About Me

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Riverside County, California, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 24 times over and a great-grandmother of 16 with three more due in 2016. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I am a Board Certified genealogist and more information on all this, as well as direct contact info, is on my Circlemending website.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Connecting with our ancestors and with other passionate genealogists

I just returned from the Family History Expo in St. George, Utah, and it was a great weekend! Unfortunately, I didn't have any time to attend the classes presented by my colleagues, but I did get to meet a number of excited genealogists of all levels. I was impressed with the number of people I met who are committed to doing thorough and accurate research and properly documenting their findings.

My husband, Butch, and I had a booth where we sold CDs and presented the music and instruments of our ancestors. A number of folks in neighboring booths enjoyed the music in the background throughout much of the 2 days and we had a great chance to tell people about how their ancestors relaxed with "homemade music." It was a lot of fun for us and, apparently, for expo attendees as well.

I also had the opportunity to present a couple of programs - my "Clue to Clue," which is a favorite of many, and a 2-part presentation on Federal Census records. Both were well-received and I connected with people who are researching the same areas that I am. One woman I met is related to a neighbor of my g-g-g-grandfather (in NY) and another woman told me that she is related to the family of a young boy who, I believe, apprenticed to my g-g-grandfather (in MI).

Part of the fun of doing genealogy is connecting with others who share the passion. When I show my exciting finds to family members and friends, most look at me as if I am crazy. At conferences, seminars, and expos, genealogists can connect to people who identify with the excitement of locating a lost ancestor, finding an elusive grave, or finally identifying a maiden name. That happened a great deal this weekend and that, in itself, made the event a high point in 2009 (and it's only March).

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