Seattle Genealogical Society

Seattle Genealogical Society

2017 Spring Seminar

Seattle Genealogical Society’s Annual Spring Seminar

“Voices from the Past”

Featuring: Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A., is a freelance writer, instructor, and internationally recognized lecturer

Saturday, 20 May 2017
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Further questions can be directed to Sandra Stark

Fairview Christian School
844 NE 78th Street
Seattle, WA  

Doors open at 8:00 a.m.
Welcome at 9:00 a.m.

Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A., is a freelance writer, instructor, and internationally recognized lecturer, specializing in Eastern European genealogical research, writing your family history, and using the Internet to trace female and immigrant ancestors. Lisa is a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine, and teaches online courses for Family Tree University and The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. She is frequently invited speaker for national conferences, genealogical and historical societies, and webinars. An avid genealogist for more than 27 years, Lisa also chronicles her family history adventures on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist.



Welcome: 9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

9:15 Diseases, Disasters, Distress: Bad for Your Ancestors, Good for Genealogy!

Most of our pasts are dotted with blemishes, and bad things did happen, often to good people. History is blanketed with disheartening tales of devastation and loss. This session will discuss how diseases, disasters, and distress may have impacted your family’s history

10:30 Break

11:00 Writing Your Family History Step-by-Step

This workshop covers how to bring your family tree to life by placing your own family stories in an historical context, how to organize your material and divide your writing tasks into small manageable pieces, and effective ways to illustrate where your family fits in with local, national and world history. As time permits, participants will have time to work on a selection of writing exercises.

12:15 Lunch

1:00 Silent Voices: Telling the Stories of Your Female Immigrant Ancestors

While most historical records have been created for and/or about men, making it more challenging to research and write about female ancestors, this session will demonstrate: effective ways to discover your female ancestors and how to document the important roles their lives played in culture/society,  Various methods for writing about your female ancestors (from short, informative biosketches or profiles to writing a complete book), along with options for publishing your family history will be discussed.

2:15 Make Those Skeletons Dance: Exploring Your Family’s Dark Side

How well do you really know your ancestors? Most of us want to believe our ancestors were hard-working, noble, or “salt-of-the-earth” types. We want to like them, and even brag about them. However, the reality is that if we go back far enough, we all can dig up a few proverbial “skeletons in the closet.” The horse thief, the philanderer, the murderer! Oh my! Genealogy is one of the most unpredictable activities you’ll undertake, and when you start digging into your family’s past, “You never know what you’re gonna get.” If you suspect a few black sheep lurking in your family tree, this session will show you, with examples, how to hunt them down, bust through the speculation, and tell the real story.