28 April 2011

Doing The Jamboree Jive and Making My List

That's what I call my newest dance - The Jamboree Jive.  Not to be confused with my Frozen Food Aisle Samba.  

Only 42 more days until Jamboree 2011!   The Southern California Genealogical Society has been throwing this party for 42 years and they know how to rock. The event will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Burbank, California June 10 - 12  If you haven't been to Jamboree, this is a year not to miss.  Have a look at some of this year's highlights:

The day before Jamboree is a special day - The Family History Writers Conference.  The Conference is a separate activity, with separate registration, but held in conjunction with Jamboree.  The instructors this year are outstanding writers, genealogists and speakers:  John Colletta,  D. G. Fulford, Dawn Thurston, Biff and Nancy Barnes, and our publishing panelists Lou Szucs, Lisa Also and Tom Underhill.

 And wait til you hear this - an interactive smartphone application has been developed for Jamboree 2011.  The app is available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and any other smartphone that has web-enabled browser capability. Click HERE for more information and the download.

I heard that at least 75 geneabloggers will be attending this year.  I can't wait to see so many of my nearest and dearest friends and am excited to know that I'll be meeting many new ones! 

The list of speakers is mighty impressive for this year.  There are a few  that I have never met and I have made a vow not to leave Burbank until I do.  Here are a few that are on my list:

Tony Burroughs, FUGA - I have heard Mr. Burroughs speak at several conferences and he makes it so easy to follow along with his presentations.

John Philip Colletta, Ph.D. - Mr. Colletta was a guest speaker in one of the courses I took at the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research at Samford University.  You can't help but get excited about researching when you have listened to him.

David Allen Lambert from the New England Historical and Genealogical Society - Mr. Lambert is the "Online Genealogist over at the NEHGS website 

Kory L. Meyerink, BS, MLS, AG, FUGA - This is the guy who does Genealogy Jeopardy!

Louise St. Denis, PLCGS - Ms. Denis is the Managing Director for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.  Education is my thing so meeting her is a must.

Lou Szucs, FUGA - Among a plethora of other things, Ms. Szucs is the co-editor of "The Source - A Guidebook of American Genealogy."  I was in a group photo that included Ms. Szucs at the NGS conference last year, but did not get to meet her.  

Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective - Ms. Taylor was in the same group photo I mentioned above.  I did not get a chance to chat with her either.  Oh she did email me to let me know I had gypped her out of a Geneabloggers ribbon.  Color me red.  Just so you know, I mailed her the ribbon as soon as I got back from the conference.  Hell, that was last year, maybe she has forgotten all about it by now.

And last but certainly not least is Curt B. Witcher, MA, FUGA, FIGS who is  the Senior Manager for Special Collections at the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  I saw Mr. Witcher's presentation he gave at the RootsTech conference and just last Saturday I listened to him on "My Society" the new radio show presented by the Federation of Genealogical Societies over at BlogTalk Radio.  I think he may be genealogy's Svengali.  Mr. Witcher is absolutely mesmerizing when he speaks.  After an hour of listening to him I have a new mantra - "Why The Hell Not!"

Saturday, April 30th is the last day to register and get the Early Bird Special.  I'll be there - How about you?

20 April 2011

Genea-Rabbits Rock!

Well it is almost Easter and I just couldn't let it pass us by without one of my videos. Who are those Wacky Wabbits? Randy Seaver of GeneaMusings, Craig Manson of GeneaBlogie, Elizabeth O'Neil of Little Bytes of Life, Thomas MacEntee of um . .well everything and yours truly.


Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

16 April 2011

SNGF - The Last Genealogy Book You Read Cover To Cover

It's Saturday and if you are ready to get all kinds of festive, head on over to Randy Seaver's place for some Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Find the last genealogy book that you read cover-to-cover.  Write a complete source citation, and transcribe the first paragraph of the Introduction.

2)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment on this blog post, or in a Facebook status or post.

Carolyn Earle Billingsley, Communities of Kinship: Antebellum Families and the Settlement of the Cotton Frontier (University of Georgia Press, 2004)

Introduction (page 1)

"As historians, our goal is to examine and analyze traces of the past in order to address the present meaningfully by placing it in context. In other words, we hope to understand what humankind and human society have become by comprehending the processes by which we as peoples evolved and constructed our varied cultures.  This sentiment has been expressed so often as to become almost trite:  William Shakespeare wrote, "What's past is prologue"; "Study the past, if you would divine the future" is attributed to Confucius; and "The past is never dead," according to William Faulkner.  "It's not even past."  To achieve the goal of mining the past for insights about the present and future, historians employ categories of analysis such as race, class, and gender, but they underutilize, overlook, or even reject a significant piece of the methodological puzzle - kinship."

14 April 2011

Where Have I Been All Week?

This entire week - April 10th through the 16th - is National Library Week.  Now, I knew this last week.  I was going to try and come up with the grooviest post ever to tell the world all about it.  I can't believe I let time get away from me like that.  I do recall hearing something whooshing past me the other day, but I never thought it was last week!  

This library week thing is a big deal people.  They even have their own poster boy!  Last year it was Neil Gaiman (a hottie and very gifted author) and this year it is John Grisham (not quite as hot as Neil, but a superb author in his own right).

So head on over to your local library.  If you really want to have some fun, you can play Stump The Librarian.  That's right, bring your toughest research problem along with you and hand it over to the reference desk.  Let me know if you're a winner.

07 April 2011

Moments Like This Are Why I Love My Job

Today has been a very good day.  A client of mine drove all the way over from the Bay area to treat me to lunch and pick up his research report and documents. (Note to self:  this client is a keeper - lunch and he picks up his own report?  Win-Win)

Having been adopted by his maternal grandparents at a very young age, he knew nothing about his father except his name and a general idea of where his father's family might have been living at the time.

My client wanted to know about his paternal line and if perhaps he had any relatives that might still be living in the area.  As a general rule, I do not undertake projects that want me to find the living (contract work from probate attorneys is the exception to the rule).  The background story for this project however was such that I had a hunch any findings would be used for good intentions.   Read on and you'll see my hunch was correct.

Try and picture this scene - It is early 1940's and World War II is in full swing.   Men were going to war, and their sweethearts and wives didn't know if they were coming back.  The men wanted someone to write to while gone and most of all, if they were coming home, they wanted someone waiting there for them.   Over half of those couples probably only knew each other for a matter of days and some for only a few hours.

It should come as no surprise to learn that  immediately following World War II,  the nation's divorce rate was at an all time high. When returning soldiers found things rather different from how they had left them, or were themselves tremendously changed by war.

Fast forward to just a couple of weeks ago when my client contacted me and asked for help in finding his father and his family.  With the background information he provided I was able to easily find the family.  The families in question had come to San Joaquin County in 1907 and had remained firmly planted to this day.

I used one of my very favorite resources - the local newspapers.  There I always seem to find the most interesting things about people and their day to day living.  In was in the obituaries of both of my clients grandfathers that I found something that changed his life.  All these years he had assumed that his father's family did not know about him or if they did, they had no interest.  His name had been changed when the adoption was final.

My client knows now  he was known to them and they never forgot him.  There were many grandchildren for each of the grandfathers but none of them were mentioned save one - my client.  His full name is given and he is referred to as beloved grandson.  

I gave the copies of the obituaries to him while we were visiting the cemetery where they are buried.  He looked up at me through tears and said, "I was missed and I was loved."  

Moments like that make me wake up every day and say, "Damn, I love my job!"