German Special Interest Group News

Our April meeting will take place this Friday, April 1, 2016, from 1-3 p.m. at the LDS Church at 10675 NE 20th St, Bellevue, WA 98004.

Our April topic will be three-part:

1)  What did you find at The Fiske Library on our field trip that has helped in your genealogical research?

2)  Research Tips for visiting archives, specialized genealogical libraries, courts, the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and even other countries:  What to do prior to, at the research site, and afterwards.

We hope those of you who have traveled for genealogical research, even if it is in Washington State, will share with the group!

3)  In preparation for our May 6 meeting, (at which we will break into small groups of locations in the German Empire where we are researching our ancestors, to discuss what we’ve discovered and resources particular to the locations we are researching in) we need you to fill out or update the attached Locations and Surnames Sheet.  We will also have this sheet available for you to pick up at the April 1st meeting.

You can fill it out/update it in advance of the April 1st meeting and bring it with you to turn in, or before April 23rd, you can fill it out and email it back to us at, or you can mail it to:  Karen Campbell, GIG, 2447 160th Avenue NE, Bellevue, WA 98008, or, if you need to, you can just email us the information at

Please feel free to share this email and invite your friends and relatives–all are welcome to our free meetings!   If you invited them to the May 6 meeting, please have them fill out the sheet and send it back to us so they can participate!

You can tell them that the German Interest Group (GIG) is a special genealogy interest group affiliated with the Eastside Genealogical Society.  The GIG consists of members and visitors who have an interest in German genealogy and, whose ancestors came from the areas of the old principalities in and around the areas of what is now currently Germany, from Germany after it became its own country in 1871, and whose ancestors moved from Germany to other countries, such as the Germans from Russia, or immigrated to other countries, such as the USA or Canada.


Genealogical News Items

FamilySearch Website Tip by Bob Barnes

For those of you who are not frequent users of the FamilySearch website one of their recent upgrades may have gone unnoticed. If, however, you use this site to conduct place name searches for locating records pertaining to your ancestors, and in this manner dig down into the catalog’s historical records and microfilm holdings, you may have had a rather pleasant surprise.  As you examine the holdings in each category e.g. land records, for example, you will observe all the microfilms have one or more icons associated with them. The first icon is a microfilm reel. Click on this and you will be taken to the ordering instructions if you want to order the film from Salt Lake, same as before. But if the microfilm title has a camera icon in addition to the microfilm reel icon, click on the camera icon and the microfilm page images are displayed and you can view the entire microfilm right from the comforts of your own home to your heart’s content. These are unindexed microfilms, so you may have to browse the entire microfilm (typically 500-800 images).

I was really fortunate because I was researching Cumberland County, PA, grantor and grantee indexes from about 1750 to 1940 which are alphabetical, sort of, and the entries are ordered by date on each page, and each page in the index has an internal locator that uses the first two letters of the last name and the first letter of the first name and gives the page number on which it appears so it is easier to use. This index allows one to identify names of the parties involved, when the transaction was initiated and finalize and gives the specific volume and page number of the actual deed, so in my case the index was not an end in itself as I still have to order the microfilm showing the actual deed itself but I am one step closer.

Bob Barnes

Upcoming Genealogy Classes at the Bellevue Regional Library

Here is a schedule of upcoming genealogy classes to be held in the Bellevue Regional Library computer lab:

May 2nd, Monday 7-9 PM, “Searching for Genealogists”.  This class will discuss and use a variety of surname/first name search strategies including finding surname variants, using wildcards, doing Google searches (free form and advanced),  searches using Ancestry (surname/first name) and FamilySearch (surname and place name) and whatever else comes to mind.

 May 11th, Wednesday, 2-4 PM, “Searching for Genealogists”.  Same as above but during the day rather than in the evening.

 May 21st, Saturday, 2-4 PM, “Using the United States Census and Census Substitutes”.  In this class we use the library edition of Ancestry to examine  federal census records from 1790 to 1940 and learn techniques for finding ancestors who at first glance appear to have been overlooked by the enumerator but really weren’t. We will also explore some of the census substitutes like city directories and state censuses and tax records which can locate our ancestors as well as provide supplementary and highly complementary data to that contained in the federal census.

 All classes will be taught by Bob Barnes.  Registration is required; to sign up, please call the library at 425-450-1765. 


Eastside Genealogical Society News — Upcoming Events

As some of you may know, our regular website is not working at this time. Our site is hosted by and they are working to solve this problem. So be sure to check this blog for updates and news in the meantime.

Here are some upcoming events that you may want to know about:

