Stay Home – Stay Healthy

Stay Home – Stay Healthy

In accordance with the directive to Stay Home-Stay Healthy, the Sno-Isle Genealogical Society library will be closed through at least April 25th.

If you were scheduled for the German/Scandinavian consultation or a Brick Wall consultation you should have been contacted to get those rescheduled.

Have a question about Genealogy? Leave it on our Facebook page and we’ll try to help.

We look forward to seeing you all soon.

Snohomish County Maps

Snohomish County Maps

LOSHO (the League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations) is taking an inventory of historical assets across unincorporated Snohomish County. They maintain a mapping system that allows users to overlay a variety of vintage maps accurately scaled to match modern survey references.

The maps allow users to easily compare the historical maps (including homestead lines) and modern parcel surveys and aerial photographs. 

While the mapping system is comprised of over 330GB of data (too much for them to conveniently share online), much of the capability has also been streamlined for online access:​

1) An interactive online map allowing the user to explore Snohomish County ca. 1910 can be accessed on a PC, tablet, or smartphone at:

2) An interactive online map allowing the user to overlay maps from 1910 through 1975, original homesteads, early railroads, and “County Corners”, and to explore them on a PC, tablet, or smartphone at:

3) A map of 465 significant items, comprised of a subset of the 2015 Historic Resource Scan contracted by Snohomish County augmented with LOSCHO additions, can be found at

You can find more information on their website.

Working with Probate Records

Working with Probate Records

Kathy Morrow put together a wonderful list of resources for working with probate records.

Why is working with probate records so important? Let’s face it, most of the people we research as genealogists are deceased. A probate record, the court-supervised process of validating a deceased’s will, can be very helpful in finding relations to that person, in discovering land holdings, or gleaning that nugget of information that will help you break through a persistent brick-wall. Knowing how these records work, how to find them, and the easiest way to navigate through the process can make these invaluable records a wonderful resource for your research.

Probate is the court-supervised process of validating a will if the deceased made one. Probate steps are similar even if there isn’t a will, and includes identifying assets and determining their value, paying outstanding bills and taxes, determining the care of dependents, and distributing the remainder of the estate to their rightful beneficiaries. Each state has specific laws in place, and there is generally a special probate court with its own judge. (Source: What is probate?)


For Beginners

Genealogy Terms

  • Testate: a person who died having made and left a legally valid will
  • Intestate: a person who died having made no will, or whose will is found not legally valid.

Quick Tips and Favorite Links

Have a useful genealogy site or resource?   Let us know and we’ll be glad to share it.
Everything old is new again

Everything old is new again

In addition to our new monthly meeting location, the Library has been making some improvements to help you with your research even when you can’t physically visit us.

Our librarians are continuously reviewing our research material to make sure we have the most appropriate research material available and that we aren’t taking up valuable space with duplicates. What happens to those duplicates? We place them on our Used Book Shelf!

The Library is excited to announce that you can know look at available Used Book titles online. You can find this listing at .

We hope to have online payment available, however at this time you’ll either need to stop in the Library to pick-up and pay for your book or call us at 425-775-6267 to pay over the phone and arrange shipping. Shipping charges will be added to the cost of the book.

Take a look at the available books. You never know what gem you will find.

US Citizenship and Immigration Service Fee Increase Proposed

US Citizenship and Immigration Service Fee Increase Proposed

In November of 2019, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) proposed a nearly 500% increase in the fee for records searches and records provided by it’s Genealogy Program.

Under the proposed fee increase the cost of a records search would go from $65 to $240, while the cost for copies of a record would increase from $65 to $385. If this fee increase goes into effect the cost of obtaining a single record would be $625 – more than a decent 65″ flatscreen TV.

For many genealogy enthusiasts this cost increase would effectively halt their ability to utilize the USCIS records as the cost would simply be too extravagant for one record, much less the many records that the average genealogist would want to search.

You can read more about this proposed hike on the Board for Certification of Genealogists blog.

New Meeting Location

New Meeting Location

Have you heard the exciting news?

