30 May 2014

Jamboree - Q&A for Friday, May 30 - CNN's Series about the 60s

Q: Did you know that CNN is running a special series of programs looking back at the 60s?

A: Yes! The first episode was on last night and it was a good introduction to the series. Seeing the NBC peacock and Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color splashes took me back to our Sunday visits to my grandparents, who had the only color TV in the family. It was no coincidence that our visits ended right after Tinkerbell waved her magic wand to paint the cartoon sky.

Here is the schedule for upcoming sessions:

I'm not sure if/when the first episode will be repeated, but my money would be on it being available online if not on the the broadcast schedule.

29 May 2014

Jamboree - Flashback to the 60s - Have You Shared Your Memories?

Have you written your Flashback to the 60s and sent it to the Jamboree Committee? You have a week - until Friday noon June 6 - to submit your remembrances and be entered in the drawing for a free registration to the 2015 Jamboree.

We'll display the submissions at Jamboree so everyone has a chance to read them. Look for them in signs that are located outside of Academy 2.

Have you read the ones that have already been submitted?  If not, take a few minutes and read them here. I have really enjoyed reading the memories. One thing that struck me is that we of a certain age have a lot of shared experiences, regardless of where we lived.

Here are the guidelines:

Entries are limited to registered attendees of the 2014 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree attendees and/or members of the Southern California Genealogical Society.

Please keep your entries to 400 words or less. It can be as short as a couple of sentences.

Email entries to flashback1960@scgsgenealogy.com. Put the content directly into the email; no attachments please. Your subject line should read "Flashback 1960." Include your Name, Address, City, State, Zip, Phone number, and email address at the bottom of the email.

Any research used in the submission must be supported by end note citations. For guidelines on citation style, see Evidence, Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian, by Elizabeth Shown Mills (Genealogical Publishing Co.). End notes are not included in the word count.

Entries may be posted online and/or displayed at Jamboree. Entrants grant SCGS the one-time right to publish their memory in the SCGS journal, The Searcher; and/or the SCGS website; and/or the Jamboree app, and/or displayed in electronic or print form at Jamboree. You retain the copyright to your work.

The winner will be announced on Friday, June 6, at the banquet. Submissions will be accepted through Friday noon, June 6.

Jamboree Q&A for Thursday, 29 May - Rooms at the Marriott? UPDATE

Q. Is there any chance that rooms will open up at the Marriott?

A. YES! But you have to move fast. Our contact at the Marriott told us that there are a limited number of rooms available Wednesday ($169 per night) and Thursday - Sunday ($155 per night).

The Marriott room block closes 
at the end of the day Friday, May 30.

Make your reservation online and email Jameson Hawley JHawley@pyramidhotelgroup.com and copy jamboree@scgsgenealogy.com if you have any difficulty making a reservation. It seems that there is a gremlin in the Marriott's reservation system, and Jameson is making these changes for us.

If you have a reservation at the Courtyard and you would prefer to be at the Marriott, make the reservation at the Marriott first and then cancel your Courtyard reservation.

There are still rooms available at the Courtyard, too.

Here is a link to reservations for both hotels.

We will be announcing the Courtyard shuttle schedule within the next couple of days.

Jamboree - Q&A for Wednesday, 28 May - Scooter Rental?

Q: Do you know where I can rent a scooter for Jamboree?

A: Here is the suggestion from the Marriott Bell Captain:

Eagle Medical Supplies
922 S San Fernando Blvd.
Burbank CA 91502
(818) 559-6390

28 May 2014

Jamboree - Take This Bag and Stuff It!

This Saturday and Sunday launch the official beginning of Jamboree week, and we want you to join in on the fun.

Saturday afternoon, May 31, at 2pm Pacific time, Leo, Vicki and Paula will be online answering all your questions about Jamboree. Be the first to hear about *A* B*I*G  S*E*C*R*E*T we've been keeping from everyone.

Register for the webinar and get a peek into the events of next weekend. From schedule, to exhibitors, to speakers, to special events, to New Year's Eve and parking, it will all be covered.

Then Sunday, it's time to

Take This Bag and Stuff It!

It's the annual controlled chaos of filling hundreds and hundreds of registration bags with all of the coupons, special offers, flyers and goodies that our exhibitors have provided to you.

Yes, we will have pizza.
Yes, we will have sit-down jobs and yes, we will have stand-up jobs.
Yes, we will have fun. And...
Yes, you know you want to be a part of the action.

Where and when?

Sunday, June 1, 2014
10:00 a.m. until we're done (usually before 2pm)
SCGS Family Research Library
417 Irving Drive
Burbank, CA 91504
Cross street Glenoaks

Genealogists' Declaration of Rights - Sign at Jamboree

Not coming to Jamboree? Click to sign online.
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Calling all family historians to sign the Genealogists' Declaration of Rights next week at Jamboree.

The Board of Directors of the Southern California Genealogical Society strongly endorse this ambitious effort to protect the access to the birth, marriage, death and other records that are critical to successful searches for our ancestors.

Jamboree will dedicate an exhibit hall booth -- Booth 105, just inside the main door -- to collect signatures from California residents. Jamboree guests from other states will be encouraged to sign online.

Copies of the signature pages will be provided to the Records Preservation & Access Committee, a joint committee of the Federation of Genealogical Studies, National Genealogical Society, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

"Our goal is to collect RPAC with 1000 signatures from the genealogists and family historians who attend the Family History and DNA and Jamboree events," explained David Burde, president of the Southern California Genealogical Society.

Jordan Jones, President of the National Genealogical Society (NGS), a sponsoring member of the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), announced the Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights before a crowd of more than 2,500 genealogists attending the Opening Session of the NGS 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia, on 7 May 2014. Jordan will be speaking at Jamboree on Friday afternoon.

Over the next few months, the Declaration will travel to the 34th IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Salt Lake City, Utah, 27 July–1 August 2014 and the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in San Antonio, Texas, 27–30 August 2014. Jamboree is the first to feature the Declaration at a genealogy conference since it was introduced at NGS.

