Olympia Genealogical Society
  Donations & Memorials

Registration for Mar 9 & 23 DNA Basics Workshop

Registration for this two-part workshop has opened and will be limited to 10 participants.  See DNA Basics Workshop under Community Events for details.

Between Home and the Front - March 14 Meeting

Lynn Heidelbaugh and Thomas Paone will discuss their book "Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family" at our March general meeting.
Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family (Indiana University Press, 2022) provides a glimpse into wartime experiences taken from the family’s papers in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, transcribed to preserve the language of the originals that make apparent the writers’ literacy and period customs of correspondence. The letters by Private David Walters of the 5th Indiana Cavalry include details about life as a volunteer Union soldier. His wife Rachel’s poignant replies document how she managed the household and a young child while being a hub of communication for the family. The presenters will discuss how they applied genealogical research to learn about the family’s circumstances and to contextualize their experiences of the war.
Lynn Heidelbaugh is a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, where she specializes in the history of the postal service, military mail, and the material culture of letter writing.
Thomas Paone curates several collections at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, including the lighter-than-air, Pre-1945 US Navy, and Wright Brothers collections. 

Finding Female Ancestors - Feb 8 Meeting

Gena Philibert-Ortega presented her program "Her Name Was Not Unknown: Finding Female Ancestors" at our Feburary 8 general meeting.
“What’s her maiden name?” “What happened to her after her husband died?” “How do I start researching my great-grandmother?” We’ve all felt the disappointment of seeing the word “unknown” to describe a female ancestor’s name. How do we go from “unknown” to finding a name?  This presentation explains techniques, methodology, and resources vital to family history research. Enhance your research skills using a 5-step approach to researching (and finding) female ancestors.
Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, researcher, and instructor specializing in the use of social history and material culture to tell the story of historical women's lives. She holds Master's degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women's Studies) and Religion. As an author, Gena has published two books and hundreds of articles. Her writings can also be found on her two blogs, Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera, as well as the GenealogyBank and Legacy Family Tree Webinars blogs.  See her website for more information.
A recording of the Zoom meeting can be found by logging onto the website.  On left sidebar click on Community Events / Recordings*. 
For the corresponding handout from this presentation, click on Publications / Files in the main menu, Downloadable Files, then click on OGS Only - Program Materials* to download the PDF's.
The recording and handout will be available through March 13th.  Enjoy!

OGS 2024 Seminar - Feb 3

The Feb 3, 2024 seminar focused on immigration and naturalization.  The featured speaker was Rich Venezia.  See the OGS 2024 Seminar page for details.

Review Your Early Research - Jan 11 Meeting

Jerri McCoy presented "Review Your Sources and Notes - Are You Overlooking Clues in Your Early Research?" at our January meeting:
Now that some time has gone by since your early research, are there clues in your sources that might make sense now that were unrecognized back then? Has additional research or resources come to light since then? We will explore possibilities for expanding families that you haven't looked at in a long time.
Jerri was born and raised in San Diego, California, and worked in the computer industry for 30 years.  She and her husband have been married for 55 years, and have two grown sons. Jerri has been active in genealogy for almost 50 years, and has published three books on her family. She is a member of OGS, the Washington State Genealogical Society, the DAR and the Mayflower Society.
OGS Members, to view recording please log onto website. On left side panel, click on Community Events, then click on Recordings*.  Remember, you need to be logged onto the website to have access.  Recording will be available through 15 February 2024. Enjoy!

Welcome to Our Website!

The OGS website is designed to allow our members to engage with each other as they trace their ancestors and discover their family histories. We want to make this site a dynamic experience. Here are just a few ways to engage on this site today:
If you aren’t already an OGS member, please consider joining and engaging with our community. To do so, see Membership in the menu in the left column.

OGS Needs You!

Fellow OGS Members, as we begin our 50th year as a group with the special interest of family history, we are looking to reconnect with the community at large while serving our membership's continued interest in all things genealogy!  With this end goal in mind, we are in need of more members to become involved to helping out.  Listed below are various opportunities to help.  Take a look, see what you can contribute to help grow and keep OGS vital for the next 50 years!  
  • 50th Anniversary - This is a group to plan how we'll celebrate our 50th Anniversary this year.  This commitment would be for this year only.  Ideas for helping out could be planning one large event, helping with PR to news media, scanning photos for Facebook and Instagram posts, etc.  Please send an email to info@olygensoc.org if you are able to help this year!
  • DIG Virtually - There is interest in having a group to help out members in the community like we have done in the past at the Olympia Library, but to do this virtually.  Virtual meeting times may be a couple of times a month, perhaps a week day and a Saturday for a couple of hours.  If we were to have 6-10 members volunteer, there could be a rotating schedule.  Schedule would depend on how many members volunteer.  Training will be provided.  Send an email to Info@olygensoc.org if you have an interest in participating in this outreach opportunity.
  • Historian - Our society has kept a record of our events and members in the news for the past 50 years.  This is done through the board position of Historian.  Currently we are without a historian.  This is an individual position, so working on your own, posting our live history in our scrapbooks is the purpose of this position.  Since this is a board position, attending and voting at board meetings about the direction this organization is required.  Being on the board, you'll be in a front row seat as our history is happening.  Please contact Kathy Erlandson, pastpresident@olygensoc.org if you are interested.
  • Meeting Tech Team - We have a location secured with all of the needed equipment for hybrid general membership meetings, but we need one or preferably two people who can help with the tech setup at the in-person site for each meeting. Set up is pretty simple. You would be bringing the OGS laptop to each meeting and making the connections; much easier than when we met at the courthouse!! Orientation/training will be provided. If you are interested, send an email to webmaster@olygensoc.org.
  • Speakers Bureau team - From time to time we receive requests for a member from our organization to come and speak to a group about genealogy and OGS.  It would be great to have a few members who would like to speak for 30-45 minutes about genealogy to a neighborhood group, classroom full of kids, or service organization.  Opportunities for this maybe once or twice a year depending on how many setup to represent OGS.  Great outreach opportunities to grow our organization.  Send an email to Info@olygensoc.org if you have an interest!

2023-24 Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

It's a New Year and our 50th Anniversary!  As a "New Year's Resolution" consider joining a Special Interest Group if you haven't done so.  This is a great venue to learn more and get to know fellow members in a small group setting.  SIGs are a benefit of membership so make sure your membership status is updated to access this wonderful benefit.  SIG meetings will continue to be held virtually using Google Meet except for the FTM SIG which will use Zoom.  See the SIGs page for a list of our SIGs, coordinators, meeting times, etc.

OGS Surname Database

OGS provides a searchable public database to which an OGS member can add the surnames of their ancestors. At this writing, the database includes 348 entries. See OGS Surname Database for more information.

March 4
Family History Writing SIG
Log on to OGS website, click on SIGs in main nav menu, click on Family History Writing SIG for Google Meet link. Can access 10 ...

March 12
Log on to OGS website, click on SIGs in main nav menu, click on DNA for Google Meet link. Can access 10 mins before start ...

March 14
Monthly General Membership Meeting
Program: "Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family", a book talk by Lynn Heidelbaugh and Thomas Paone.   Between Home ...

March 16
Legacy Family Tree SIG
Log on to OGS website, click on SIGs in main nav menu, click on Legacy Family Tree for Google Meet link. Can access 10 mins before ...

March 19
Family Tree Maker SIG
Log on to OGS website, click on SIGs in main nav menu, click on Family Tree Maker for Zoom link. Can access 10 mins before ...
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