Beginning with our January meeting on January 8th the Sno-Isle Genealogical Society will be hosting their general meetings and events at the Wicker’s Building in Heritage Park.

This larger space gives us more flexibility for hosting meeting, events, and gatherings.

Our January meeting featuring Kent Morgan discussing The Oregon Trail. Check out our calendar for this and other meetings.

As always, members and guests are welcome to attend so bring a friend and share with them the fun of genealogy.

Free Beginning Genealogy Class at NWGC

Free Beginning Genealogy Class at NWGC

The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society is offering a free Beginning Genealogy Class on August 14th from 1:00pm to 4:30pm.

From the website:

If you are intrigued by your family history either because you’ve watched those Ancestry ads on television or perhaps you’ve inherited years of research from another relative, Beginning Genealogy will get you started on the road to success! You’ll learn the basics of family history research, develop strong research habits, discover tips and tricks for Ancestry, FamilySearch and other websites, and then take the next steps to continue your genealogy journey!

Presenter:  Thomas MacEntee

Registration is required.
Northwest Genealogy Conference

Northwest Genealogy Conference

The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society is holding the 2019 Northwest Genealogy Conference on August 14 – 17 at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center in Arlington.

Early Bird registration discount ends on April 15th.

This multi-day conference features speakers from around the country covering topics from the modern, using DNA, to the traditional, how newspapers can help with your research.

Visit to learn more about this fun and exciting conference.

Announcing the DNA Learning Series

Announcing the DNA Learning Series

Seattle and Sno-Isle Genealogical Societies are co-sponsoring a monthly, seven class DNA Learning Series. The class will be held at Mountlake Terrace Sno-Isle Library, from 6:00-7:45pm, starting the third Thursday, on April 18, 2019. The series builds slowly, workshop style using your own computer and has homework assignments. Due to the venue, participation is limited to 45 society members with advanced registration.

Classes include: Intro to DNA testing [who, what and where to test]; yDNA & Mitochondrial DNA testing and results; Test Results are in… Now what [what to look for, analysis and organization of your results]; Autosomal DNA Ethnicity and inheritance & X Chromosome; Using Gedmatch/Genesis and 3rd Party Tools [learn about tools online to assist you in DNA analysis]; Special DNA tools at Ancestry & MyHeritage [and online tools that mimic those]; and the last class covers Advanced Techniques. Instructors are Craig K. Gowen and Cary Bright.

For questions and to register send an email to

This is a free offering to members of Seattle or Sno-Isle Genealogical Societies.

Visit our event calendar for dates.

Voice Your Opinion on the Proposed Vital Records Access Restrictions

Voice Your Opinion on the Proposed Vital Records Access Restrictions

The easiest way to submit comments on the proposed vital records access changes is on the legislative website (

It’s pretty intuitive since it automatically comes up with the number of the bill, but for anyone who would like a bit of help with it here’s a pdf with step-by-step instructions.

Proposed Changes to Vital Records Access

Proposed Changes to Vital Records Access

ALERT to proposed changes to access to Vital Records
in the State of Washington, SB 5332-2019-20.

Currently, Washington is an open records state.  Change has been proposed by the Dept. of Health to restrict access to Vital Records in our state.  DOH is proposing changes based on a “best practices” in vital records control and recommendations from the Federal Government, citing privacy concerns and identity theft.   These changes will affect all genealogists!

Here is a brief summary of the proposed changes:
Placing restrictions on release of records to the public:

  • 100 years for live birth and fetal death
  • 50 years for death, marriage, divorce, annulment, legal separation and dissolution of domestic partnerships

Placing restrictions on who certified copies of Vital Records (birth, death, marriage, and divorce) may be released to:

  • Birth Certificates will only be released to the “subject of the record” (yourself), the subject’s spouse or domestic partner, child, parent, step-parent, sibling, grandparent, legal guardian, legal representative or authorized representative before the 100 year embargo.
  • Death Certificates will be released to the decedent’s spouse or domestic partner, child, parent, step-parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, legal guardian immediately prior to death, legal representative, authorized representative or next of kin as specified in RCW 11.28.120 before the 50 year embargo.
  • Certificate of Fetal Death will be released to a parent, a parent’s legal representative, an authorized representative, sibling or a grandparent before the 100 year embargo.