REMINDER: FREE Webinar - Sat. 31 May - Everything You Want to Know about Jamboree


Please join us for this FREE webinar sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society.

Everything You Wanted to Know
about Jamboree
Saturday, 31 May, 2014
2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Pacific time
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

What better way to prepare for the 45th Annual Southern California Jamboree than to get a preview from the Conference's organizers? Learn about parking, classes, special events, JamboFREE on Friday morning, speakers, exhibitors, the app ... Everything you need for the very best Jamboree experience possible. Jamboree team members Leo Myers, Paula Hinkel and Vicki Hilb will be on hand to give you all the scoops.

The initial webcast of each session is offered to the public free of charge. Webinars are archived and available only to SCGS members as a benefit of membership in the society. The webinar archive can be found at http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/webinar/archive-index.html. Webinars are available about a week after the session closes. In addition to 24/7 access to the webinar archive, SCGS members enjoy a number of other benefits, including free from-home access to World Vital Records. Learn about all these benefits at http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/membership/benefit-memb.html.

The list of upcoming webinars can be found at http://scgsgenealogy.com/webinar/jes-index.html

Jamboree - Video and Audio Recordings Available for Pre-Order

If you're interested in purchasing a video or audio recording from Jamboree, you can place an advance order and save 10%.

Whether you're purchasing one or two sessions as an alternative to cloning so you can attend two sessions at once, or if you are purchasing all of the available videos and/or audio recordings, Conference Resource will do a high-quality recording of class sessions at the Family History and DNA and Jamboree events.

These recorded sessions will not be available in the SCGS webinar archive. Streamed sessions are not available for purchase from Conference Resource.

Download the order form and place your order early and save. You can also order online.

By the way, you can purchase recordings from earlier Jamborees too. 

2013 Jamboree
2012 Jamboree
2011 Jamboree

27 May 2014

Jamboree: One-to-One Research Assistance - A Valuable Benefit of Jamboree

Click Here to Register for Assistance
Guest post by Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, CG

“Thanks, I don’t need any help; I’ve got this.”

I used to say that a lot when I was first getting started in genealogy. It wasn’t because I really did know everything – goodness, I certainly didn’t (still don’t)! It was because I was embarrassed to admit what I didn’t know.

I didn’t know that I could access records from my family’s native Germany (no one told me I could), so I thought such an attempt would be useless. I didn’t know that probate files for my ancestors could be viewed, so I never checked into that. I didn’t know that land records might help me sort out relationships among family members, so I didn’t ask anyone about how to find and/or read them. And so much more!

Remember being in school and the teacher asking, “Are there any questions?” How many hands went up? If your classes were anything like mine, very few. Yet, afterwards, the teacher was often (privately) besieged by students asking the questions about which they did not want to admit (publicly) ignorance. Do you feel that way still? I know I do!

I have attended genealogy lectures, certain that everyone around me had complete understanding of the concept being taught, language used, or resources mentioned. When the speaker asked, “Questions?” I, like so many others present, kept my hand down. I didn’t want others to know that I was unfamiliar with a particular repository, acronym, or website; especially since I am a professional genealogist (news flash: professional genealogists do NOT know everything about the subject, any more than an English teacher knows about every novel ever written).

If some of this sounds familiar, then the Research Assistance room in the Tech Hallway at Jamboree may be just the place for you. People who have knowledge of specific areas of the genealogical world will be available to answer questions, help guide your research, vault brick walls, or maybe just get you started. You do not need to worry about anyone looking at you strangely for not knowing what PERSI is, where Family History Centers are located, which website specializes in what types of records, etc. If the person you ask doesn’t have the answer, he/she can direct you to those who do or help you find the requested resource on the Internet.

Just think: a safe haven for all those family history queries! Sign up for a pre-arranged research consultation (as a “client”) or just drop by during the Jamboree hours. And if you can help be an advisor, the same invitation applies – we need folks who are willing to share some of their knowledge (without shaming those who ask questions that experienced genealogists thought were “common knowledge” – there is no such thing).

See you at RESEARCH ASSISTANCE sponsored by the Southern Calif. Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists!

Jean Wilcox Hibben; PhD, CG
SCCAPG past President

Jamboree - Q&A for Tuesday, 27 May

Q:  Will the exhibit hall be open to the public, without paying registration, at any time during the conference?

A:  Yes! The exhibit hall is free throughout the conference, beginning noon on Friday to 2:30 on Sunday.

What's a good time to shop? Consider coming on Sunday afternoon. The vendors are likely to be offering bargains, and you might be more lucky finding a parking spot in the Marriott lot.

26 May 2014

Jamboree - Genealogy World Schedule Announced

(Please note - the correct time of the first Genealogy World session is 9:00am. This blog has been updated to reflect the change.)

One of the most popular activities of Jamboree occur as part of Genealogy World.  Genealogy World, a free-form round table discussion, is designed as a way for family history researchers to exchange ideas, tips and tricks that they have developed pertaining to geographic, ethnic or topic-specific challenges.

Round tables of 10 people are set up in Pavilion 1 on Friday morning during JamboFREE. Genealogy World, as well as all of the activities of JamboFREE, is open the public at no charge.

Genealogy World table hosts help keep the conversation moving and make sure that everyone has a chance to ask questions, make suggestions, or relate successful techniques that can be adopted by others.

Two Genealogy World sessions will be held in 2014. The first session runs from 9:00am to 10:15am; the second runs from 10:30am to 12:00pm. One change we've made for 2014 is to devote half of each Genealogy World session to the use of DNA. From beginner to expert, you'll find just the table you need to help work through your DNA mysteries. (DNA people, be sure to bring your passwords if you want assistance interpreting your results. The Pavilion will have WiFi access.)

Here are the table line-ups. Look for handouts, signs and volunteers to guide you to the correct table. We'll also post the table map on the app for your reference.

