Genealogical Society of South Whidbey Island
old sepia photos

GSSWI Programs for 2017 - 2018

Click HERE to display programs presented during the

previous society year.

Monday September 11th: Monthly Program, 12:45 p.m.

Speaker:  Leland Meitzler
Program:  Organizing Your Electronic Genealogical DocumentsLeland Meitzler

Leland was Managing Editor of Heritage Quest until January 1996, when he accepted the position of executive editor. He became vice president, print publications and acquisitions in February 2000, and now works at the new Heritage Quest facility in North Salt Lake, Utah.

One of Leland's most popular topics is 'Organizing Your Electronic Genealogical Documents' which is the topic of this program.  It should be a great learning experience.

Monday October 9th: Monthly Program, 12:45 p.m.

Speaker:  Janice Lovelace
Program:  Newspaper  Research: What  Can  You  Find  OutJanice Lovelace

Janice Lovelace, Ph.D., has 20 years of experience in family history research as well as academic work in genealogy.  A member of the Seattle Genealogical Society for a number of years, she joined the SGS Board as Vice-President in June 2014. She is also a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Janice's most recent GSSWI program focused on railroad records.  This program will be centered on Newspaper Records and how to find and use them. Newspapers are an important source for information on your ancestors.  Learn how to find local, ethnic, religious, and organizational newspapers as well as discovering the variety of information provided. Go beyond birth, marriage and death notices to legal notices, social events, elections and advertisements.

Monday November 13th: Monthly Program, 12:45 p.m.

Speaker:  Gary Zimmerman
Program:  Hudson Valley Research

Gary Zimmerman

Gary Zimmerman, President of the Fiske Genealogy Library, will present a program on Hudson Valley research, a subject he has not previously addressed at GSSWI. Gary will cover the history of settlement in the Hudson Valley, while also identifying the best places for finding records for family research.

Gary's programs are always useful, entertaining and educational. Attend and learn from him.  In summary, his programs are always instructive and entertaining and he is one of our most popular speakers.

Monday December 11th, Holiday Program, 12:45 p.m.

Program:  Annual Holiday Potluck and Personal Research Review

Holiday Wreath Come prepared to present a few words on an interesting aspect of your current research, an interesting book you've found or anything else notable you've discovered.  Family artifacts are also appropriate.

This will be our annual Holiday potluck luncheon.  Please bring a salad, entree or dessert sufficient to serve eight people.

Monday January 8th: Monthly Program, 12:45 p.m.

Speaker: Maureen MacDonald
1880-1900: Fill in The Gap 

Maureen MacDonald
Federal Censuses are often the beginning steps to researching our family history.  The gap between 1880-1900 can seem insurmountable, but we have other resources available to us, including State Census, City Directories and other census forms.

Come and partake of the society president's expertise in this area.

Monday February 12th: Monthly Program, 12:45 p.m. 

Speaker:  Gary Zimmerman
Program:  The Settlement Of Western New York From 1780 to 1850

Gary Zimmerman

The area of land west of  Albany was the last part of New York to be settled.  Massachusetts and New York both claimed the same land on the basis of colonial charters each had received from the British Crown in the 1600's.  When that was resolved, different areas of this land were settled in four or five broad swaths of territory under unique rules for claiming and getting title to the land.  We will explore each and learn where repositories of useful records can be found.

We will deal with the Military Tract for Revolutionary War Veterans, the Phelps and Gorham Purchase, the Robert Morris reserve, and the Holland Land Company.  We will end with a review of the first "land rush," which has been called Genesee Fever.

Monday March 12th: Monthly Program, 12:45 p.m.

Speakers:  Steven Morrison
Program:   Two 30 minute Presentations
                (1) Favorite Resources For Irish Genealogy 
                (2) Irish Quakers Migration to Pennsylvania

Steven Morrison

Steven Waltz Morrison has been a professional genealogist since 2006. He is a past president of the Olympia Genealogical Society, and has served multiple positions on the board of the Puget Sound chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Steven attained a Masters Degree in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College, where he became an adjunct faculty in the graduate program for seven years. In recent years, he has advanced his genealogical education by attending (and surviving) eight genealogical institutes taught by the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and the British Institute at Salt Lake City.

Monday April 9th: Monthly Program, 12:45 p.m

Speaker:  Jill Morelli
Program:  6500 Miles & 32 Repositories:  My Travels through the Midwest Jill Morelli

Jill Morelli writes and lectures extensively in the Puget Sound (WA) area on subjects related to genealogy and her German and Scandinavian heritage. She blogs at about methodology and problem solving for the “on-the-clock” genealogist.

If you're intimidated by going to the Courthouse, Archives, State Libraries, this presentation will cover pre-trip organization, what you will find, plus how to find it with examples and lessons learned.

Monday May 14th: Monthly Program, 12:45 p.m.

Speaker:  Janet Camarata
Hidden Finds in Church Records

Janet Camarata

Janet Camerata  has researched her own family history for over 25 years.  She is a seminar presenter and trainer in genealogy societies across Washington.  She has also been a newsletter editor, program coordinator and currently, President of the South King County Genealogical Society (SKCGS). She is also a founding member of the Genealogy Training Center LLC in Kent,  a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and of the Washington State Genealogy Society. 

This program will help you with the use of Church Records as a research source.

Monday June 11th: Monthly Program, 12:45 p.m.

Speaker:  Jill Morelli
Program:  Finding your Ancestors in Swedish Records Jill Morelli

Know your Swedish parish of birth, but are intimidated about accessing records where you don't know the language? We will review basic Swedish genealogy "rules," and identify some indexes that are regionally or nation-wide to enable finding your parish of birth. Most of this presentation, however, will be using the parish records of birth, marriage and death and the household examination records of a typical parish. Swedish records are generally complete, and easy to use with a little practice and about 100 words of the language. I don’t speak the language, so if I can do it, so can you!