New Provisions: 

  • The State may issue an informational copy to a vital record to anyone.  Informational copies must contain only the information “allowed by rule”.
  • Informational death copies will not include information related to the cause of death and manner of death.
  • “Authorized representative” will include genealogists.  This will require a notarized letter of permission from next of kin and personal identification.
  • Applicants will be required to provide identification and proof of relationship to obtain certified copies of vital records.

WSGS has been working with the Records Preservation and Access Committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies on this issue.
WSGS has taken the position that:

  • Vital Records are the backbone of our profession and hobby.  Access to these records is essential to our work and embargo periods to records are unnecessarily restrictive.
  • We support keeping all Vital Records open.  Access to vital records has not been demonstrated to increase the risk of identity theft.  We believe that keeping birth, marriage, divorce and death records open does more to prevent identity theft.
  • Keeping the cause of death on Informational Death Records is essential to genetic and forensic genealogists.
  • We support proposed changes to cover the cost for providing access to Vital Records.
  • Redaction of Social Security numbers on an Informational Copies of Vital Records is supported.

We are asking all of you to please contact your local Senator, the members of the Senate Law and Justice Committee and the sponsors of the bill; Sen. Jamie Pederson, Sen. Ann Rivers, Sen. Claire Wilson, Sen. Maureen Walsh, Sen. Emily Randall, Sen. Annette Cleveland and Sen. Marko Liias.  This bill is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Law and Justice Committee on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019 at 10am.  Please submit your comments before Thursday!
The proposed changes to the Vital Records Initiative, SB 5332 – 2019 – 20, can be read in its entirety at the link below.  You use this link to access a copy of the bill and/or make comments.

Thank you for your attention.  Sincerely,
Virginia Majewski, President, Washington State Genealogical Society

Washington Digital Newspapers Program

Washington Digital Newspapers Program

The following announcement was written by the Washington State Library:

The Washington State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State, has launched a new website for the Washington Digital Newspapers program:

The site features new titles in the State Library’s digital newspaper collection, with full-text article search of more than 400,000 pages from the State Library’s collection of historic Washington newspapers. Visitors can interact with the site with the help of text correction features to improve search results on dark or damaged pages, by attaching subject tags to articles, and saving their search history for larger research projects.

“This new resource provides students and other researchers with access to a rich trove of publications across decades of Washington history,” State Librarian Cindy Aden said. “Through viewing these historic digitized newspapers, it’s possible to understand important Washington experiences as they were viewed by the people who lived them.”

The Washington Digital Newspapers program brings together the library’s earliest pioneer-era online collection with titles digitized as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The State Library’s newspaper collection in Olympia contains more than 6,500 newspaper titles, including more than 50,000 reels of microfilm and newspapers in German, Vietnamese, Danish, and Greek. As a rich source of primary materials for teachers, students, genealogists, and professional researchers it’s one of the best “go-to” places to find Washington newspapers.

“The new site will make it easier for people to browse our historic newspaper collection on a stable platform that will make researching fun and informative,” said Shawn Schollmeyer, National Digital Newspaper Project director at Washington State Library. “This project has been a great way to learn about events and people in our state past and present, as well as meeting the people in our cities who are proud and passionate about their communities.”

Partnerships with museums, libraries, archives, and publishers from across the state allow the State Library to preserve newspapers and the cultural heritage of these communities. The collection’s newest titles, added just this year, are Anacortes American editions from 1890 to 1922 and the Catholic Northwest Progress from 1900 to 1945. A new partnership with the Cashmere Museum and NCW Media will bring archived issues from 1906 to 1940 of the Cashmere Valley Record to view later in the year. The program is scheduled to add approximately 100,000 new newspaper pages to the digital collection each year.

Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.

