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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Entries in SCGS (14)


    Well Done APG: New Youth Membership Level

    Student Grant Award

    The Association of Professional Genealogists is to be commended for adding a new Youth Member level to encourage participation by young genealogists. Well done! The change was announced this spring by Kimberly Powell, APG President and is only one part of the overall restructuring of dues designed to create consistency for North American and International memberships.

    The new Youth Member category expressly promotes the involvement of young genealogists, many who are students or recent college graduates and might find it a hardship to join a professional organization at the full rate.

    When we considered founding the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant in 2010, very few genealogy conferences, societies, or organizations offered a student or youth rate for membership or participation, although "the future of genealogy" was a popular and much-discussed topic.

    The Southern California Genealogy Society Genealogy Jamboree has offered a student scholarship for several years and has partnered with the Freeman Student Grant cash award since 2011. 

    In 2013, the National Genealogical Society offered for the first time a youth conference registration rate for the 2013 Las Vegas Convention, setting a new standard for the national conference.

    The Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference makes a discounted student rate available to current students of all ages attending elementary to graduate school.

    I am especially excited by APG's commitment to young professional genealogists and hope that more organizations will take a cue from APG's membership rates to add a Youth Member policy.

    APG continues to offer a wealth of services to its members including professional development programs, a monthly e-newsleter, website, APG Quarterly Journal, and online webinars. Membership most worthwhile for any professional genealogist of any age.

    Kudos APG!

    Do you know of other genealogy organizations or conferences offering a Youth or Student rate? Please give them a shout-out in the comments!


    Student Genealogy Grant Recipients: Checking in with Anthony Ray

    Palmdale college sophomore Anthony Ray was the first recipient of the fledgling Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant program in 2011. At the time, Anthony had never attended a regional genealogy conference, although he had been a featured presenter and volunteer at the Antelope Valley Genealogical Society and headed the society's cemetery indexing project.

    Anthony attended the 2011 SCGS Genealogy Jamboree and went on to use the grant funds for research expenses. He graduated in May 2013 from West Coast Baptist College with a degree in religious education, emphasis in music. He's now pursuing further studies at Antelope Valley College and plans to continue his music studies at California State University Northridge.

    Ray family

    Anthony Ray researching with his family in Sonora, Mexico, Summer 2013.
     Left to right is Judy Jones (Anthony's grandfather's cousin), Maria Magdalena (Maruca) Medina (Anthony's grandfather's mom's cousin), Grandparents Arthur Ray and Cristina Ray, Anthony Ray.

    In 2013 Anthony realized a long-held goal of researching his family history in the small Mexican pueblo of Santa Cruz, and was joined on the trip by his grandparents. Anthony writes:

    As soon as we crossed the border, I saw the church where my grandmother was baptized, her siblings, and where my great grandparents were married. My dreams were finally starting to unfold. An hour and a half later, and only about twenty miles away from Nogales, we reached the small pueblo of Santa Cruz. We had to travel by dirt roads, crossing rancho after rancho. The desert was so beautiful and the skies so clear!

    We finally reached the town. It was very emotional for me to be there, where so many generations of my family were born, married, had children, died, and were buried. I’ve always imagined what the town would look like, what the cemetery might be like, the church, the municipio (town hall). The first stop we made was at a tiny adobe structure just outside of town. That small, little building is said to be where my 3rd great grandparents once lived. It was humbling. From there we drove by the cemetery and then to the municipio. The church was just right across the street. The total area of the town would probably equal to less than a square mile.

    When we walked into the municipio, I found that nearly everyone we encountered was related to me. The secretary was very accommodating, and she pulled out all of the records that they had for my cousin, Homer, and I to look through. In Mexico, privacy laws are not nearly as strict as they are here in the states. I looked at birth records all the way up to about 1950. It was amazing the access that we were granted! For one, everyone knew my cousin, Homer, and everyone was happy to see him. That helped to facilitate that access.

    Anthony spent hours searching local cemeteries and reading records at the mortuary that had served his family for generations. In Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, he met with the city historian and searched newspapers in the archives; he then visited the local church and convinced reluctant officials to allow him to peruse the official records.

