News Updates from the Seattle Genealogical Society

April 30, 2020


To: SGS Genealogical community,
Re: Closure of SGS in the near future

In an abundance of caution, the SGS Library will be closed as follows:

1. The Library will be closed the month of May. The Board will consider that June 2, 2020 is the next possible open date.
2. We will have no programs or group meetings until the end of June, following the Seattle Public Libraries model.
3. Starting June 18, 2020 and subject to modification by the Board or the President, we will allow single individuals to enter the facility if they have SGS work to be accomplished,  but social distancing practices must be maintained, masks worn at all times and hands washed upon entry and frequently. The following are pre-approved for entry: Wright, McGinnis and individual Board members. All others must be pre-approved by the President.
4. The earliest we will schedule desk volunteers is June 16, 2020.
5. The Board will revisit this at our next Board meeting May 11, 2020, but the incoming president has the flexibility to make changes to the above if situations change and are warranted.

With our vulnerable population, it is wise to err on the side of caution. I thank you for your cooperation.

Stay safe!

Jill Morelli, CG
Seattle Genealogical Society, President
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


What was life like in Seattle in the 1870's and 1880's? Our April contributor, Valarie, writes a local history blog, Wedgwood in Seattle History. She shared the story of Viola Kenyon, an early Seattle homesteader and teacher. Read about Viola here and on Valarie's blog.

SGS 2020 Spring Virtual Seminar
with Dr Fritz Juengling: Old European Records

Saturday, May 16, 2020
9:00 am - 1:00 pm PDT 
The SGS Spring Seminar has gone virtual! Dr. Fritz Juengling will present a talk via Zoom on "Old European Records Research" including presentations on: 
“Names - Their Origins, Meanings, and Characteristics" - Meanings of given names and the four types of surnames.   
"Historical Events that Affect European Genealogical Research" - Learn about historical events, such as wars and foreign occupation, and their impact on European research.
"The Genealogical Value of Guild Records" - The history, structure, and purpose of guilds.
Zoom space is limited to the first 97 registrants. There are still seats available. 
Cost:  SGS Members $30.00, Non-Members $40.00
Register for Online Seminar
Registration must be submitted before 9:00 pm Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Registrants will receive a link to the Zoom meeting and a Syllabus by email on May 15th.

SGS members, it's time to renew for 2020-21. We're experts at exploring the past, but this year let's take a step into the future. 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, the modern way!
Yes, you must first log in to your member account - then your renewal button will be just a click away. If you haven't tried logging in yet, now is your chance. Go here: Members Home
Remember, you can always email for help to
Are you an eNews! reader who hasn't joined SGS yet? You too can join the modern way! 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 individual, $50.00 dual (two at the same mailing address). Click here: Join SGS


Just a note, SGS will not be participating in GiveBig Washington 2020 and will instead focus on our annual donation drive around the winter holidays. If you would like to donate now, please go to our website, or mail in your donation. Thank you.

Spring 2020 SGS Seminar
with Fritz Juengling: Old European Records Research

Saturday, May 16, 2020
*** Online Event ***
9:00 am - 1:00 pm PDT
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  Register for Online Seminar 
Check the SGS Web Site for additions, changes,  and corrections. 
*** In consideration of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, the SGS Library is closed for the month of May and all SGS in-person events for May 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! 

Date: Friday, May 1, 2020
Time: 12:30 pm PDT

Webinar: Friedrich Christian Eiler: Scoundrel, Bigamist, and More 
Presenter: Jill Morelli

Not all our ancestors are fine upstanding citizens, but Friedrich challenged all parameters of exemplary citizenship. But, who was Friedrich Eiler? The ability to combine fragments of identity to form a single individual is an important skill. This case study illustrates the techniques used to identify the unknown!

The Eastside Germanic SIG of the Eastside Genealogical Society has invited SGS members and friends to join in this event.   
No pre-registration required. Meeting live, online via Zoom.

Follow this link to join:

After entering the link, use this password: 367866
Meeting ID: 978 964 694


Saturday, May 9, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm PDT

Second Saturday Series : "1890-1920 – The Progressive Era and Women’s Rights"
Presenter: Heidi Mair

A wide range of social movements arose across the U.S. from 1890 - 1920, a period known as the Progressive Era. Progressive reformers sought to end political corruption, improve the lives of individuals and increase government intervention to protect citizens. How did the Progressive Era impact women in their communities, including your ancestors?

Meeting live, online via Zoom.

Follow this link to join in:

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Time: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm PDT

Online class : "How to Write Your Family History"
Presenter: Jill Morelli 

It is said that after three generations our ancestral stories are lost. What stories do you have of your grandparents, your parents or yourself that should be shared? Let's talk about writing those stories. I am a big proponent of "small bites", i.e. writing the short vignettes first. 
Meeting live, online via Zoom. There will be plenty of time for Q & A. 

Follow this link to join in:

The Arolsen Archives–International Centre on Nazi Persecution (formerly known as the International Tracing Service) reached a milestone this week and now has all 26 million of its documents available online. This collection includes information on 21 million people who were displaced, persecuted and murdered by the Nazis. The new uploads include data on the deportations of Jews, Roma and Sinti from the former German Empire, Austria, Bohemia and Moravia. 

What documents can you find in the Arolsen Archives and helpful hints on searching for them can be found here:


April 30, 2020
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