Google Tools For Genealogists

George Ridgeway will introduce the numerous ways genealogists can utilize Google to make their research more productive and streamlined.  Appropriate for beginners and advanced researchers.  Please create a free Google account prior to the session if you would like to follow along.  This class is put on by the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society in partnership with the Burlington Public Library.  Go to the society website or email for more information.

DNA kits and membership Sale

Hello All,

Both Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA are currently having sales.  The ancestry kits are $59 and the sale is good through August 20th. You can order them directly through or if you have amazon prime, you can order the kits there and get free shipping.  Family Tree DNA has three different kits, you can find the details here. The sale at Family Tree DNA runs through August 31st.

In addition to the DNA sale, is also running a special on their memberships.  You can find more details on their website.



(Hat tip to our society genealogist, Jennifer, for the heads up on Family Tree DNA)

All Kinds of Fun . . .Northwest Genealogy Conference

In addition to the supreme education you will receive at the Northwest Genealogy Conference, you will also have fun.  Friday will be dress as your ancestor day, we can connect with cousins with our cousin board and the relative finder website (using your family search tree) and on Saturday at lunch we will have heirloom jewelry analysis by jewelry experts so you can discover if your jewelry is trash or treasure.  Don’t miss out on the great fun – be sure to sign up for the conference today.

How One Little Hint Made the Difference: Why I am Going to the Northwest Genealogy Conference

My great-grandfather was always a mystery. Frank left his wife and 4 children in Wisconsin in 1904. The family story said he died in a circus animal accident but no one knew where or when.  He also supposedly ran away from home at an early age, taking his mother’s maiden name to be harder to locate.

At the first conference I attended, I heard about a website named Findmypast, which has an archive of thousands of old newspapers. Just for fun one day, I searched Frank’s name and up popped multiple newspaper articles about Frank and a Charles with the same last name. In reading the articles it was obvious that these were both the same man. Frank had been killed by an elephant while working for a circus in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1909. A couple of people came forward to identify the body and one was Angeline Ida Washington, from Oskaloosa, where Frank was born. She was Frank’s 1st cousin and had even babysat for him as a young child. Frank had visited her in 1904 and she knew some of his family story and had pictures that matched those in Frank’s possession. With this evidence, the coroner determined that the deceased was Frank, not Charles.

So what, you might be thinking. For me, this was all new, incredible information, but it gets better.

With this tidbit about Angeline, I started building a family tree for her. My hope was to maybe identify Frank’s parents and extended family. As I added to her tree, certain names came up that I had seen on my DNA matches, but originally I had no idea where they might connect.  I finally found a Susan Bartlow in the tree (remember the maiden name thing) who we are fairly certain is Frank’s mother. And I now have connected with multiple DNA 4th cousin matches, so we are sure we have the extended maternal family. It stretches back from Iowa, to Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Amsterdam to a small village named Borculo in the Netherlands. All from one little hint about a website.

Hope to see you at this year’s conference. Maybe you’ll get the one hint we are all looking for!


Phil Bartlow

Legacy Family Tree Webinars

Legacy Family Tree Webinars is an excellent resource for genealogy education on demand.  They periodically offer new webinars for free and then offer them to be viewed within the week for free.  They have a wide variety of topics related to genealogy.  Tonight they are offering: Its a Numbers Game: Understanding Recognized Genealogical Formats. Tomorrow they are offering: Trails of Daniel Boone and other Western Travelers and next week: Photoshop: What you need to know as a photographer.  These are all offered for free.  See their website at: for more information. SVGS also has a membership to Legacy Family Tree Webinars and you can come into the library and view any of their offerings for free, just bring some headphones and we will get you set up.


Your Genealogy Today

Here at SVGS, we have received the new issue of Your Genealogy Today.  There are many articles in this issue that look interesting such as Circular Genealogy: Review, Plan & Target for Success! by George Morgan; Genealogy and the Law by Judy G. Russell and Researching Foreign Ancestors by Elizabeth Jones – just to name a few.  Take some time to come into the library and peruse the many publications that we receive.  I bet you will find some treasures among them.


Ancestry DNA Kits – Amazon Prime Day

If you are an Amazon Prime member and you are looking for DNA kits, today is the day to get one.  There is an incredible deal on Ancestry DNA kits on Amazon for Prime Day.  I am sorry for such short notice but I just found out about this and today is the only day you can take advantage of it – so hurry on over there.