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 4, 2013

A new year is upon us. Well, I don't make NY resolutions, as a rule, because I believe change should be exacted when/as needed, not when a particular date arrives. Of course, sometimes I fail to make the needed changes at the moment they are required, but I guess that also makes me human.

I would like to say that I hereby resolve to post in my blog on a more regular basis, but I have already discovered that my failure to post frequently is often due to more pressing issues. As a strong believer in knowing one's priorities, I will then say that I will post as the time and circumstances allow. Oh, wait, that's what I am already doing. Good. Right on schedule.

I would like to comment here about two exciting events that occurred in 2012 that have advanced my genealogy exploits and that were direct results of blogging about my ancestors. I have already mentioned the one - my contact with an angel from the Czech Republic who has informed me more about my Knoetgen and Trapschuh origins and who has taken the time to research and copy the baptism and marriage records of my family members. I cannot explain how excited that has made me. Now, with a lot of new research comes new problems and I am faced with yet secondary birth dates for some of my Bohemian family members, so I have been given new information and new problems at the same time. But I am up to the challenge and am now creating spread sheets that identify the ancestor, name given (those have been altered, too), the birth date provided, and the respective source. I think that these charts will help with uncovering the mysteries.

The second angel who entered my life in 2012 is also German. She lives close to where my Bonn ancestors lived. She was interested in my book, which she read about in the blog, and I got her a copy, which she read with fascination. Then she proceeded to offer help. She has already made inquiries about the convent where my g-grandmother was raised and learned about an associated orphanage. She is working on obtaining the records, but administrative personnel are not available during the holiday time. I am so excited that she is providing me with such a service, especially since I will be starting my second novel, a sequel to the one on Elisabeth, dealing with her daughter who came to America 10 years later. The information from Bonn will be exceedingly helpful.

So, you see, I have my work cut out for me and I have great plans for 2013. I pray that this year will be low on stress and high on discoveries for my genealogy friends. I also wish for peace and good health in the months to come.