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Boston Research Trip

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By Michelle Lyons and Katie Hanzeli
In October Katie Hanzeli & Michelle Lyons travelled to Boston to attend the Fall Research Getaway of the New England Historical & Genealogical Society. This research facility holds an enormous amount of material, covering seven floors, over 30,000 family histories, manuscripts, books, etc. - literally millions of records, covering not only New England but worldwide.




In advance of our trip, NEHGS offered an hour-long webinar on preparing to do research at their facility.  It was essential viewing to make the best use of your time.  Also, prior to the workshop, participants were asked to write down information on the families they wished to research and the goals associated with each family.  Prior to our arrival the staff went over these research plans, commenting on each entry with suggestions as to how to proceed.  This was a great help in focusing our research.  Searching through their catalog was also essential in preparing for our trip. …

Greater Kent Historical Society and Museum 25th Anniversary of Cultivating Kent’s History

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By Cheri Sayer
In December 2018, the Greater Kent Historical Society (GKHS) will proudly mark their 25th anniversary!  There had been an “Old-Timers” group in Kent, WA, for many years, and it is still going strong with an annual awards event.  During a meeting in 1992, Rae Reitan, a native of Kent and the City Historian, suggested that Kent should have a legitimate Historical Society.  The idea was adopted, a committee was formed, and a campaign was held to collect artifacts and information about Kent and the surrounding area.  The Greater Kent Historical Society was formed and incorporated as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.  The next year a space at 209 W. Meeker in historic downtown Kent became the temporary home of the society and it’s collection for the next five years.  I remember well my visits to that small space with it’s artifacts and excellent exhibits.

Interest in a larger space eventually settled on the historic Bereiter home on Smith Street across from Mill Creek Ca…

November 2018 SKCGS Activities

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By Barbara Mattoon
Dave Liesse presented “Lesser Known Features of Family Tree Maker” at the Family Tree Maker Users Group November 3.  It was a fast paced, fact-filled presentation.  Dave has agreed to write it as a blog post to be published December 17, 2018. 

The Board of Directors held its regular meeting November 6.  In addition to regular business we held a round-robin discussion on how each of us could personally recruit and retain members.  Everyone made a commitment to an action that they would personally take.  You will notice that the loop is now on our web page.  Those who staff Library Help Desks committed to write personal notes to those they helped, and the President committed to write personal notes to guests attending the general meeting.  Both of these actions have been effective. 

Publicity Chair, Cheri Sayer and President Barbara Mattoon attended a Media Strategy Workshop presented by SoCo Culture on November 14.  The presenter was the Social Media Director for the…

Evolution of SoKingNews, SKCGS Newsletter

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By MaryLynn Strickland
How to begin a story or an article is usually the first thought for a writer.  The overall temper of the article may be set with specific facts or points of interest in mind, but that crucial opening sentence or paragraph can be difficult to phrase.

So too in this article but there is another element—how to close.  This is the last issue of SoKingNews as we have come to know it.  No longer will the quarterly collection of articles and notices about interest groups be emailed to members and interested societies with whom we have exchanged information.  But this is not a sad event because SKCGS has been transitioning to a new format—the weekly blog!

Since September society members have been contributing articles to the weekly blog.  If you have been following you may have enjoyed learning about the Black Diamond Historical Museum or Fiske Genealogical Library.  Maybe you got some new tips about using genealogical software or technology.  The article about Italian …

Stories and Videos of Family Members

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By Winona Laird
Family History isn’t about just gathering names and dates of our ancestors.  It’s about learning about our ancestors, where they lived, why did they live in that certain area was it because of their occupations.  Maybe it was because family before them lived in the area. What ever the answers are, research you family members or a family member for their story. Good stories don't just happen.  You have to find the Story and tell it.

I became interested in family history when I was 11 years old in a church class. We had to gather the information about ourselves and our parents and grandparents. We also had to have our parents and grandparents write a short life story about themselves. My mother and father wrote their story and just my grandmother my mother's mother side wrote her story for me. The stories were only about a page long. Years later when my grandmother passed away my aunt found a box with notes that my grandmother had written about different times in…

Veteran’s Day

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By Richard  M. Thayer

Yesterday we marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I which formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.  On 13 May 1938, a Congressional Act was approved making the 11th of November each year a legal holiday to be known as Armistice Day.  On 26 May 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill making Armistice Day a day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in the First World War.  Six days later Congress amended the bill making 11 November Veterans Day instead of Armistice Day.  We have been observing Veterans Day ever since.  Albeit not in November for seven years in the 1970’s due to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968.  Having been in the Federal work force (U.S. Air Force) in the 1970’s, I can remember the grumbling among us about holiday changes, “Why can’t Congress leave well enough alone!”


This year I want to celebrate a veteran of the U.S. C…

Have You Listened to a Podcast?

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A couple of years ago I was looking for something to listen to while I decorated my Christmas tree.  Somehow, I had heard about Ezra Klein, so I figured out how to listen to one of his podcasts on my iPhone and I was hooked.  Since then, I have explored podcasts on many topics, but recently I have been partial to genealogy podcasts.

Marketing guru Seth Godin says that podcasts are the new blogs.  (I listen to his podcast Akimbo, every week.) That could be, but I think there is still room for both forms of communication.  He also says that the backlist is as good as the current episode, and I totally agree with that.  With recently discovered podcasts, I frequently go back and listen to older episodes.

“But”, you wail, “I don’t have TIME to listen to podcasts”.  Everyone’s needs and schedules are different, but I usually listen to an episode while I am preparing and eating my breakfast.  Less frequently, I listen while traveling.

The Genealogy Guys have been podcasting since 2005.  Geor…