Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010 Best State Websites

Family Tree Magazine has compiled a list of the 75 "best" state websites for genealogy and is kindly making that list--complete with links to take you directly to the sites--available to everyone. What a great way to celebrate Family History Month and Archives Month! Check the list out at:
And, this Family Tree Magazine article reminds us “If you can’t visit your ancestor’s state archives in person, find out whether you can borrow materials or order photocopies through interlibrary loan. Many archives offer research services for a fee, or you can hire a local researcher to do lookups for you.”
Of course, our own state's Digital Archives site is included, as is the Washington Secretary of State's digital newspaper site.
Take some time (when the rains begin) to explore the state sites for places where your families resided. It's pretty amazing how many digital records some of the states have posted.

In other news, I'm thrilled to report that we have over 100 pre-registrations for our Fall Seminar this Saturday. I saw a copy of the syllabus this morning, and it's chock-full of great resources for genealogists at all levels of experience. I'm sure everyone will learn something useful this Saturday. Hope to see you all at the Nordic Museum.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October is Family History Month!

How are you celebrating Family History Month this year?
How about learning a new genealogy skill or introducing a friend to genealogy?
The SGS Fall Seminar is scheduled for October 23rd this year and is focusing on U.S. migration routes in the 18th and 19th centuries. Most of our ancestors arrived in the U.S. on the east coast [think Castle Garden, Ellis Island, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore....] but didn't necessarily stay there. Future generations tended to travel west. This all day seminar focuses on the routes our ancestors took and how to track their travels. Do you know when and where your ancestors first arrived in the U.S.? Do you know how and when they moved and what routes they took? Is there a gap (or two?) in your family history and you're not sure where to look to fill it? There's a good chance your family followed the same routes as thousands of others in their quest for land or a better living. Come to our Fall Seminar and learn where to find the records you're missing. Registration information and a list of topics and speakers are available on our website at Early registration ends October 15th; after that, the price increases, so please send in your registration now.
Leading up to the Fall Seminar we have two related presentations. On Sunday, October 10th, Karen Sipe, a Seattle area professional genealogist, will be speaking on Passenger Arrival Records. You'll learn where to find them, what they look like, and what information you can gain from them.
On Monday, October 18th, Jean Roth will be speaking and illustrating New York Emigrant Arrivals. She's got some great photos of the immigrant experience at Castle Garden and Ellis Island. Have you been told that your ancestor's name was changed at Ellis Island? Come and learn why that's probably not the case.
On Saturday, October 30th, the SGS Library will be open to non-members for a free day of research. If you've got friends who might be interested in family history, bring them by the SGS Library on the 30th and show them the many and varied resources we have available.
Information on all of these programs and events is available on our website.