  1    Lineage Research - Diane Stephens
  2    Southern U.S. - John Hasha
  3    Land Deeds - Georgine Herd
  7    French Canadian/ New England - Suzy Goulet
13    DNA-Incorporating DNA Research into Genealogy - Dave Dowell
14    DNA-Incorporating DNA Research into Genealogy - Cheri Mello
15    DNA-in Ireland and/or Irish Caribbean Ancestry - Dr. Maurice Gleeson
16    DNA-YDNA Beginner Help, (especially those with Scottish surnames) - Jim McAuley
17    DNA- Advanced YDNA SNPs and Haplotrees - Alice Fairhurst
18    DNA-Test Company Comparisons - Angie Bush
19    DNA-Autosomal Websites and Third Party Tools - Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD
20    DNA-Autosomal DNA Help for Beginners - Kathleen Cooper, Carol Wootton, Stacie Abney etc.
21    DNA-Autosomal Chromosome Mapping Help - Tim Janzen, MD
22    DNA-Adoptees - Doug Neslund AKA Griffeth

Rotating DNA  Consultants/Triage 
Kathy Johnston, Bonny Cook
can also answer questions about the X chromosome and mitochondrial DNA
SESSION 1 - 8:30am to 10:15am
  4    Scandinavian Research - Lynn Anderson
  5    English Research - Bill Luther
  6    Jewish Research - Jane Neff Rollins
  8    Technology and Social Media - Thomas MacEntee
  9    Chinese/Oral History - Anna Gee
10    Looking for Identity via Genealogy - Bernice Bennett
11    Mexican Research - John Schmal
12    Jewish/DNA - Daniel Horowitz

SESSION 2 - 10:30am - 12:00pm Session

  4    Nordic Research - Peggy Wishon and Lynn Anderson
  5    Irish Research - Marge Rossini
  6    Italian Research - Toni Perron
  8    Technology and Social Media - Randy Seaver
  9    African American Research - Nicka J. Smith
10    Native American Research - Paula Stuart-Warren
11    Massachusetts (Early Settlers) - Mandee Baird
12    Jewish/DNA - Schelly Talalay Dardashti

Thank you to all of the table hosts who have volunteered their time to facilitate the conversation, and to Lisa Howison who answered the call for help from Jean Hibben, Coleen Briggs, Kathy Johnston and Bonny Cook, who worked so diligently to organize the event. 

25 May 2014

Jamboree - Advance Registration is Closed

Advance registration for the Family History and DNA - Genetic Genealogy in 2014 Conference, and the 2014 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, is now closed.

Tickets will be sold at the door for both conferences. Walk-in registration for Family History and DNA will open at 7:00am on Thursday in the Convention Center

Walk-in registration for Jamboree will open Friday at 12:00 noon sharp inside the Convention Center at the registration kiosk. Saturday and Sunday walk-ins can register beginning at 7:30am.

What if you change your mind and want to go to one of the events?  Check with the registration kiosk in the Convention Center to see if meal tickets are available. You might get lucky. We'll also have a message board available in the foyer for "ticket wanted" or "ticket available" notes.

For those who registered in advance, if you ordered a ticket for a meal or special event, the ticket will be in your registration envelope. If by some chance it's not there, Louise at the registration kiosk can help you.

22 May 2014

Jamboree - There's a Blog Post You Need to Read

The Ancestry Insider is one of my favorite bloggers; and even when I'm hard-pressed to find a spare minute, I make sure to take some time to keep up to date with him. Today's post, #NGS2014GEN Planning Your Time at a Conference, is terrific, for a couple of reasons.

First, he does a very good job of reviewing his use of the conference app used at the National Genealogical Society's conference that was held in early May. Before you yawn and stop reading this post because it doesn't pertain to you, let me remind you that the same developer, Core-Apps, is responsible for both the NGS and Jamboree apps. It very much pertains to you if you're on your way to Burbank in a couple of weeks.

Core-Apps seems to have become the vendor of choice for many of the genealogical conference mobile apps. They have worked with FamilySearch, IAJGS (the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies), NGS and Jamboree. When SCGS launched the first mobile app for a genealogy conference back in 2011, we selected the developer with the most experience and best product. It's gratifying to see so many other organizations using their services.

So, when the Ancestry Insider described in detail how he used the NGS app, even I got insight into how the features can best be used.  You too can learn from his experience using the schedule feature, deciding which sessions to attend, how he coordinates the schedule with his Outlook calendar.

Take a few minutes and read what he had to say. You'll learn a lot about using the Jamboree app. You might not agree with his method of selecting one session over another, but you'll get a good tutorial on how to make use of the features.

Now for the second reason that I love what he wrote. It has to do with conference handouts. Specifically, this:
Sometimes a session lacks a handout, demonstrating the presenter’s lack of respect for attendees...
Yeah. That.

AI, thanks for putting this into words. We have had blank pages in the syllabus in prior years, and we have some this year. We've had one-page outlines that could have been texted while the speaker waiting in the drive-thru at Starbucks. It makes the speaker look bad, it makes the speaker's organization or business look bad, and it makes our conference look bad. I wish more speakers understood that.

One feature that AI didn't mention on the app is the speaker evaluation. Our attendees are going to have a chance to provide feedback about the syllabus materials, as well as other aspects of speaker performance, for every class session. The speakers will get scanned copies of hand-written evaluation forms, and we will provide them with digital copies of the app comments.

I hope everyone takes the comments to heart.

Jamboree - Q&A for Thursday - What's Fer Lunch, Ma?

The last day to purchase a meal ticket is Saturday, so we wanted to entice you with menus for all the meals and party.  Click on the link to order a ticket if you don't already have one.

