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, December 17, 2010

Mesa Family History Expo Countdown - 5 weeks

Only 5 weeks until genealogists from all over the country will converge on Mesa, Arizona to enjoy the Family History Expo and learn new ways of researching their family trees. Last week I discussed the various things people can do while visiting the Phoenix area. Today I want to suggest a schedule for those who are beginning genealogists. Now, these are not the only choices for beginners; in fact, if you have some specific areas of concern (ethnic genealogy research, software interests, etc.), then I wouldn't suggest this list. But if you are new to genealogy and have no idea what to "take," this schedule might be helpful:

10:00 am - Putting the Flesh on the Bones - Ron Arons
11:30 am - Juicy Family History: 25 Ways to Write Compelling True
Stories - M. Bridget Cook
1:30 pm - Who is That? Why Did Your Ancestor Associate with Apparent Strangers? - Jean Wilcox Hibben
3:00 pm - In the Beginning – Just Getting Started - Betsy Frith Gottsponor
4:30 pm - 7 Habits of Highly Successful Genealogists - DearMyrtle

8:00 am - State and Territorial Censuses & Substitutes, Additional Names for U.S. Genealogical Research - Leland Meitzler
9:30 am - I LOVE Libraries: Using Libraries for Your Genealogy - Gena Philibert Ortega
11:00 am - United States Immigration Overview - Jason Harrison
1:00 pm - Little Known Facts About the U.S. Census - Shirley Gage Hodges
2:30 pm - Keeping Your Genealogy Computer File Clean - Janet Hovorka


  1. And where are you in this schedule?? You know that you are my favorite speaker!!

  2. I'm doing 2 presentations on Fri - both in the afternoon - and 1 on Sat, 8:30 am, I think. It'll keep me out of trouble. Will spend the rest of the time in the exhibit hall with the bloggers, I think.