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 2, 2009

A purpose! I finally found the purpose!

I'm not a blogger ... I'm a blagger ... that's a quasi-blogger who is lagging behind. Way behind. But I have figured out why, and that is a real accomplishment: I just don't know what it is I should be blogging about. There are so many blogs out there, what would make mine different and worth following? Well, I got my answer at 4 this morning, when the puppy needed a little outdoor visit (he's recovering from patella surgery and is getting whatever he wants whenever he wants it). I couldn't get back to sleep, wondering about this whole blogging thing (don't ask about the connection between a puppy nature call and blogging ... at 4am, anything can be connected).

As many know, I am a folklorist. I have been collecting and studying folk music and folklore since I was about 8 (and you can imagine how well that went over with my peer group ... everyone thought I was very strange ... and I guess they weren't too far off). It occurs to me that my genealogist friends, colleagues, and acquaintances may not be aware of the many folk songs that have connection to their ancestors. So I have decided that it should be my mission to correct this. I already do this in my musical presentations where I combine music, stories, and history, but I could expand on some of the songs (many that don't make it into presentations) as well as their history and relevance to family historians. And I can also guide people to additional resources in books, recordings, or on the Internet.

And so, with this introduction to my newly discovered purpose (why did it take me so long?), I hope that you will spread the word that those who are looking for a little more social history to add to their family history may find it (as far as the music of our ancestors is concerned) at this blogspot.


  1. Wonderful!!!

    I can hardly wait. I'm glad that you thought of your "call of blogging" even when the pup was answering the call of nature.

    Will you have links to your song audio? Or put up videos of your performances? Think of the possibilities! Or not...

    Have fun -- Randy

  2. Thanks, Randy. I will do a little of everything, as available. And I will promote the recordings of others who have done justice to some of the songs. So, hopefully, I will be serving 2 communities at once: the genealogists and the folkies (what we call folk musicians & lovers of the genre).
    Always appreciate your comments & support!

  3. I think back to Santa Ana when we first met. How far you have come!! I am a little jealous that you have found your calling. I found mine but I have had to put it aside while I am working full time. Ah to travel with your husband and to do what you really love! You go girl!!