Thursday, June 5 - 12:30pm
Family History and DNA Conference luncheon 
"Peering into the Future of Genetic Genealogy" Panel discussion
VIP Bread Basket
Wedge Salad
Baby iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, bacon crumbles, blue cheese and creamy blue cheese dressing
Roast chicken breast with roast corn salsa cilantro lime rice, and grilled zucchini
Three chocolate mousse cup
Coffee, decaf, hot tea, iced tea

Vegetarian selection - Stuffed Yellow Tomatoes
Yellow tomatoes stuffed with grilled wild mushroom and
Parmesan cheese on savory polenta

Friday, June 6 - 7:30pm
John P. Colletta Friday banquet
"The Keepers of the Records and I: Tales of Accessing Historical Sources"
Baby Mixed Greens with dried cherries, Gorgonzola cheese, spiced pecans and raspberry vinaigrette
Warm rolls and butter
Prime Rib of Beef with garlic-horseradish crust
Served with rosemary jus
Red skinned mashed potatoes
Honey glazed carrots
Chocolate Grand Marnier cake
Regular and decaf coffee and teas
Cash bar

Vegetarian selection -
Vegetable Lasagna with spinach, broccoli, carrots, zucchini
Topped with Béchamel sauce, Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese

Saturday, June 7 - 7:00am
FamilySearch Breakfast with Michael Provard
"Tips and Tricks for Using Family Search"
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice and Cranberry Juice
Sliced seasonal fruits
Assortment of pastries and breads, butter and fruit preserves
Scrambled Eggs
Sausage and Smoked Bacon
Breakfast potatoes
Regular and decaf coffee and teas

Saturday, June 7 - 7:00pm
Katherine York Saturday Banquet
"San Francisco:  In Search of Gold and Rainbows"
Boston Bibb lettuce wedge, tomato, Blue cheese and bacon crumbles, chives and Roquefort vinaigrette
Warm Rolls and butter
Chicken breast roulade - lightly breaded chicken breast with spinach, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, feta and fontina cheeses with mushroom sauce
Parmesan mashed potatoes
Braised seasonal vegetables
White chocolate cheesecake round
Regular and decaf coffee and teas
Cash bar

Vegetarian selection – 10
Grilled Vegetable Napoleon - mozzarella, tomato pesto, herbs and tomato coulis with crispy filo crust

Saturday, June 7 - 9:00pm - 11:00pm
New Year's Eve Party "Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New"

Dessert Extravaganza - dessert pastries, cakes, pies, mousses, tarts and gourmet cookies
Regular and decaf coffee and teas
Cash bar

Sunday, June 8 - 7:00am
NEHGS Breakfast - "Tales of an NEHGS Genealogist" with Rhonda McClure
Scholarship Breakfast with findmypast.com - Gena Philibert-Ortega "Of Elephants, Gold and Dashed Dreams: Researching the California Gold Rush"
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice and Cranberry Juice
Sliced seasonal fruits
Pastries and breads, butter and fruit preserves
Scrambled eggs
Sausage and smoked bacon
Breakfast potatoes
Regular and decaf coffee and teas

21 May 2014

Jamboree - Exhibitor Guest Post - Writemeaning.com

This is a guest post by Nancy Douglas of Writemeaning.com

Your Ancestors’ Handwriting Has A Story to Tell

Do you get excited when you unearth a new fragment of information about one of your long lost relatives? If you are like most of us family history enthusiasts, any new scrap of information is cause for celebration. What did they do? Where did they live? When did they die and how?

But what about an even better question? Who were these people? As in…their personality, their temperament, their intellect, and what made them tick? You can find out all of this and more from your ancestors’ handwriting. Old letters, documents, diaries, journals, ledgers, and Bibles can reveal the real story of who your relatives were.

Did Great-Great Grandma have a good sense of humor? Was she smart or adventurous or argumentative or all three? Was she and warm and friendly, or someone who kept to herself? And, here’s another fun question – have those personality traits been handed down in your family? With the help of Nancy Douglas, Certified Handwriting Analyst with writemeaning.com, you might find yourself saying…”I got my blue eyes and my keen intellect from Great-Great Grandma!”

To find out who your ancestors really were, consider bringing some of your documents with you to the Jamboree for analysis. Come visit Nancy Douglas of writemeaning at Jamboree Booth #133. Feel free to contact her in advance by email at nancy@writemeaning.com, or visiting the website at www.writemeaning.com.

20 May 2014

Jamboree - Streamed Video Schedule Announced

Click on the Register button above to sign up for live streamed sessions.

With just over two weeks before we open the doors to Jamboree, it's time to make our Next Big Announcement. We are pleased to announce the sessions that will be live streamed during the Family History and DNA Conference and the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.

You'll find a complete list of the sessions, with links to the registration pages and as well as registration information on the Jamboree website and also on the right hand column of this blog.

Here are the specifics:

Family History and DNA Conference - June 5, 2014
-Five streamed sessions, 10:00am to 6:00pm PDT
-Pay for view, $30 per session
-All-Day Pass $130 includes complete DNA syllabus
-Requires a two-step registration process
-Sessions available for 30 days after initial webcast
-Sessions will not be available in the SCGS webinar archive
  • CeCe Moore: "Real World Stories from the Desk of a Genealogy DNA Detective"
  • Diahan Southard: "Lab Tour: How Your Data is Generated"
  • Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD: "Using Autosomal DNA to Explore Your Ancestry"
  • Dr. Maurice Gleeson: "Which DNA is Best for You?"
  • Tim Janzen, MD: "Advanced Techniques for Use of Autosomal DNA Tests to Break Through Genealogical Brick Walls"

Southern California Genealogy Jamboree - June 6-8, 2014
-14 streamed sessions over three days
-Initial webcast provided free of charge
-Cost is partially underwritten by Diamond Sponsor Ancestry.com
-Many sessions will eventually be available in the SCGS webinar archive for viewing by members

