ARLINGTON — When Leilani Lucrisia conducted a recent presentation on DNA and family research for the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society of Arlington, she hadn’t expected the number of attendees who arrived.
“We typically only have 30-40 people show up for a meeting,” said Lucrisia, who found herself facing between 70-80 attendees at the Arlington Free Methodist Church on Tuesday, Feb. 11. “I suspect interest in DNA is en vogue now, thanks to TV shows like ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ and ‘Finding Your Roots.’ It’s becoming more mainstream, although retired people still tend to have more time to devote to it.”
Lucrisia recounted how tracing back the roots of her own ancestry led her to Alaska, and led her to discover a number of different racial mixtures in her own heritage.
While there are a number of DNA testing agencies to choose from, Lucrisia was quick to tout the research resources of the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society itself, whose information is freely available to members and non-members alike. Its next informal research group meeting will run from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Feb. 27.
“We have how-to classes in beginner’s genealogy, and this August, we’ll be hosting the Washington State Genealogy Conference,” Lucrisia said. “Our society is really hopping.”
The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society offers a number of other research resources, including a Minolta microfilm reader and printer, at the Society’s Library at 215 S. French Ave. in Arlington, next to the old Arlington High School building.
Shirley Case, publicity chair for the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society, explained that patrons of the Society’s Library may use the microfilm reader and printer to trace their own family histories, without needing to make trips to Marysville to copy images.
Case noted that the films in the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society’s Library contain more than 400 rare books on colonial America and New England, including pioneer histories and early land vital records. She added that the Society’s Library is an affiliate library with the Family History Center in Salt Lake City, “which means, when material is ordered, it is sent to our library to be viewed.”
The Society’s membership costs are $15 for one year or $150 for a lifetime, and members receive access to genealogy websites, which they can log onto at the Library or on their home computers.
For more information, you can call 360-435-4838, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log onto www.stillygen.org.