A Genealogy Conference in My Own Back Yard

Last summer I attended GRIP the Genealogy Research Institute of Pittsburgh. I loved it. Not only did I get two weeks on the road with my dear, wonderful friend Rachelle who writes the Ascending The Stairs  blog , I got to meet distant cousins, dig into archives and understand the landscape and history of the places where my ancestors lived before coming west.

I also got to spend five whole days in focused work ,learning research and writing techniques for the family history book I’m planning to write some day.

This year, I can’t go. I’m building a new business and I need to stay here in Seattle and have to curb my wander lust, except of course, for my upcoming trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin. A girl’s got to have some digging in her life.

That’s why I’m so excited about the Washington State Genealogical Conference happening this summer in Arlington, Wa, just a

Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Association

few dozen miles up the road.  I’m excited on a couple of fronts. One is I can go. The other is the caliber of lecturers and faculty who are coming. D. Josh Taylor will make is Washington state debut. I’ll be taking a self-publishing tract from Jill Morelli; maybe she can help me get my plan together. The Sanford’s have some great stories to tell, including murder in Plymouth, temperance women and a few tipsy men, wild west pioneers and New Jersey Postmaster and Mistress.

The historical libraries in the area hold collections of pioneer towns, people, churches, commerce and ‘how they got here’ materials. The Sno-Isle Library  has a solid collection of western newspapers, local manuscripts and access to great databases.

At one time I lamented my lack of Seattle family roots. Now I have several both  from my biological family and from my husbands’ family. I’m hoping to get some insights into the hardships of travel here at the turn of the 20th century, and how the communities north and east of Seattle developed.

I’m watching the conference goers map. I’m tracking it and have book marked it to see if anyone coming is searching for Riggles, Reynolds, Sanfords, Swartouts and on down my list of surnames.

I hope to see you there.



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