Friday, June 6 - Four sessions 1:00pm to 6:30pm PDT
  • Judy G. Russell JD, CG, CGL - "Dowered or Bound Out: Records of Widows and Orphans"
  • Blaine Bettinger PhD, JD - "DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard"
  • Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA - "Manuscript Finding Aids: Locating Migrating Family Records"
  • F. Warren Bittner, CG - "Proof Arguments: How and Why"
Saturday, June 7 - Six sessions 8:30am to 6:00pm PDT
  • F. Warren Bittner, CG - "Elusive Immigrant!"
  • Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL - "Staying out of Trouble: The Rights and Responsibilities of Today's Genealogist"
  • Michael Leclerc - "Researching Your New England Ancestors"
  • Bennett Greenspan - "The Future of Genetic Genealogy"
  • Dr. Maurice Gleeson - "Researching Your Irish Ancestry"
  • Cyndi Ingle - "The Internet: A Genealogist's Printing Press"
Sunday, June 8 - Four sessions 8:30am to 3:30pm PDT
  • D. Joshua Taylor - "Resources of the DAR: Beyond Revolutionary War Soldiers"
  • Dawn Thurston - "How to Write a Personal History that Captures your Interesting Life"
  • Dr. Maurice Gleeson - "Ireland and the Slave Trade"
  • Denise Levenick - "Dirty Pictures: Save Your Family Photos from Ruin"

Providing remote access to classes is an important part of SCGS' mission. During the year, the SCGS Jamboree Webinar Series provides twice-monthly webinar sessions with a variety of topics taught by professional genealogists. The webinar sessions are provided free of charge for the initial live webcast, and recordings are archived on the website as a benefit of membership. Upcoming webinars are listed on the SCGS website.

Please help us spread the word about this outstanding educational opportunity for family historians and genealogists from around the globe. Share this news with your cousins, friends, society members, and followers.

Calling Jamboree Attendees: Ancestry Needs You!

Ancestry depends on user input to help mold the future generation of their offerings. A range of opportunities are being planned in Burbank for participants to share their impressions of upcoming Ancestry features across multiple products.  These will include both focus groups and individual interviews all three days of Jamboree and during the Family Tree and DNA conference on Thursday.

Ancestry is looking for subscribers of all levels of expertise, membership tenure, and tree size. To be considered, please fill out the following online questionnaire. Members of Ancestry’s User Research team will reach out to you for scheduling. Incentives will include the latest version of FTM for Mac or PC, an AncestryDNA kit, or a 6 month subscription extensions to your membership.

Please access the survey here: http://ancestry.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5gn6n5glPfQA76B

Please note that SCGS and Jamboree has no involvement in this research effort other than to assist Ancestry with inviting people to participate. If you are interested in helping to shape the future for users of Ancestry, we encourage you to sign up.

18 May 2014

REMINDER: FREE Webinar - Weds. 21 May - Gena Philibert Ortega - Cost Cutting Measures to Help You Do More Genealogy


Please join us for this FREE webinar sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society.

Gena Philibert Ortega
Cost Cutting Measures
to Help You Do More Genealogy
Wednesday, 21 May, 2014
6:00 - 7:30 p.m. Pacific time
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Genealogy can be expensive. So what's a researcher to do when there are conferences to attend, libraries to travel to and copies to purchase? Join us as we discuss ways to save at conferences, on genealogy research and travel. Do more genealogy this year with all the money you saved!

Gena Philibert-Ortega holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women’s Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. Gena has spoken to groups throughout the United States as well as virtually to audiences in the United States and Europe. She is the author of hundreds of articles published in genealogy newsletters and magazines. Her writings can also be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera.

The initial webcast of each session is offered to the public free of charge. Webinars are archived and available only to SCGS members as a benefit of membership in the society. The webinar archive can be found at http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/webinar/archive-index.html. Webinars are available about a week after the session closes. In addition to 24/7 access to the webinar archive, SCGS members enjoy a number of other benefits, including free from-home access to World Vital Records. Learn about all these benefits at http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/membership/benefit-memb.html.

The list of upcoming webinars can be found at http://scgsgenealogy.com/webinar/jes-index.html

17 May 2014

Jamboree - Deadline Alert: 24 May Last Day for Advance Registration

We are just one week away from the cutoff for advance registration for the Family Tree and DNA conference and the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.

What's that mean to you?

Well if you have already registered, it means that you're relaxed, looking forward to seeing your friends and learning all about the best techniques and secrets about searching for ancestors. We hope you've taken the time to review the schedule and planned out the first-choice and second-choice sessions, just in case.

You've checked out the various meals and bought your tickets. You've RSVPd for the Saturday evening New Year's Eve Party; remember that SCGS members and Jamboree volunteers are invited as guests. You just need to register in advance.


If you've waited until the deadline, beware.  It's almost here. The last day for advance registration is Saturday, May 24.

And if you wait until May 25th: 

  • You will miss the meals and banquets, including the amazing John Philip Colletta's presentation on Friday night. I've heard from friends who saw the presentation last year at FGS that it was "a scream" and "hilarious." 
  • The Family History and DNA luncheon features a panel discussion with representatives from the large testing companies (Bennett Greenspan from Family Tree DNA, Joanna Mountain PhD from 23andme, and Jake Byrnes PhD from AncestryDNA), as well as Genetic Genealogy Consultant Diahan Southard and moderator Blaine Bettinger PhD, JD.
  • You'll lose the chance to order the 2014 printed syllabus. You might be able to purchase one at Jamboree, but if it's really important that you have one, you should order in advance. We plan to order just a limited quantity available for sale at the conference.
  • You'll have to stand in line to pay when you register. It won't be a smooth process of just going to the table and picking up your registration materials.
  • And... you'll pay more.

You don't want to miss out and you don't want to pay more.

So register. Today.

Current and new SCGS members


16 May 2014

Jamboree - Getting the Most out of a Genealogy Conference

Whether you are a long-time veteran of large genealogy conferences like NGS, FGS or Jamboree, or if this is your first time venturing to an event, you can benefit from experiences of other family historians.
You'll find lots of how-to articles in a Google search, but we'll save you that work. Here are some blog posts and articles that will help you know what to expect.