Source: Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, citing Washington State Library announcement

You can read the Washington State Library announcement, including information on getting an ecard, at

Washington State Genealogical Society Blog Items

Washington State Genealogical Society Blog Items

The Washington State Genealogical Society has posted new blog items which might be of interest.

* Wednesday Nostalgia

* Tuesday Trivia

* Monday Mystery

* Lower Columbia Genealogical Society December Meeting

* Friday Serendipity

* GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News

* Heritage Quest Research Library Developing Roadmap to Success

Family History Center Holiday Break

Family History Center Holiday Break

The Shoreline Family History Center (22015 48th Ave W, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043) will be closed for the holidays starting Monday, 17 December and will reopen Wednesday, 2 January at 9 am.
The  January SIGS General Meeting starts at 6:30 pm on Wednesday January 2nd.

The SIGS January General Meeting will feature Craig Gowans will be presenting on Melungeons.


DNA eWorkshop: After the Test

DNA eWorkshop: After the Test

For members that are interested, Family History Fanatics is conducting an online “DNA Workshop: After the Test” the evenings of Nov 9, Dec 6, and Dec 13. Participants will learn about what they can do with their DNA results after the test and how to start using this powerful genealogical tool. 

Six hours of interactive instruction for the early bird price is $24.99 through November 18th and $29.99 thereafter.

More details and registration can be found at:

Feel free to let any of your friends or family know about this workshop.

New Washington State Genealogical Society Programs

New Washington State Genealogical Society Programs

The Washington State Genealogical Society Blog has posted new items this week.

Here are some you might be interested in:

 * Eastern Washington Genealogical Society November Canadian Seminar

 * International German Genealogy Conference

* Skagit Valley Genealogical Society Educational Program

 * Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington November Event

SIGS at the Western Heritage Center

SIGS at the Western Heritage Center

Betty Gaeng and Phylis Jorgenson recently hosted our information table at the Western Heritage Center at the Monroe Fairgrounds, complete with our recently completed SIGS banner. Our banner is hanging in the Commercial building, alongside others. The glass ball sitting on the side of our SIGS table was put there for safety reasons as our banner sticks out. We were using a round table.

Our new banner, six foot high!

Betty Gaeng standing next to our display (the big glass ball was for safety – the banner stuck out).

Shoreline Family History Center Announces Upcoming Classes

Shoreline Family History Center Announces Upcoming Classes

The Shoreline Family History Center has announced three upcoming classes for family history researchers, each available on both a weekday and weekend to suit your schedule. The 90 minutes classes will be held at the Shoreline Family History Center. The three classes are:

    Introduction to DNA for Family History

    Thursday, October 18 from 7:00-8:30 pm
    Saturday, October 27 from 10:00-11:30am

    Due to heavy demand, this class, which was initially offered last spring, will be repeated. The class will discuss the basics of DNA as it applies to family history. You will learn about what DNA can and cannot do to assist you in discovering and understanding your ancestors. The class will discuss the types of DNA tests that are offered by the testing companies, and what each type of test will do. This will allow you to select the company and test which best fits your family history goals.

    Understanding Your DNA Test Results

    Thursday, November 8 from 7:00-8:30pm
    Saturday, December 1 from 10:00-11:30am

    This class will discuss what your DNA test results mean, and what family history information you can obtain from those results. You will learn how to interpret your ethnicity information. You will be introduced to possible ways to identify unknown relatives using your DNA test.

    Organizing and Preserving Family History Photos

    Thursday, January 10 from 7:00-8:30pm
    Saturday, January 26 from 10:00-11:30am

    Do you have a box of old photos stored somewhere in your house? If you do nothing, those valuable pieces of your family history can be lost due to deterioration or loss of information on who was photographed. This class can help you learn how to organize and preserve your family history photos before it is too late. it will cover traditional and digital preservation of photos. You will learn how to prevent loss of photos due to acid paper or deteriorating photos. The class will cover ways to electronically preserve photos. You will learn methods of preserving identification of persons in photos.

    For more information on these classes, including how to register, please visit

    Theme: Elation by Kaira.
    Lynnwood, Snohomish County, Washington