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WGS holds monthly meetings, except for January, July, August, and December.

Our meetings are held at 2:00pm in the Pioneer Pavilion at Pioneer Park, 2007 Cherry Street, Ferndale, Washington.  Doors open at 1:30pm.  There are no stairs to navigate and plenty of free parking.

Visitors are always welcome! 

Past Whatcom Genealogical Society Meetings

May 13, 2024 - "Mastering Digital Filing for Genealogists" a virtual presentation with Cyndi Ingle

Every genealogist feels that digital filing is out of their control. It can be an overwhelming process to keep track of all of the documents, images, and files that end up on our computers and devices. How do we even start to tackle this virtual pile of filing? What tools and processes will work best for you? We will discuss all of this and how to maintain digital filing as we research.

Cyndi Ingle is the creator and innovator behind the award-winning and globally recognized, a free categorized list of more than 320,000 links for genealogical research. Cyndi, a genealogist for more than 43 years, has an expertise in using technology for genealogy. Additionally, her many active years in genealogy have also resulted in specialties for research in the United States and bringing together traditional methodology with organization, computers, software, and the Internet.  Cyndi is the recipient of several awards and honors, she has served in several capacities for genealogical organizations, she is an internationally-known guest lecturer, and she has authored numerous articles and three books. Cyndi is the Executive Director for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. She is a columnist for the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.

April 8, 2024 - "Genealogy Desktop Software, and why you should be using it!"

Join us and learn why using a desktop based software program is important in your genealogy research.  See how one (or two) programs work in practice.

March 11, 2024 - "Using DNA to Determine Relationships in 2023" with Beth Taylor

You've taken a DNA test and the DNA company gave you a list of matches.  Matches are people who have also taken a DNA test with whom you share DNA.  These people are probably your relatives.  But that DNA test only suggests a relationship exists.  This class will walk you through the process of determining the common ancestor between you and a DNA match or among a cluster of DNA matches.

Join us as we view this excellent lecture from DNA Day at FamilySearch presented by Beth Taylor.  Beth works as a United States and Canada research specialist at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Her specialties include DNA, Quakers, land records, probate records and more.

February 12, 2024 - "Uncovering Immigrant Ancestors through Cluster Research" with Dana Ann Palmer, CG®, CGL(SM).

Descendants of an early Ohio family had no idea of their origins.  Following an associated family brought success, even after wading into foreign-language documents.

WGS members and visitors are invited to attend this virtual presentation by Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogy Lecturer Dana Ann Palmer.  Dana specializes in lineage society applications, publishing family books, and Midwestern research-specifically Ohio.  In addition to her client work, she reviews military repatriation cases, is part of the Mayflower Silver Books team, and lectures at RootsTech and the National Genealogical Society (NGS) conferences.

December 11, 2023 -- WGS Holiday Social

Join WGS members as we gather to celebrate the holiday season.  We will share some of our favorite family treats and traditions.  Please note: This meeting will be held at the Ferndale Public Library, 2125 Main Street, from 2-5pm.

November 13, 2023 -- "Don't Let Methodology Scare You; a European Case Study with Strategies for Everyone" presented by WGS member Judith Culver.

The title says it all!  Join WGS Member Judith Culver as she shares her insights into how to conduct productive research.  Judith is a seasoned researcher and she is one of the founders of the Ferndale Genies group.

October 9, 2023 -- "Discovering your UK/Irish Roots Online: Websites and Resources for English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish Ancestry" presented by Debra M. Dudek.

There is no such thing as "one stop genealogy shopping"! This program will lead you through the resources and search techniques for the three big UK and Irish databases: FindMyPast, ScotlandsPeople and RootsIreland. Learn what's new on these databases, how you can apply them to your research and how privacy and information rights impact your quest for records. 


Debra Dudek is Head of Adult and Teen Services at the Fountaindale Public Library District in Bolingbrook, Illinois.  She holds a post graduate certificate from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.  Ms. Dudek is the Book Review Editor of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, a board member of the Illinois State Historical Society, and the author of the World War 1 Research Guide: Tracing American Military and Non-Combatant Ancestors.

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September 11, 2023 -- My Summer Vacation and How do I Learn About Genealogy?

Join WGS members as we share what we've done with our genealogy over the summer months.  We will also share how we learn about various topics in genealogy.  Are you using a great website?  Listening to podcasts?  Viewing webinars?  How do you find places to learn what you need to know?  Let's discuss it!

June 12, 2023 -- Yes, You are an Expert!

We have a lot of knowledge in our society, but do we know what we know?  Have you researched in Pennsylvania or Tennessee?  Do you use FamilySearch or MyHeritage in an interesting way?  Have you requested records from the National Archives?  Maybe you have researched in Europe or South America.  Then you know more about these topics than someone just starting their research.  We'll use this meeting to share our research interests and expertise.  Bring your computers, papers, and questions and let's help each other!

May 8, 2023 --  Beth Taylor, FamilySearch

"Are You Your Own Brick Wall?  Common Genealogical Mistakes and How to Overcome Them"

Join WGS in Ferndale as we view together Beth's 2023 RootsTech presentation.  Beth is a US and Canada research specialist at the FamilySearch library in Salt Lake City.  Her specialties include DNA, Quakers, land records, probate records and more.

April 10, 2023 --  Jill Morelli

"Friedrich Eiler - Building an Identity from Scant Clues"

When we are offered little information, how do we proceed?  Research planning, research strategy development and the importance of collaboration are all illustrated in this case study, which focuses on methodology of identity.  Not all our ancestors were exemplary individuals!  Jill is a Certified Genealogist® who lectures, writes and researches about her discoveries as a genealogist.  She is a past president of the Seattle Genealogical Society and a member of the National Genealogical Society, Genealogical Speakers Guild and the Association of Professional Genealogists.

March 13, 2023 -- Janice Lovelace 

"Is Great Grandmother Really Native American?"

Many families have the oral history that an ancestor was Native American.  How does a family researcher begin to discover if this is true?  What federal, state and tribal records are available?  Janice is a genealogical researcher, author and educator, with over 30 years of experience.  She completed the Genealogy and Family History certificate at the University of Washington in 2012, the certificate program in genealogy at Boston University, and ProGen in 2014.

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