The Greater Seattle Chapter is a member of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, an international, non-profit educational organization.
The group’s purpose is to bring together people interested in the history of Germans from Russia, and promote a better appreciation of their history and preservation of the culture. The Greater Seattle Chapter has been furthering the goals of AHSGR on the local level since being founded in 1975. It is an active chapter whose members and guests enjoy good potluck food at the meetings with informative programs as well as having an opportunity to further their genealogical research and to socialize with others who share their heritage.
This Chapter serves Greater Seattle and the Puget Sound area of Washington State. It is a member of the Council of Northwest Chapters (CNC), a district council for chapters in the Pacific Northwest. The CNC meets several times a year. Our two-day Mini-Conference in April is at the Bavarian resort town of Leavenworth, Wash. In September we participate in the Deutchesfest in Odessa, Wash., where we promote Germans from Russia with a booth in the street fair, a parade entry with Catherine the Great, and genealogy classes in conjunction with the Center for Volga German Studies of Concordia University at Portland, Ore.
The Greater Seattle chapter hosted the annual AHSGR National Convention in 1979 and in 1992 co-hosted the convention with Tacoma’s late Rainier Chapter. It also participated as a member of the Council of Northwest Chapters in hosting the 2003 AHSGR Convention in Yakima, Wash., and provided many volunteers for the 2012 AHSGR Convention in Portland.
Our chapter holds several genealogy workshops during the year in connection with the Seattle Genealogical Society or the National Archives. We also participate with the annual LDS Family History EXPO with a booth and a lecture on the Germans from Russia. Our chapter genealogists are happy to assist in directing researchers.
Local membership dues in the amount of $10 per year per family are collected, in addition to the AHSGR national dues to help pay for the cost of our newsletter production and mailing, renting meeting spaces, and other miscellaneous expenses. Our fund-raising projects help make up the deficit.
For national and local membership information contact Vilma Luck, 11410 NE 124th St., PMB 242, Kirkland, WA 98034. Telephone: (425) 821-2493
We meet six times a year. Most meetings are at Christ Lutheran Church in North Seattle. Our anniversary meeting in February features German food. There are potluck and program meetings in April and June. At our family picnic in August, we love to play Bannock, the game of Bones played by ancestors. Our Oktoberfest and Bazaar is in October, and we have a catered German Holiday lunch in December, where we sing carols in German and have visits from the Peltznickle and the Christkind, who pass out traditional sacks of candy, nets, cookies and the traditional orange. Participation at our meetings is at about 35 to 55 members and guests. A key to sustaining interest is our programs which have been both entertaining and educational. We now find that our members are both Volga and Black Sea/Ukraine so have tried to provide a more balanced series of programs.
Chapter Board Meetings
Our chapter board meetings are held six times a year in January, March, May, July, September, and November. These meetings are used to set membership goals and to do the financial and management business of the chapter. The meetings are attended by the Executive Committee, comprised of Chapter Officers and the committee chairmen, who have special overall assignments including membership, programs, arrangements, genealogy and finance. Ideas are exchanged in these meetings to generate information for the chapter newsletter, to promote membership recruitment, to select fund raising activities and to further the organization’s goals. Board meetings are open to Chapter members as non-voting guests.
Our Chapter Newsletter is published six times a year. The newsletters contain details needed about the chapter meetings and a variety of general information for the members. We try to emphasize education on the Germans from Russia and also relevant activities going on in the area. Most receive it by e-mail and we mail to those unable to receive it electronically. E-mail news issues are available to non-members. Contact the membership chairman to request this service.
Genealogy and Geműtlichkeit are two of the primary activities of the Chapter. Many genealogical items have been donated to the Seattle Public Library and to the Shoreline Branch of the King County Library and are available for public use. A larger collection is also at the Seattle Genealogical Society at 6200 Sandpoint Way NE. The Library is across the street from the Pacific Northwest Branch of the National Archives and is free for researchers. This is a private library with a variety of databases including the Ancestry.com World Edition Plus database, and Fold.3 on site. Some of the chapter’s reference books and maps items are available for reference at each meeting.
We also have an email reminder sent to chapter members before meetings and to convey any special events of interest.