Enrich your life! Volunteer

by Valorie Zimmerman

You're busy, I know. You barely have time to do your genealogy work. So why would you take on yet another job?

It's really quite simple. Think about how you want to make the world a better place, and make your life richer and more valuable. Working with partners whom you respect has a lot of value in itself. However, bringing a big project to fruition with those people feels incredible! And there is still time to do genealogy research.

Almost a year ago, two women whom I barely knew - Dorothy Pretare and Marilyn Schunke - and I began meeting to review and improve our society bylaws. Looking back, I see that we were extraordinarily well matched for the work, although we didn't realize that at first. Fortunately they both knew how to start, which was with lots of research. We reached out to our contacts in and out of SKCGS, to get our Articles of Incorporation, all the old SKCGS Bylaws we could find, as well as many other Washington and US societies. We …

How Many Siblings? Let Me Count the Ways….

By Kathleen MacLeod Hanzeli

On 23 April 1991, my father in law, Victor E. L. Hanzeli, died.  He was 65.  He was born in Budapest, Hungary on 21 October 1925, an only child.  He lived through the Nazi occupation and the siege of Budapest, which was the second longest of World War II (102 days.)  He had been a seminary student in Vienna, but due to the war he wasn’t able to complete his studies there.  Instead, he returned to Budapest, met my mother in law, escaped (with accompanying stories the likes of which movies are made!) with her and her parents and sister to the West in 1947, moved to New York City via Salzburg and Paris and eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, where my husband and his sister were born.  Later they came to Seattle, where they contributed three more children to the good of society.  Victor completed his studies, earning his Ph.D in Romance Languages and Linguistics at Indiana University in Bloomington and became a professor at the University of Washington.…

Research Trip to North Carolina and Tennessee

By Linda Blais
At our June meeting, Mary Kathryn Kozy gave us some practical tips for preparing to take a genealogy research trip.  Listening to Mary brought back memories of the last research trip I took to North Carolina and Tennessee with my cousin who acted as my research assistant. It also brought up some "aha" or "oops" moments on a couple of things that didn't go quite as planned, even though I had spent months preparing my itinerary.

Here are some basics about the trip. My goal was to visit as many historical sites, libraries, museums, courthouses and archives as I could in 10 days that were relevant to the life of Sarah Barton Murphy, who lived in North Carolina as a child between 1753 and 1760 and in Tennessee as an adult between 1781 and 1802.  She is not my ancestor, but I am in the process of writing a biography about her. Her claim to fame is that she founded the first Sunday school west of the Mississippi in 1805. The research I do for an ancesto…

Winning the West—One Stump at a Time

By Gordon Stowe—February 10, 1968

I remember of Dad clearing the field north of the house. I think the orchard area had been cleared before – but to this land clearing – I only wish I had the words to explain the hard, manual labor involved. 
It was my job to bring Dad a drink of water (in a 2 quart lard bucket) mid-way in the morning and again in the afternoon. He was grubbing out the brush, small trees and etc. Not only the brush had to be removed, but the roots as well, (big ones). This land had to be broken with a horse-drawn plow and you didn’t have any other power here, so you had to have it in good shape before you started with the plow. His procedure was to walk backwards into a clump of brush, push hard against it to lean it back a little and so he could stand straight, raise the grub-hoe over his head and swing it sideways and also glance back – to be sure he didn’t take a mighty swing and hook onto a branch behind and get hurt. Then, all set – he sunk the hoe into the groun…

2019 Outstanding Volunteer

The Washington State Genealogical Society honors volunteers who have provided outstanding service to the genealogy community at its Annual Meeting in May each year.  The South King County Genealogical Society is proud that Janet O’Conor Camarata was honored this year. Janet served SKCGS as President from 2013 -2015, and as Publicity Chair for nine years. She founded our popular Technology Users Group, and this year co-founded our new Genetic Genealogy/DNA Users Group.  She continues to frequently lead both groups as well as delivering genealogy education lectures statewide and beyond.

Our Bylaws Committee; Dorothy Pretare, Marilyn Schunke and Valorie Zimmerman have spent many hours this past year reviewing and rewriting our Bylaws and producing our first Standing Rules.  The adoption of these proposed bylaws will totally change the governance and operation of our Society.  Your Board of Directors has recommended the adoption of the bylaws.  If they are adopted by the membership, the …

Fulfilling a Promise

By Janet O’Conor Camarata

Fulfilling a Promise
Placing the Headstone for William Terry Myers  1861-1937
One sunny summer afternoon in 1986, two men and a young boy stood over an unmarked pauper’s grave in a small country cemetery south of Albany and north of Evona in Gentry County, Missouri. It was a drier year than usual, and the grass was already struggling with the heat, humidity and lack of rain. It was a little greener in the south western corner of the cemetery as the course, deep rooted grass was shaded by one lone elm tree on the knoll, next to the boundary fence.  The cemetery was surrounded by small farms in a chain of treeless rolling hills. In the distance could be seen a line of willows crowding the edges of Sampson Creek as it flows into the East Fork of the Grand River.

Claude Fish, Lynn Myers and Lynn’s son, Brian stood quietly together with bowed heads as they tried to locate the actual site for the grave of a grandfather, William Terry Myers. They were standing where the…

What Are The Neighbors Up To This Summer?

By Valorie Zimmerman and MaryLynn Strickland
While gathering contact information from Washington state genealogy societies, historical and heritage groups, and museums, a gem became obvious:
The Jefferson County Historical Society, which has some fascinating places to visit also has a Research Center, which they say, “ .serves as both the primary research facility and the repository for the Society's archival collections. Staff and volunteers are on hand to assist researchers.”
See their website for more information:
This group is also active on Facebook:

Even more exciting: you can access part of their collection now, sitting at your computer!
See to search.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here are a few more interesting societies.  We do not wish to overlook anybody but space does not allow for complete coverage of every genealogical or h…