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, October 1, 2010

California Family History Expo Countdown - 1 week and counting

This is it . . . the last week before we gather in Pleasanton at the Alameda County Fairgrounds to network, learn, share, and have a fabulous time addressing the topic of Family History. An entire two days of this . . . what more could we ask?

In the last couple of weeks, I have discussed the topics of things to see between So. Calif. and the Expo, what is free for those not interested in attending classes, what I will be doing there, and what topics will be good choices for beginners. Today I want to share some of the things that will be included in the exhibit hall. To read everything, check out the link on the image below, but to get my recommendations of exhibits to visit, scroll down further here . . .

FamilySearch: Need I say more? But there is so much . . . there are so many changes happening and about to happen at FamilySearch that this booth is a must if you want to understand all that is going on. Of course, they will also be sponsoring lectures on their resources, always available for free to the public. And there are always FREEBIES at the booth, so you must stop by this one!

Ancestry.com: Another booth and company that has a reputation that should not require additional explanation. Its recent acquisition of Footnote.com will surely be explained, especially for those of us with subscriptions to both. And did you know that Ancestry has a website with more to search than just census records? I just found an ancestor's passport application on Ancestry. How can anyone get very far in their research without Ancestry? And, of course, their representatives will also be giving presentations to help you navigate their website. (They also usually have some fun FREEBIES at their booth, so check that out, too.)

RootsMagic: This is my personal favorite software when it comes to organizing my ancestors in an easy-to-use method. Bruce Buzbee provides personal attention to RM users. He will walk you through one-on-one or instruct you in the lectures he will present . . . either way, there is no excuse for not becoming a self-sufficient RM user in short order. (Check out his FREEBIES, too . . . there's usually something fun that he passes along.)

While those are my favorite ones, there are so many others that will help you manage your family trees, network with other researchers, and add to your genealogy education that I cannot possibly list them all here. I will be spending some time in the Exhibit Hall, helping at the Southern California Genealogical Society booth and doing music (during lunch) in the concession area. Also, my CDs will be available for purchase at the Family History Expo booth, so be sure to check them out too (they have some marvelous t-shirts, genealogy-oriented stamps, and other fun goodies to tell people "I am a genealogist").

And don't forget to check on the door prizes that are always part of the Expos . . . watch for your name to be drawn!

Lots to see, lots to learn, lots to buy . . . see you in Pleasanton where my next blog in this series should originate!

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