Here is a series of posts from the Jamboree blog:
Getting the Most out of Jamboree Part 1
Early Planning = Success

Getting the Most out of Jamboree Part 2
If you Can't be in 10 Places at Once
Attacking the Exhibit Hall
What to Pack

Getting the Most out of Jamboree Part 3
At the Conference

More insights:
Don't Be a Wallflower at Your First Genealogy Conference! by The Armchair Genealogist

What is a Genealogy Conference Anyway? by Kimberly Powell

Preparing for a Genealogical Conference by Michael John Neill
Getting the Most from Genealogy Conferences by Karin D. Berry

Getting the Most out of Genealogical Conferences Redux by Gena Philibert-Ortega

10 Reasons to Attend a Genealogy Conference - Terri from Findingourancestors.com

Prepare Before Attending a Genealogy Conference - Granite Genealogy Blog

FREE Webinar - Sat 31 May - Myers, Hinkel & Hilb - Everything You Want to Know about Jamboree


Please join us for this FREE webinar sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society.

Everything You wanted to Know
about Jamboree
Saturday, 31 May, 2014
2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Pacific time
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

What better way to prepare for the 45th Annual Southern California Jamboree than to get a preview from the Conference's organizers? Learn about parking, classes, special events, JamboFREE on Friday morning, speakers, exhibitors, the app ... Everything you need for the very best Jamboree experience possible.

The initial webcast of each session is offered to the public free of charge. Webinars are archived and available only to SCGS members as a benefit of membership in the society. The webinar archive can be found at http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/webinar/archive-index.html. Webinars are available about a week after the session closes. In addition to 24/7 access to the webinar archive, SCGS members enjoy a number of other benefits, including free from-home access to World Vital Records. Learn about all these benefits at http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/membership/benefit-memb.html.

The list of upcoming webinars can be found at http://scgsgenealogy.com/webinar/jes-index.html

13 May 2014

Jamboree - Will the Marriott Have WiFi?

Q&A of the Day: Will the Marriott have wifi?

The short answer is "yes" in the public areas (including the lobby, meeting rooms, and pavilions.) Exhibitors who plan on using wifi should get in touch with Leo Myers to arrange for Internet service in their exhibit booths.

The more accurate answer is "yes... but."  We can't guarantee how it will perform at any given time or any particular location in the venue.

We have been assured by the Marriott staff that they have beefed up the bandwidth substantially over last year. What that means in terms of your connectivity, we can't promise. We can assure everyone that wifi and parking have been the two areas of improvement mentioned consistently in our feedback to the hotel.

Just to be safe, Jamboree rents mobile hotspots for the use of speakers whose presentations are dependent on Internet access. You might want to consider doing the same, if Internet access is critical to you.

Our vendor is Travel Entertainment iPads. We've worked with them for the past couple of years and have been very happy with the equipment and service they provide. In addition to hotspots, they also have iPads for rent.

And one more thing. The sleeping rooms use wired Internet, and the Marriott charges for its use. Here are the costs posted on the Marriott website. Only one device can be used at a time with the wired access.
  • High Speed: Check email + browse the Web for $5.95/day
  • Enhanced High Speed: Video chat, download large files + stream video for $13.95/day

Jamboree - Research Assistance Sign-up is launched!

Guest post by Jean Hibben, PhD, CG

http://www2.mysignup.com/cgi-bin/view.cgi?datafile=2014scgsjamboree_research_assistanceTo our valued volunteers:

We're looking for volunteers who know a little more than someone else! Well, about genealogy, that is. Are you one who has created your own pedigree chart; worked some with Ancestry, FamilySearch, Fold3, or other websites? Then your assistance is needed in the Research Assistance Room on the Tech Hallway. Sign up, include your expertise (“beginning” is fine, so is “translating German records” or whatever, as applicable!).

Research Assistance Volunteers - Sign up at

Time slots are at 30-minute intervals, but we are asking that you keep your consulting time to 20 minutes to allow for folks to move in and out of the consultation area. You are welcome to bring your laptop (we should have WiFi access).

There is room for two assistants for each time slot. But we will also have a walk-in option so if you want to help but don’t want to commit yourself to a particular time at this moment, just come to the RA room when you have time and there is a good chance there will be some walk-in “clients” just waiting for your genealogy knowledge.

(Note: if you are able to assist in other ways, we welcome your help! Contact me at jean@circlemending.org)

To our Jamboree attendees, seeking help (“clients”):

Getting help with one’s brick walls is more than just using a stick of dynamite – you need to know what kind of dynamite to use! And that is what Research Assistance at Jamboree provides: Custom-made dynamite!

Your ancestors came from Italy, but you aren’t sure where, what types of documents can be found, what repositories or on-line services can help. Get your custom-made explosive from a research assistant who specializes in Italian or Italian-American ancestry. Sure, talking to someone who knows about research in Mexico might give you some answers, but wouldn’t it be great to get answers geared to your particular problem?

Are you a beginner and don’t know where to start? We’ve all been there! Many of our assistants are ready, willing, and able to get you chipping at your brick walls with smaller, more delicate tools (as opposed to just blowing the whole thing up). And will assist also by defining some of the terms many of us use without considering the knowledge level of our “client.” Here is a place where you are free to ask what some might consider “stupid questions” (of which, we know, there are none).

As with everything, there are some rules, so, when signing up, please read the instructions. We don’t permit anyone to get help from the same assistant during two consecutive time slots (we want fairness for all, remember).

To everyone:
Research Assistance is successful ONLY when it is used by both Assistants and Clients. Come use us!

12 May 2014

Jamboree: Utah Genetics Student Awarded Genealogy Grant

Utah Genetics Student Awarded Genealogy Grant

Grant Winner Paul Woodbury visiting the Vatican Secret Archives, Summer 2013.

