About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Countdown to Mesa, AZ Family History Expo - Thomas MacEntee bringing warmth to Mesa

When I agreed to be a Blogger of Honor (and I am honored to have been invited to be part of this), it never occurred to me that, to properly address all about the Mesa, AZ Family History Expo that makes me excited about it, I really needed to begin in, well, January of 2009. But I didn't and so now I am sitting here with just a few days remaining until the EVENT and I am not done with telling you about all the people I am looking forward to seeing (some again, some for the first time). Good thing, though, I will be continuing next week with the Countdown to St. George Family History Expo. Even though there will be some different speakers, topics, and exhibits, many will be the folks I love seeing at these events.

But the Mesa Expo will have a newcomer to the Expo participants, but hardly new to the genealogy world: Super blogger, and fellow Blogger of Honor, Thomas MacEntee. You may already know Thomas from his fame as the GeneaBlogger. Now, you simply must click on his name link to see his photo. Thomas, a fellow Chicagoan (though he still lives in that cold & snow while I escaped over 35 years ago) personifies that photo: the man has an amazing sense of humor and is always getting people to interact. His people skills are simply fabulous! He is the man who convinced me that I really wanted to be a blogger (before we connected, I had a blog, but didn't post more than one or two things a month . . . Thomas inspired me to make my blog something that I would be proud of, but also something that would have a positive effect on the genealogy community).

The subjects of his Expo presentations will be blogging and tweeting (no surprise there), but I am sure he will be at the blogger banquet, sharing his jokes and making sure no one feels like a stranger. I met Thomas at the SCGS Jamboree in Burbank, CA last June and he organized the blogger banquet there and before long the room full of blogging strangers became more like a family reunion. People couldn't stay in their seats . . . everyone was connecting with the folks we'd seen only on the blogging "pages" . . . and all because of Thomas (who, by the way, was also handing out strands of beads . . . I passed on that as I really hate things around my neck . . . but it was fun to be able to recognize the beaded bloggers).

To read more about the GeneaBloggers, click the icon on this blog (over on the left) or the link here:
Now, I need to tell you that, when you visit the GeneaBloggers website, you will find huge amounts of information that I know will warrant further exploration (GeneaBloggers is the originator of Madness Monday, Tombstone Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Treasure Chest Thursday, and some others), but please first read the "Terms of Service" on the right hand side (scroll down a bit and you'll see the terms there). I find that to be one of the most brilliant pieces of writing on the Internet . . . and I don't think I have laughed so hard since, well, the GeneaBlogger dinner in Burbank last June.

I know Thomas is coming west to escape the snow & cold of the windy city, but even though Mesa is already warm in comparison, I am certain the thermometer will go up a few more degrees when Thomas arrives with his own personal warmth. So come to Mesa, visit me at the Circlemending Booth (#11), and laugh some with Thomas MacEntee . . . I promise you won't regret it!


  1. Jean

    Thanks so much for the profile! People say I am a funny guy - I just wish they'd leave my looks out of this!

    It was great to meet you at #scgs09 Jamboree last June and I can't wait to see you next week at Mesa. Guess what? I'll have beads again!

  2. Jean,
    What a wonderful tribute to a great guy! I will be one of many who will be wishing they were with you all in Mesa and will be hanging on every tweet and blog post. Maybe you can get Thomas to switch to earrings?

  3. Can't wait to see you there! John and I are both off work to go!!!


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