About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, 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 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. 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 work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday, 30 June 2009

M. Elaine Hill (nee Strauss) was born 13 July 1943, in Illinois to Norma Mayer & James Strazewski (changed to Strauss). She was married to Clark Hill. She died in June 2005 and was interred 27 June 2005 in Arlington Cemetery, DuPage County, Illinois. The burial records have been instrumental in helping me sort out the relationships, complicated because her mother (whose own mother had 2 children by 2 different husbands, both with the surname of Mayer), after divorcing her father, changed her name from Strauss back to Strazewski, making my research skills severely challenged. Elaine was my 2nd cousin, once removed and, while I met her a couple of times, I had no idea how complicated her life was until now, in my attempts to track this part of my family (and I'm kicking myself because I was well emersed in genealogy during her lifetime; why didn't I make an effort to interview her? Lesson learned: interview everyone . . . tombstone Tuesday could come at any time for any one of us!).

Post Script: I have been in contact with a cousin of Elaine's through her father's side and have cleared up some of the relationships in my family tree. This dear woman located me because of Tombstone Tuesday. While I have been posting tombstones and family stories for my own enjoyment and to spread the Geneabloggers Tombstone Tuesday program into yet another blog, I have gaine so much information from this one contact that I cannot begin to express my joy and excitement! And I was able to fill in blanks for her, as well. So, thank you, Joan, for helping me!

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