The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant Committee is pleased to announce that Paul Woodbury, a Brigham Young University senior from Provo, Utah will receive $500 from the Freeman Memorial Grant program and 3-day registration to the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California from SCGS.

Paul Woodbury will attend the SCGS Jamboree June 6-8, 2014 and use the grant funds toward genealogy research and education. This is the fourth year that the Freeman Student Genealogy Grant Program and SCGS have partnered to offer a student genealogy award.

“We are delighted to recognize young genealogists with the grant program and encourage their future in family history,” notes Denise Levenick, Grant Chair. “It is exciting to see “The Next Generation of Genealogists” is already here!”

“We are so pleased to be able to partner with the Freeman Student Genealogy Grant Program to support this outstanding future genealogist,” said Paula Hinkel, Jamboree co-chair and SCGS vice president. “Paul will be recognized at the Jamboree Scholarship Breakfast on Sunday, June 8.” Tickets to the Scholarship Breakfast are still available here.

Paul is an active member of the Utah Genealogical Society, the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, and the NextGen Genealogy Network. He works and teaches classes at the BYU Center for Family History and Genealogy and is especially interested in the role of genetic genealogy to locate obscure ancestors and solve identity challenges of adoptees and abandoned children.

About the Grant Program: The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant Program was established in 2011 to help young family historians pursue their genealogy research and educational goals. In recognition of Suzanne Freeman’s enthusiasm for the nationally recognized Jamboree, the award is directed toward a student attending the SCGS Jamboree. Suzanne Winsor Freeman was the mother of genealogy blogger Denise Levenick, www.theFamilyCurator.com. For information about donating to the grant fund, please see SWF Grant.

About SCGS: The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree has partnered with the grant program each year to offer complimentary conference registration to the award recipient. The annual Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree is an innovative leader in genealogy conferences offering webinars, live-streamed sessions, student registration rates, youth and beginner education, and a special one-day Family History and DNA conference.

FROM:  Suzanne Winsor Freeman Grant Committee,
Denise May Levenick, Chair

Jamboree: Fun With Numbers - Devices and Operating Systems Used

Each year, as Jamboree draws close, the Jamboree Committee conducts a survey with all of the registered attendees. The intent is to determine the most popular class sessions so they can be scheduled in the largest class rooms. Some interesting observations always come out of the survey, and we like to share them.

Here's the first of these Fun With Number posts.

QUESTION:  What type of equipment and operating system was used to complete the questionnaire?

If you are attending Jamboree and have not yet completed your Class Selection Questionnaire, please do so at your earliest opportunity. It's the best way we have to do a good job of scheduling and avoiding room overflows. Help us, and take the time to answer the questions.

You should have received an invitation on Friday evening. If you didn't receive it for some reason, you can click on this link and complete it now:


11 May 2014

Jamboree - Social Media Policy

Jamboree has enjoyed a special relationship with the blogging community since the first Blogger Summit in 2008. Just six years ago, 90% of the active genealogy blogging community could be seated at a dais. Now, we would be hard pressed to fit all of our genealogical blogging community into the Marriott!

To ensure that we have an environment that is mutually supportive for the social medial users, our lecturers, and our lecture audience members, the SCGS Board of Directors adopted the following Social Media Policy:

The Southern California Genealogical Society is an active supporter of the use of social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and blogging) at its events, including the society’s annual Genealogy Jamboree. Event attendees are allowed and encouraged to promote, critique, and review the conference, its exhibitors, speakers, and activities using these forms of media.

Use of smartphones, netbooks, laptops, tablets, etc., shall not disrupt other attendees. Mobile device ringers must be set to silent during lecture sessions.

Attendees are prohibited from recording the proceedings of any lecture or workshop session by any means, including but not limited to photography, audio recording, video recording, or verbatim transcription, without expressed written permission from both SCGS and the lecture speaker. Some sessions will be professionally audio recorded and available for purchase after the event.

Social media may be used to summarize or extract lecture content provided:
(1) the author is referenced and cited appropriately; and
(2) material is not shared in full.

We fully respect the intellectual property rights of the authors of syllabus materials and lecture content. Copyright laws apply.

08 May 2014

Jamboree - Calling All Volunteers! We Need Your Help!

Click Image to Sign Up to Volunteer
If you've ever been involved in planning a one-day seminar, or a wedding, a family reunion or a multi-day genealogical event, you know that the month leading up to the event is (a) crazy hectic and (b) critical to the success of the event.

We are just a month away from Jamboree, and this is the time that we sound the alarm.   

We need your help.

We need to fill over 400 time slots that make up just a portion of the 1300 volunteer hours that are needed.

Yes, you read that correctly. 1300 hours of volunteer time. That's what is required to monitor the sessions, break down the boxes, set up the easels and signs, collect the meal tickets, fill the helium balloons for the party, and do the dozens of little jobs that add up to a huge effort.

On Saturday, May 10, members of the SCGS Board of Directors and Jamboree Committee will hit the phones in an attempt to speak with everyone who has registered DNA and/or Jamboree. If you're not home when we call, we'll leave a voicemail message. We won't take up a lot of your time but will be glad to answer any questions while you have us on the phone.

Last year's Volunteer Blitz was very successful and resulted in hundreds of new volunteers who contributed time. We were thrilled that all types of people stepped forward to help: first-time attendees as well as long-time members of the Jamboree family; nonmembers as well as members; local residents as well as those who are coming from hundreds of miles away. No matter how long you've been doing genealogy, no matter where you live, no matter whether you're a member or not. We need you!

What's in it for you?

1. Room monitors are guaranteed a seat in even the most popular sessions.
2. You get to meet lots of new people and get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the largest genealogical conferences in North America.
3. For each four-hour shift, volunteers will receive a coupon for $5 toward lunch in the concession area.
4. Volunteers will receive a free ticket to the New Year's Eve Party on Saturday, June 7.
5. You make a deposit in the genealogy karma bank.

