800+ Washington State genealogists. Although many people reading this blog are not from Washington, the top city for readers has been Chicago for months edging out Seattle by a large margin.

My E-Mail is