Olympia Genealogical Society

Special Interest Groups

If you are an OGS member logged into this site, a link to each existing OGS SIG can be found in the nav menu in the left column. If you aren't an OGS member and decide to join, go to Membership.
Special Interest Groups (SIGs) updates for 2022-2023
It’s that time of year again to start up SIGs for the year.  Make this year the year to attend a SIG meeting or two!  This is a great venue to get to know more about genealogy software, DNA, how to write your story or ethnic research.  The plus side is getting to know fellow members in a small group setting.  Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are a benefit of membership so make sure your membership status is updated to access this wonderful benefit.  As we have been doing the last couple of years, the meetings will be held virtually.  The change will be the format though.  We are switching the platform for our meetings to GoogleMeetGoogleMeet functions much like Zoom for the attendees.  You’ll find similar buttons that Zoom has.  The gain for changing over is that the SIG facilitator will be the one sending out invites and creating the meeting links.  The links will still be found on the corresponding SIG webpage.  If you would like to be on the SIG list please send an email to the facilitator to be included on their list of members.  You’ll find their email contact on the Membership List.
Special Interest Groups and Facilitators:
  • ANCESTRY - Greg Nordlund; meets 4th Saturday 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • DNA - Nancy Cordell; meets 2nd Tuesday 6:30 pm
  • FAMILY HISTORY WRITING - Laura Carroll meets 1st Monday 6:00 - 8:00 pm (note September will meet 9/12/22)
  • FAMILY TREE MAKER - David Abernathy; meets 4th Thursday 10:00 am
  • FAMILY SEARCH.org – Carolyn Gibbons; meets 4th Wednesday 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • GENEALOGY CHAT - Peggy Cooley; meets 3rd Wednesday 1:00 - 2:30 pm
  • ITALIAN - Greg Nordlund; meets quarterly (Nov, Feb, May, Aug) 1st Saturday 11:00 am.
  • LEGACY FAMILY TREE - Jerri McCoy; meets 3rd Saturday 1:00 pm
OGS is always interested in starting new SIGs, if you have a topic in mind please contact Kerry Upton. Every SIG needs a coordinator, please let Kerry know if you are willing to be a SIG coordinator. All SIG meetings will be hosted on GoogleMeet.
2020-2021 SIGs went Virtual!!
In 2020-2021 and until further notice, SIGs will be conducted virtually via Zoom. So no matter where you are in the world, you'll be able to participate in a SIG. This is great news for our snowbird members, members not able to get out due to weather or health reasons. You can be in your jammies participating with fellow OGS members.
The following groups currently are active:
  • Ancestry - facilitated by Greg Nordlund; 4th Saturday of the month, 11:00 AM
  • DNA - facilitated by Kerry McHugh Upton; 2nd Tuesday of the month, 6:30 PM
  • Family History Writing - facilitated by Cindy Neff; 1st Monday of the month, 6:00 PM
  • FamilySearch.org - facilitated by Carolyn Gibbons; 2nd Saturday of the month, 1:00 PM
  • Family Tree Maker - facilitated by David Abernathy; 4th Thursday of the month, 10:00 AM
Click on the SIG of interest in the nav menu in the left column to obtain the Zoom link 15 mins before the meeting is scheduled to start.
Our Special Interest Groups are open to all OGS members. Feel free to contact the facilitator to learn more about the group. More information is shared on the Forum page if you are logged onto the OGS website. Access to the Forums is a benefit of membership; if you aren't a member yet, join up and start taking in all that membership offers!
If you have a subject that you feel would be of benefit to other members, please contact Kerry McHugh Upton to share your idea. We'll send out a notice to the membership to see if there are other members interested in a SIG group on that topic.  These groups can be a cultural group, other genealogical database groups, etc.
Best Practices for getting the most out of a Zoom meeting: have a camera on your computer so others can see you (although not mandatory), a microphone that allows us to hear you, and speakers or a headset so you can hear us!  Some members use a headset with a boom mic on it.  You'll be able to start accessing the meeting 15 mins. prior to the meeting start time.
OGS has had Special Interest Groups (SIGs) off and on during its history based on member interest and availability of meeting places, but hadn't had any SIGs for quite a few years prior to September 2018. In 2017 some interest was shown in forming a Family Tree Maker SIG and David Abernathy volunteered to lead this SIG if it were formed, but no formal action was taken at that time.
In April 2018, a survey of OGS members revealed substantial interest in a number of potential SIGs. In response to this interest, the September 2018 Members meeting was planned as a SIG Fair. In advance of the meeting, a number of individuals agreed to serve as leaders/facilitators of several potential SIGs. At the meeting, each leader/facilitator provided a brief introduction and then members had an opportunity to sign up for those SIGs in which they were interested. Following the September 2018 Members meeting, work began to organize several SIGs.
In October 2019, work began to organize two additional SIGs: Computer and Writing.
In January 2020, the Computer SIG was discontinued due to a lack of interest. However, David Abernathy, who had volunteered to lead this new SIG, has offered to field any Microsoft Windows questions that OGS members might have. David can be reached at davidabernathy1@comcast.net.
Other Groups/Committees:
Two other groups/committees were discussed to start up in 2018-2019:
  • Cemetery Project -- Members will update our Cemetery page, working with the local cemeteries. It's been 40 years since OGS has added to the content of the cemeteries database! If you're interested in leading this project please let Kerry Upton know and we'll discuss how to get it going again!
  • Outreach -- The Outreach committee will share to the community about the Olympia Genealogical Society via local community events, schools, and other opportunities the group identifies. Please contact Kathy Erlandson or Laurel Haas if you have an interest in participating in this team.  Lots of opportunity to share with members of the public through a variety of events.