About Me

My photo
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, January 7, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - 7 January 2010

As I have said before, my family was never one to use a wastebasket, so I have all sorts of ephemera that the neighbors of my Wisconsin families probably threw out right after the holidays. Not so in the Hollander, Johnson, and Trapschuh homes: they kept the holiday magazines that now I use as part of my Christmas decorations. This year, very few decorations went up due to illnesses in our home, but I did display the books and magazines from holidays past (most, long, long passed). But now, with 12th night behind us, I must pack them away for a season . . . but I'll haul them out next year and the year after that, etc., enjoying the look into lives that, to some, were simpler than ours (I don't necessarily agree: I love my dishwasher, washing machine, computer, automobile, etc.). So here's one last look at a holiday favorite from 110 years (and one month) ago.


  1. Wonderful! My wife collects sheet music from this period, from garage sales, flea markets, etc. They tell amazing stories. Good for you, sharing them with family and friends, each year at Christmas. Neat!

    Keep these ancestor stories coming!

    Bill ;-)

    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

  2. What a treasure! I tend to be the one who doesn't use the wastebasket....I wish my ancestors would have done the same...lol Great post Jean and thanks for sharing.