Genealogical Society of South Whidbey Island
old sepia photos

GSSWI Programs for 2014 - 2015

Click HERE to display programs presented during the

previous society year.

Monday September 8th: Monthly Program, 1:00 p.m.

Speaker:  Society Board Members
Program:  Introduction to the coming GSSWI Year

Meet your fellow members and learn about ongoing research. 

The Board of Directors and the new society structure will  be introduced.  In addition,  Coffee and cookies will be consumed and the upcoming society year will be discussed.  Come, visit and learn.

Monday October 13th: Monthly Program, 1:00 p.m.

Speaker:  Becky Hanich
Program: Using Family

Becky Hanich

Becky has been doing Family History for about 40 years and has spent many hours researching both her family and her extended family.  Most of her research time has been spent in the US and in England.  She served a Family History support Mission for the LDS church and trained LDS personnel how to use and work in  She has also worked extensively in the Family Tree portion of and has taught many classes on using the Family Tree. She loves to help others find out to whom they might be related and she feels that Family Tree allows a unique opportunity to work together to find our common

Since there have been many questions from our membership on the proper use of and about the new Family Tree portion of the site, this should be an extremely educational and useful program.

Monday November 10th: Monthly Program, 1:00 p.m.

Speakers:  Winona Laird and Janet Camerata
Discover Your Ancestor's Story in Their Records

Winona Laird Janet Camerata

Family members frequently don't care about the latest land patent or census record found. What they enjoy is a good story. In this workshop, we will examine a set of birth, baptism, marriage, census and death records - and together we will extract the stories waiting to be discovered and/or investigated further.

Winona Laird has been doing genealogy for over 60 years. Her specialties are Teaching and Lecturing on genealogy.  She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Puget Sound Chapter, the National Genealogical Society and the Federation of Genealogy Societies. In addition, she is past President and current Education Chairman of the South King County Genealogical Society. She is one of the Founders of the Genealogy Training Center LLC. Website- She is also associated with the Genealogy Training Center LLC website

Janet Camerata  has researched her own family history for over 25 years.  She is a seminar presenter and trainer in genealogy societies across Washington.  She has also been a newsletter editor, program coordinator and currently, President of the South King County Genealogical Society (SKCGS). She is also a founding member of the Genealogy Training Center LLC in Kent,  a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and of the Washington State Genealogy Society.

Monday December 8th, Holiday Program, 1:00 p.m.

Program:  Annual Holiday Potluck and Personal Research Review

Holiday Wreath Come prepared to present a few words on an interesting aspect of your current research, an interesting book you've found or anything else notable you've discovered.  Family artifacts are also appropriate.

This will be our annual Holiday potluck luncheon.  Please bring a salad, entree or dessert sufficient to serve eight people.

Monday January 12th: Monthly Program, 1:00 p.m.

Speaker:  Philip Simon
History of Langley Harbor Through the Eyes of Phil Simon

Philip Simon

Phil Simon, the husband of the GSSWI secretary, Judy Simon, was born in Seattle (Swedish Hospital) in June of 1947. Raised in south Seattle, Medina and north Kirkland, he Spent as much time as possible at his grandfather's house on the Langley waterfront. Both his mother and father were born on Whidbey Island in the 1920's.  His dad was born in Langley in 1923. His grandfather was born in Ohio, raised on a farm near Longbranch (Key peninsula) and his grandmother was born in Tacoma.  Philip's mother was born in 1922 on Skarberg lane near Deer Lake Clinton and her dad was born in Sweden and her Mom in Minnesota.
Philip worked his way through the U of W in the late 1960's finally earning a degree in Electrical Engineering. He spent 43 years as a corrosion control engineer (electro-chemistry) preventing leaks on pipelines, buried tanks and marine structures. This work took him around the world but he can guarantee that there is no place in the world he would rather live than here in Puget Sound on Whidbey Island. 

Given the current interest in Langley Harbor and the Simon genealogy associated with it, this should be a very interesting program!

Monday February 9th: Monthly Program, 1:00 p.m.

Speaker:  TBD
Program:  TBD

Monday March 9th: Monthly Program, 1:00 p.m.

Speaker: Maureen MacDonald
Program:  An Apple a Day: How Health and Medicine affected your ancestors

Maureen MacDonald

Maureen MacDonald is one of our most active members and a  graduate of Sarah Thorson-Little's University of Washington Genealogy class.  The class, by the way, is reportedly both time-consuming and rewarding and is highly recommended for serious genealogists. Maureen's presentations are always informative and educational.

In this program you will learn about medicine in the early days and how it affected  ancestral families in choosing a location to settle, raising their children and, possibly, moving to another location. The program might help to answer the question of why you are missing certain relatives.

Monday April 13th: Monthly Program, 1:00 p.m.

Speaker:  TBD
Program: TBD

Monday May 11th: Monthly Program, 1:00 p.m.

Speaker:  TBD
Program:  TBD

Monday June 8th: Monthly Program, 1:00 p.m.

Speaker:  Gary Zimmerman

Gary Zimmerman Gary Zimmerman, President of the Fiske Genealogy Library, will present one of his popular discussions on Genealogical Matters.  His expertise and delivery are always enjoyed by society members.