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.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Family History Expo Countdown - New CD

Well, after much work, we finally completed my 7th CD in a series of recordings based on the family history songs/stories programs I do. This one is "Songs of the American West" and will shortly be available through my distributor, CDBaby (I'll make that announcement when the CD is "up" and "on-line" with, hopefully, digital downloading available).

However, if you are going to be at the Salt Lake Family History Expo (being held in Sandy, Utah) on the 28th & 29th of August, you can get a copy there or purchase individual songs as MP3s (either on discs we provide or downloaded to your own flash drive). This is a new option we will have available at the Expo in our booth, #621 (it will look something like the photo below), and can save some money if you want only a very few songs or a selection of songs from different CDs.

This particular CD is unique in that it includes some original ("lost") verses of familiar songs to help demonstrate some of the lyrics your ancestors sung. Most notable is the song we know as "Home, Home on the Range" but was originally written as "The Western Home" by Dr. Brewster Higley. The website for Kansas Heritage gives some fascinating history of the song and its virtually unknown author, along with links to lyrics and stories related to the piece. Check it out for some interesting reading, then come by our booth at the Expo and hear it.

For more information on the Expo, click on the Family History Expo logo at the top of the page . . . there's a lot happening and many experts to assist you in your roots pursuits!

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