  1. EGS Meeting on Thursday March 10th, 7:00 PM at the Bellevue Library. Topic will be “For the Record: Writing Family Stories” by Claire Gebben. Have you ever wanted to record the family stories, but don’t know where to start? Have you written down some of your family history, but aren’t sure how to share it with others? Through exploration of formats, methods, and writing tips, this presentation will guide you through the process of getting those stories written down for posterity.Claire Gebben is the author of The Last of the Blacksmiths, a novel set in the mid-19th century based on the true story of her German immigrant great-great grandfather. Ms. Gebben’s articles have appeared in Family Chronicle Magazine, Fiske Genealogical Foundation Newsletter, and her piece on historic Zoar Village will appear in the June/July issue of German Life magazine. She is the historian of the 160-year-old First United Methodist Church of Seattle, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing through the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts.
  2. The German Special Interest Group meeting will be on Friday, March 4, 2016, from 1 – 3 p.m.  Location:  the LDS Church at 10675 NE 20th St, Bellevue, WA 98004  Our Program:  “X-DNA Basics–A Look At X-DNA Inheritance Patterns and How to Find   X-Chromosome Matches.”  The X-chromosome. Not as well-known, often misunderstood, this small part of our DNA has limited inheritance. Understanding the special inheritance patterns of the X-chromosome can narrow the number of possible ancestors, even eliminating some branches from contention. This presentation will give an overview of X-DNA, demonstrate how to determine X-DNA inheritance patterns, and show examples of how to find X-chromosome matches.  You will come away with information that will help you apply X-DNA results to your genealogical research! Our Speaker: Melanie Matway has a curiosity for science and an avid interest in genealogy.  Being able to combine these two pursuits through genetic genealogy has been rewarding and she enjoys sharing her knowledge and helping others understand.
  3. YOU ARE INVITED TO COME WITH US! The German Interest Group is hosting a Field Trip to The Fiske Library, in Seattle, on Friday, March 11, 2016. The plan for our time at the Library is: • We arrive at 10 am.  Note that the parking is limited so it is suggested to carpool or use the bus.  We need to be out by 3 p.m.  The address of the Fiske Library is:  1644 43rd Ave. E., Seattle, WA 98112. • The cost is $5 per person.  Photocopies cost $.25 per page so bring change. • RSVP–We need to receive an email from you BEFORE 3/3/16 confirming 1) that you are going to go on the field trip and 2) whether or not you will drive separately or that you want to carpool.  Send your email to: • To ensure this is a successful field trip for you, you will want to check the Fiske Library’s library on-line catalog and holdings before the field trip.  The URL for this is:  Also, it will help if you bring your basic family tree information to have available while you are researching at the Fiske. • Gary Zimmerman, an expert in German research, will do a presentation – The Different Routes Across the Atlantic – By Decades in the 19th Century and will take time to answer our personal questions.
    • Gary will give us an Introduction to the Fiske Library’s resources (Library tour). • Lunch:  You can stay to eat your bag lunch at the Library and do research until 3 p.m. or you can go to one of 10 nearby places to eat and then come back for research time. • A scanner is available to place images on thumb drive or send to an email address. Smartphone camera use is OK. • You may invite others to join us but you must let us know their names and whether they will drive separately or carpool with us by the deadline of Thursday, March 3rd.  Again, either you or they will need to contact
  4. The Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State proudly presents: Genealogical Research In Israel: The Records and Databases of the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) by Garri Regev, Teacher, Lecturer and Genealogist.
    Monday, March 14, 2016, Location: LDS Factoria Building, 4200 124th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98006. • Doors open at 6:30 p.m., for all to enjoy the extensive JGSWS Library and Family History Center’s genealogical resources! • Presentation starts promptly at 7:15 p.m. • FREE Wi-Fi and FREE access to for-fee genealogical websites available • Free admission and refreshments.ABOUT OUR PROGRAM
    Whether we know it or not, many of us have ancestors who immigrated to Israel and ancestors who emigrated from Israel to other countries. Please join us in welcoming Garri Regev, who will tell us about genealogical research in Israel, with particular emphasis on the records and databases contained in the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA).
    Formed by a group of long-time Israeli genealogists, IGRA is a genealogy society that seeks to help Israelis, and people world-wide who are interested in Israeli genealogy and resources uniquely available in Israel, to further their research. Records in their database include early censuses, burials, government employees, and organizational members. You will also find numerous links to research in other countries such as South and Central America.
    IGRA is bringing new technology, new energy and new excitement to genealogical research pertaining to Israel. You can access information, databases, connect with others, etc., by going to its website at: If you register for this site, you’ll receive increased access to IGRA’s and databases and stay informed on the society’s activities. Registration is free and doesn’t obligate you in any way. You can also join IGRA online and receive full membership benefits.
    Garri Regev has lived in Israel since 1978, where she taught elementary education for more than 20 years. Garri has been doing genealogical research for over 20 years. She has lectured on genealogy to many adult groups including AACI, Hadassah, Touro College, the Central Zionist Archives (CZA), the National Library of Israel (NLI), EVA/MINERVA and IAJGS Conferences. Garri currently volunteers at the Israel Museum, at the CZA and also at the NLI Genealogy Center.
    Garri is the founding president of Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA) and is Past President of the Israel Genealogical Society (IGS). She currently serves as a Director-at-Large for the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and was the Vice-Chair of the 2015 IAJGS Conference in Jerusalem and co-chair of the program committee for that Conference. In addition, Garri volunteers at the Genealogy Center at the National Library of Israel and the Central Zionist Archives.
  5. Sneak Preview of Conference on Jewish Genealogy, Monday, March 28, 2016, at the Stroum JCC on Mercer Island. This summer, from Aug. 7 to 12, Seattle will host the 36th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. This is a landmark event with leading genealogical experts and family researchers from around the world gathering at the Sheraton hotel in beautiful downtown Seattle. To explain what the conference is all about, The Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State and the Seattle Sephardic Network will host a Sneak Preview on Monday, March 28, from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM at the Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island (3801 E Mercer Way, Mercer Island). The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome! Please join us for:• A brief introduction to Jewish Genealogy and its ongoing importance to Jewish history, culture and identity
    • Highlights of the upcoming conference, including a sneak preview of the keynote address by Dr. Devin Naar, chair of the University of Washington Sephardic Studies Program
    • A presentation about Seattle’s Sephardic community (the third largest in the nation) by members of the Seattle Sephardic Network
    • Videos and slides on how to get started on your family’s history
    • A Q and A session with conference organizers
    • Flyers and promotional material
    • Sponsorship and advertising opportunities
    • Kosher cookies!

    For information about the conference, go to
    For information about JGSWS, go to
    For information about the Seattle Sephardic Network, go to
    For directions to the Stroum Jewish Community Center, go to

    Questions? Comments? Contact co-conference chair Phyllis Grossman at or publicity chair David Laskin at  RSVP while you’re at it – we’d love to have a head count!