Tacoma-Pierce County
Genealogical Society

About the Society:

Located in Washington state, the Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society consists of a diverse group of members — those whose families were early settlers in the area and still live here; those who live in the area now, but have few if any familial connections here; and those who no longer live here, but whose ancestors did at one time.

The purposes of TPCGS are to stimulate a popular interest in family history, to seek genealogical and historical knowledge, to preserve and perpetuate the records of our ancestors, and to collect and publish genealogical source material of Pierce County and the Puget Sound Region.

Monthly Meetings:
Guests are always welcome at our meetings. Come meet other Pierce-County genealogists and listen to great speakers.

History of the Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society:
The society was organized in the spring of 1961 and began with 6 members, ending its first full year with 54 members. There are currently around 150 members in the society, many of whom live in the Tacoma-Pierce County area of Washington state, as well as many other areas of the United States.

News & Notes:

  Society News || New & Noteworthy || Freebies || Research Aids || Books & Blogs || Local Resources

Society News

Several of the Board Members met with reporter Jessica Peyton Roberts recently, and Jessica has written a wonderful article about the society in the online South Sound Talk.

Members should have recently received the latest issue of the Newsletter. Newsletters are now sent out by e-mail, and also posted on the website. Therefore the February issue is now available. And don't forget to submit your Queries for the Newsletter — they will also be posted on the website.

Veterans Graves in Pierce County, WA — Extracted from a 1939 WPA project, this database consists of a name Index plus a further eight items extracted from the cards by society volunteers. These cards are in the holdings of the Northwest Room of the Tacoma Public Library. Contact the Library for additional information.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society is now offering a Tacoma Area Obituary Look Up Service. Due to cutbacks at the Tacoma Public Library they are no longer able to offer this service, so have asked the society if we would take it on.


New & Noteworthy

Check out this map showing European borders over 1000 years at http://loiter.co/v/watch-as-1000years-of-european-boarders-change/.

Genealogy educator and author Thomas MacEntee recently announced the debut of Hack Genealogy, a new resource for the genealogy industry and the growing community of genealogy and family history enthusiasts.

Hack Genealogy is about “repurposing today's technology for tomorrow's genealogy” and a little bit more. Hack Genealogy is more than just a list of resources: It provides information on emerging technology inside and outside the genealogy industry.Hack Genealogy is not merely about surviving the overwhelming presence of new and emerging technologies . . . Hack Genealogy is about genealogy and technology success in its many facets.



Subscription genealogy websites occasionally offer free access to specific databases in their collections. Such offers will be listed here.


Research Aids

Apropos our recent meeting topic on Norwegian ancestry, The National Archives of Norway has digitized parish registers, probate records, court records, and much more available online.

Ancestry.com is in the process of producing a series of Free State Research Guides. So far available for Alaska, California, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, New York, Texas, and Virginia, with more on the way soon. Connecticut, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, and Oregon have also been added recently.

For more information, watch this video: State Research Guides and Place Pages.

RootsTech is over now, but if you missed the conference, you can watch select videos via YouTube, from the comfort of your own home.

Do you have Rhode Island roots? If so, you may be interested in checking out the Rhode Island Digital Archives.

Or are your ancestors from Chicago? Then check out this Research Guide from The Newberry Library.

141 county plat books from Missouri have been scanned and can be viewed for free on this section of the Missouri Digital Heritage website.

Ancestry.ca's free 1921 Canadian census collection is now indexed. That means you can search the records by name and other criteria instead of having to know exactly where your ancestor lived, and then browsing by location. The census will be accessible free on Ancestry.ca for at least three years, says spokesperson Matthew Deighton.

Approximately 6,000 Civil War Veterans are buried in Washington State. Information about them can be found at Civil War Veterans Buried in Washington State. If you know of a veteran not listed, submissions are welcome.

Founders Online is a new website created by the National Archives featuring correspondence and other writings of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams (and family), Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. Together these present a fascinating view into a pivotal period of American history.

We often find ourselves too engrossed in the hunt to take time to carefully record our sources and citations, then going back overwhelms us. The Armchair Genealogist addresses this common situation, and proposes a solution in A 10 Step Plan: Getting Sources & Citations Under Control.


Books & Blogs

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has launched a blog called Vita Brevis ("life is short") that will share genealogy expertise and news from NEHGS.

Excerpted from Leland Meitzler's Genealogy Blog:

According to a must-read blog at The Legal Genealogist website, the much-heralded budget bill that was signed into law on December 26th included the partial-closure of the Social Security Death Index along with the exemption of SSDI information from the Freedom of Information Act. This was included in the budget bill as “a purported revenue-enhancing measure.”

The long and the short of it is that deaths cannot be reported on the publicly-accessable SSDI until 3 years after they have taken place. It doesn’t look like the currently acccessible SSDI info at FamilySearch, Ancestry, etc. will be taken from us (although I see no reason why the government couldn’t force closure until data from the last 3 years is removed, the Feds having pretty-well proven that they are a law-unto-themselves the last year). However, do not expect another SSDI update for three years. Also, don’t expect to get SS-5s of anyone who died in the last three years.

Maps are wonderful! And the Genealogy Insider blog suggests the following four sites to find free historical maps to help with your genealogical research:


Local Resources

Older News

As news items on the Home Page are replaced by newer ones, those of lasting interest will be placed here.


Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society
PO Box 1952, Tacoma, Washington 98401, USA
Updated Monday, 31 March 2014, 06:43:53 PM MDT
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Contact TPCGS

The Tacoma Pierce County Genealogical Society (TPCGS) is a registered nonprofit corporation recognized by the IRS under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code using EIN 91-1180097. In addition, the TPCGS is a registered nonprofit corporation in the state of Washington under WAC 458-20-169 using UBI 600444975. As such, your donations and contributions may be tax deductible and are greatly appreciated. Fundraising activities are occasionally held for the benefit of the TPCGS.

The purpose of the TPCGS is to stimulate popular interest in family history, to seek genealogical and historical knowledge, to preserve and perpetuate the records of our ancestors, to aid individual members in compiling their family histories, and to collect and publish genealogical source material.