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Annual Northwest Genealogy Conference set for Aug. 16-19


August 9, 2017 | View PDF

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Genealogy speaker Lisa Louise Cooke gives a presentation at last year's Northwest Genealogy Conference.

The Northwest Genealogy Conference returns this month to Arlington for its fourth year from Aug. 16 to 19.

The conference is hosted by the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society.

President of the society Ruth Caesar said it is the largest multi-day genealogical conference in the area.

This year's conference is at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center at 18821 Crown Ridge Blvd., Arlington.

It helps people learn more about genealogy because there is a lot to know about research and the history behind it, she said.

"There are just too many things you have to learn about to be able to do good research," she said.

"I think people like that they can come to a conference where it's a lot of information in one fell swoop," she said.

Caesar said she enjoys the community at the event as well as seeing all the other genealogy enthusiasts at the conference.

"I like just meeting with the people and seeing the happiness it brings them," she said.

The three-day conference features approximately 30 presentations during the event.

Kenyatta Berry, a host for Genealogy Roadshow on PBS, is one of the main speakers this year, and she will give her talk "Where Does Your Story Start?" on Aug. 19.

Another of the main speakers, Daniel Earl, will give his presentation about "Tools to Help Tell the Story" on Aug. 18.

Caesar said the event helps people in the community learn about genealogy, but also is a big draw to the city.

Attendees include people from around Puget Sound, those who come from out of state, and those from Canada.

The conference provides a closer outlet for information than most people in the region have, said Caesar.

"So you can get this info without having to go all the way to Salt Lake City or California," she said.

"We have lots of exciting activities," said Ceasar.

Activities like "dress up day" on Aug. 18.

"People can come dressed as one of their ancestors, whether that be as royalty or as an explorer or any other historical role," she said.

Each attendee can bring a teenager this year for free as well.

"One of the new features this year is that people are able to bring a student with them for free," said Caesar.

Kids age 13 to 17 can attend the conference with someone who is registered.

"We're helping to get young people involved," said Caesar.

The first day of the conference on Aug. 16 also includes a free beginning genealogy class for those interested in researching their lineage.

The class, which runs from 1-4:30 p.m., will discuss how to look up, read and research records.

Caesar said that the conference has been a big hit the last three years.

"We've had incredible reviews from the speakers and attendees," she said, "always asking us to return next year."

More information about the conference is available at the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society's website at


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