If you're really eager to participate, you don't have to wait for us to call. You can sign up today and get your pick of sessions and time slots. Here's how:

Room Monitor or Door Monitor

1. Review the class schedule and make a list the sessions that you want to monitor.
2. Go to the Sign-up pages and register by giving us your name, email, phone number and, if you have one, your text message number. We won't use it unless we have to, promise.

3. Check out all of the available slots and click on "I'll be there" button to stake your claim.

Other Volunteer Tasks

1. Review the task descriptions and see which jobs you would like to do. Some take muscle, some take computer skills, some require standing, others take little physical effort.

2. Go to the Sign-up pages. If you have already registered, start checking out the tasks and choose the ones that fit your skills and your time schedule.

The Rules

We have only a couple of rules:

1. Room monitors must be paid attendees. For example, room monitors for the Family History and DNA conference must be registered for Thursday's event.

2. We are counting on your help. If you sign up for a session, please follow through. You can always change your mind and ~un-sign-up~ for that slot ahead of time.

How many hours will you contribute toward the success of the Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013 and the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree?

Jamboree - Top 10 Reasons to Use the Jamboree App

Click the image to download the app
Top 10 Reasons to Use the Jamboree App:

10 - Know where you're going, when and why. I don't know about you, but I'd love to have something like this at home when I walk into the kitchen and then stand there, trying to remember why. Just imagine how helpful it will be at the Marriott.

9 - Plan your first and second choice classes in each time block and add them to your schedule. It's much easier to come up with a Plan B before you need it. It's like choosing both a boy's name and a girl's name back in the day when prospective parents had to wait nine whole months before learning pink or blue.

8 - Sync your schedule across several devices so you'll stay in control no matter what gadget you use -- well, as long as your device is charged. We can't help with that except to point you to one of the (few) available outlets and suggest one of these (the MyCharge Peak 6000) or another charger. I love my 6000.

7 - Keep all the Jamboree information in one easily accessible place. That doesn't mean you can ignore the Pink Sheets because we had to work really hard to find enough pink trees to yield 13,000-some legal-sized sheets of paper.

6 - Get updates and breaking news from Jamboree organizers. Important things such as schedule updates, room switches, extra tickets for banquets and breakfasts, and winners of free Jamboree registrations. You don't want to miss those, do you?

5 - Send tweets and read tweets, follow Jamboree blog posts and keep track of SCGS Facebook posts from within the app. We never want you to leave the app. Ever. Seriously, we would feed you through the app if it didn't make a mess on the screen. Maybe next year.

4 - Download syllabus handouts and read them directly on your mobile device. That is, unless you're committed to working out and prefer to haul around the 460-page printed syllabus. All. Day. Long. It  weighs only about 2-1/2 pounds. (Note: a few syllabus article are not available for download at the request of the speaker.) By the way, the printed syllabus is available for pre-order before May 24. We will have a few copies available for purchase while they last, but why run the risk. If you really want a syllabus, order it in advance and pick it up at Jamboree.

3 - The Dashboard is your road map to the features of the app. Click on those rotating banners for special offers and information from Jamboree, from exhibitors, and from virtual exhibitors who are very sad because they can't be in Burbank in person.

2 - Add your personal touch to make the app even more amazing. Upload and share your Jamboree photos to the Photo Gallery. Set up your profile and add a photo of yourself. If you're extremely shy, an undercover spy or just want to remain anonymous, think about adding a photo of you from the 1960s. We will notice if you use a photo of Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix.

And the Number 1 reason to download the Jamboree app:

1 - It would be bad form to suggest that you can use the app to track your favorite speakers by using their photos to recognize them, read their bios to learn more about them, and click on their presentations to follow them through the Marriott. So instead, I'll just say, the #1 reason to use the Jamboree App is:

It will make you one of the Very Cool Kids and you'll be the first person picked when choosing sides for basketball.*

So Download The App Already

*with apologies to Janis Ian, "At Seventeen" (1976)

Jamboree - Take a Test Drive in the Tech Zone

One of the special activities at Jamboree is the Tech Zone. "Take a Test Drive in the Tech Zone" is the place for you to try out a number of paid databases - for free. Maybe you've been thinking about paying for a subscription but didn't want to buy it until you tried it. Or maybe a speaker mentioned one of these during a presentation and you want to use it to look up something for yourself.

Thanks to Jay Holladay, SCGS first vice president, Jamboree Committee member and IT team leader, for arranging for these outstanding resources to be available to the paid registrants of Jamboree.

Tech Zone stations are first come, first served. Each user will be limited to 30 minutes. No food or drink is permitted in the Tech Zone. Volunteers will be on duty to assist you in using these valuable resources.

Here is this year's list of free databases, which features an outstanding selection of newspaper databases:

Ancestry Library Edition
American Ancestors (NEHGS)
VitalSearch California

- ProQuest Obituaries
- African American Biographical
- African American Heritage
- Heritage Quest
- ProQuest Historic Map Works
- ProQuest Civil War Era
- Dissertation Abstracts

And just check out this list of ProQuest Historical Newspapers:

- The Arizona Republican-1890-1922
- Atlanta Constitution-1868-1945
- Austin American Statesman-1871-1975
- The Baltimore Sun-1837-1988
- The Boston Globe-1872-1982
- The Chicago Tribune-1849-1990
- The Christian Science Monitor-1908-2000
- Cincinnati Enquirer-1841-1922
- Detroit Free Press-1831-1922
- Hartford Courant-1764-1988
- Indianapolis Star-1903-1922
- Los Angeles Times-1881-1990
- The Louisville Courier-Journal-1830-1922
- Nashville Tennessean-1812-1922
- The New York Times (1851-2010) with Index-(1851-1993)
- New York Tribune / Herald Tribune-1841-1962
- Newsday-1940-1985
- San Francisco Chronicle-1865-1922
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch-1874-1922
- Wall Street Journal-1889-1996
- Washington Post-1877-1997