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.

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.


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