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.

Friday, September 24, 2010

California Family History Expo Countdown - 2 weeks and counting

I cannot believe that there are only 2 weeks left before we have our genealogy reunion in Pleasanton, CA. That's one of the things I like the most: getting together with friends and cousins to network, reminisce, learn, and create new memories. I truly love this group of folks and am honored to be in their midst.

But what if you are new to genealogy? Will you feel out of place? Will there be anything for you? I know that sometimes there is an assumption that everyone knows the basics and some of the speakers can approach topics as if everyone knows that an "M" on a census record may stand for "Male," "Married," or "Mulatto," depending on which column it is in. Sometimes, as speakers, we forget to be clear. Please, if that happens and you are confused, ask for clarification (ideally, wait until the end of the presentation, but if it's something that will make the presentation meaningless until it's clarified, speak up, especially if the presentation is advertised as being for "beginners").

That said, let me make some suggestions for beginning researchers to "fill your bill" of genealogy presentations:

Friday, 10 am - "Genealogy for the First Time" - Laura Best

Friday, 11:30 am - "Google Search" - Lisa Louise Cooke

Friday, 1:30 pm - "Best Strategies for Searching Ancestry.com" - Ancestry.com Staff

Friday, 3:00 pm - "FamilySearch 2010 and Beyond" - Gordon J. Clarke

Friday, 4:30 pm - "What Can I Learn from the United States Census?" - Debbe Hagner, AG

Saturday, 8:00 am - "Clue to Clue: Tracking a Family across Time and Miles" - Jean Hibben, CG

Saturday, 9:30 am - "How to Use Your Family Tree to Improve Your Health" - Jordanna Joaquina

Saturday, 11:00 am - "Facebook for Genealogists" - Thomas MacEntee

Saturday, 1:00 pm - "Using Timelines and Historic Maps in Genealogy Research" - Laura Best

Saturday, 2:30 pm - "How to Find Your Ancestors on Ship Passenger Lists" - Debbe Hagner, AG

Saturday, 4:00 pm - "Kiss Those Brick Walls Goodbye! Research Success Stories" - Holly Hansen

Please note: these are general ideas for beginners. If you are particularly interested in working with FamilySearch, then I would recommend you attend more of their programs; if you are working on finding an ancestor from a particular culture (Irish, Scottish, German, etc.), check out the offerings for those beginning ethnic research endeavors. Click on the image above to access the full schedule of the event to select what is perfect for you.

Next week I'll talk a little more about the blogging that will be part of the expo.

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