BIGS Business

BIGS Business

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Notes from the President

You may recall that we operate our Outreach program, TreeBuilder, in partnership with the Kitsap Regional Library (KRL) meeting monthly at the Bainbridge Public Library. I am very happy to announce that we have been invited and have accepted the honor of becoming a Partner with the Bainbridge Public Library itself. To fully understand the meaning of this partnership, you must understand a bit about the structure and operation of the Bainbridge Public Library.

From the BPL website: “Bainbridge Public Library, a nonprofit corporation, owns, operates, and maintains the Library building and grounds through community donations and grants. Kitsap Regional Library provides the library staff, collection, classes, and a virtual library at with funding from property tax revenues. Together we provide the quality library our community wants and has come to expect.”

Our partnership status with the BPL brings us tangible benefits. It means that the reduced rental fees for the large meeting room that has housed BIGS monthly programs for the past 20 years will be waived. More importantly, our partnership aligns us with the mission of the BPL. Again, from the BPL website: “Bainbridge Public Library ensures a vibrant community space dedicated to the joy of reading, the discovery of ideas, and the power of information by owning, operating, and maintaining the library building and grounds.” 

Genealogy Societies and Public Libraries share much in common. Moreover, the programs and practices of BIGS are a natural fit with those of the BPL. We both benefit from and reinforce each other’s values. That’s why we are immensely proud to be a BPL Partner.

In my opinion, while many of our valued American institutions seem to have lost their way in our modern world, our public libraries have not. And the Bainbridge Public Library is an outstanding example of such an organization. I hope you share in the pride we feel about our association and will help us support the good works of our new partner. Go to to learn more about the BPL.

Larry Noedel

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Photos from the...


Friday, June 21, 2024

A very good time was had by all! 

These photographs, from the Second Annual Antiques Roadshow, are courtesy of Chuck Eklund. 

(Photos will change automatically every few seconds)

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What makes these BIGS members so Happy?

No one said anything funny. These aren’t, “Smile for the camera smiles.” That’s simply what it felt like to have told our family stories and learned that their significance was appreciated by our audience, the Bainbridge Island Women’s ClubOn Thursday, March 21, Holly Ardinger, Betty Wiese, Susie Wood and I represented BIGS at their monthly meeting.

We presented our “Why Genealogy?” program. This program involves a team of four members each answering the question “Why Genealogy?” with some of their own brief family stories, and ends with an invitation to join the genealogy fun and get some help from BIGS. From beginning to end, the entire presentation runs about one half-hour.

Our audience of 55 women was quite interested in our little talk. And, there was a warm and lively Q&A period afterward. We had created an outreach handout to use in our TreeBuilder coaching sessions and offered it on this occasion. (A family tree form on one side and tips about how to get started on the other.) We were quite pleased to find that 14 members of the audience left with one.

We can put that smile on your face too. We know that you have some amazing family stories. Pick one or two that show why you love genealogy and come along the next time we share stories with the world outside BIGS. 

If you would like to explore joining our team please contact Susie Wood. She can tell you more about what is expected of participants in this or our other community outreach efforts, each designed to promote genealogy and let folks know who we are and what we offer.

Finally, if you belong to an organization on Bainbridge or North Kitsap that you think might be interested in having us present our Why Genealogy? program, please let me know. As we say in our presentation: “Why Genealogy? It’s all about discovering those family stories.” Let’s add yours to our mix!

Larry Noedel

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A Visit to the Suquamish Museum

Earlier this month, five members of the BIGS Board had the opportunity to tour the Suquamish Museum, with Museum Director Lisa Jackson acting as our tour guide. As Lisa shared with us the museum displays, she also treated us to stories of the Suquamish people – their struggles and accomplishments. We let her know right off that we were all amateur genealogists with a love of family history, and she willingly obliged us. She shared how the tribe is collecting elder stories, historic artifacts, and safeguarding their Lushootseed language. We learned why the Port Madison reservation is a patchwork of tribal and non-tribal held land, where last names came from, how membership is determined by blood quantum and much more. It was a wonderful journey through the history, culture and art of the Suquamish people, just as their website promises!

After our delightful experience at the museum, Betty Wiese, our Education Chair, quickly reached out to see if we could arrange for Lisa Jackson to give a presentation to BIGS. And, I am happy to report that Lisa has agreed to speak to us on the third Friday in November. Our plan is to have a hybrid presentation, with Lisa at the Bainbridge Library. You will definitely want to attend this opportunity to learn more about the first people of the land we all now call home.

Andy Hoskins, President

Lisa Jackson, Director of the Suquamish Museum
BIGS at Ququamish
Betty Wiese, Susie Wood, Ann Eklund, Larry Noedel, and Andy Hoskins

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Would You Like Some One-On-One Help?

As a BIGS member, you are eligible for a “consultation” with an experienced member about a genealogy problem or issue. For example, you might want a coach to review your work to offer ideas on next steps or to review your conclusions to see if they make sense. You might want help deciding whether or not to do a DNA test and which one is best suited for you. You might want help analyzing DNA matches to identify next steps.

To ask for help, simply contact Education Chair Betty Wiese ( to start the process. You and your “coach/mentor” will work out when and where to meet. Most consultations last 1 ½-2 hours, perhaps with some follow up.

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