    Anthony ray

    When the Student Genealogy Grant program was founded in 2010, we weren't sure if young genealogists would be interested in attending a genealogy conference and spending time talking about records, repositories, and sources. Students like Anthony Ray, Elyse Doerflinger, A.C. Ivory, and Mike Savoca showed us that the future of genealogy is already here, and young family historians are searching for answers and ready to learn more about genealogy today.

    Grant applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Student Genealogy Grant to be presented at the 45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. Visit the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Grant Webpage for information and application materials. Applications close March 31, 2014,


    Meet the 2013 Student Genealogy Grant Recipient Michael Savoca

    Michael Savoca Head Shot web

    I am pleased to introduce student genealogist Michael Savoca, a junior at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, as the 2013 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Grant recipient. Michael will receive a $500 cash award and full conference registration to the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California June 7-9.

    Michael has been researching his family history for over a decade, and participating in online genealogy forums and message boards for nearly as many years. His expertise in Italian and Croatian research have made him a popular volunteer online and at his local Family History Center. He has been able to travel with family to their ancestral village in Croatia and complete research in original records provided by the parish. He has also worked extensively with Italian records and assisted with the records of the Gente di Mare genealogy website. 

    In addition to researching his Italian, Croatian, Irish, German, and Hungarian roots, Michael is interested in learning more about using DNA for genealogical research and about professional archival management. He is a history major at Kean University and would like to become a Certified Genealogist.

    Michael will attend the SCGS Jamboree in Burbank June 7-9 where he will receive the award Sunday, June 9 at the SCGS Scholarship Breakfast.

    “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. This is the third year that SCGS has provided a conference scholarship to the recipient of the grant award.

    Past recipients of the memorial grant include Elyse Doerflinger, A.C. Ivory, and Anthony Ray. 

    Funding for the 2013 Memorial Student Grant was provided by proceeds from the sale of my new book How to Archive Family Keepsakes during the Blog Book Tour in January 2013. A big THANK YOU to everyone who purchased a book during the book tour to help fund this project supporting student genealogists. For information about donating to the grant fund, please see the SWF Grant page.

    About the Grant Program: The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial 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,

    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 a premiere regional genealogy conference offering national speakers, workshops, and demonstrations.


    Break Down Brick Walls with Home Sources: Free Genealogy Webinar

    SCGS Jamboree Webinar Series -- Saturday 6 April 2013

    Register now for the next webinar sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree Extension Program, and join me for Break Down Brick Walls with Home Sources on Saturday, 6 April 2013 at 10:00 AM - Pacific, 11:00 AM - Mountain, 12:00 PM - Central, 1:00 PM - Eastern.

    Whether you’ve inherited a house full of keepsakes or only wish you had more family treasures, home sources may hold the clues you need to break through brick walls and solve family history problems. And you don’t have to own home sources to use them as research resources. 

    We've all got them -- brick walls, obstacles, road blocks to progress in our genealogical reseach. Home Sources are one of the most underused resources in solving family history puzzles. Photographs, letters, documents and artifacts can provide direct answers to research problems, or clues to new research opportunities. 

    I am honored to be part of the SCGS Jamboree Extension Webinar Series and look forward to sharing a few items from my own family collections that have helped push my research over the wall. From clippings tucked between the pages of books, to cryptic captions on the back of old photos, family keepsakes often hide great stories in plain sight.

    Break Down Brick Walls with Home Sources --

    • Why use home sources?
    • Common and uncommon home sources and where to find them
    • Locating potential sources in public repositories
    • Strategies for working with material family collections
    • What to look for in documents, letters, photos, and artifacts
    • Case study examples

    Register Here prior to Saturday, 6 April to attend the free webinar, Break Down Brick Walls with Home Sources. After the live webinar on April 6, the webinar will be available to SCGS members in the Members Only area of the website.

    View the complete SCGS Jamboree Extension Series schedule for more great educational webinars available in the series..






    Student Genealogist Uses Grant Funds to Recover Family History Treasures

    2013 Student Genealogy Grant Application Deadline March 18, 2013

    Details and application materials for the 2013 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant are available at The Family Curator Student Grant Page.

    Anthony ray

    Lancaster student Anthony Ray, recipient of the 2011 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant, used the grant funds to further his genealogical research and education. Anthony is presently teaching elementary school music and will receive his diploma from West Coast Baptist College in May.

    He is an active member of the Antelope Valley Genealogical Society and researches his Hispanic, English, Scottish, German and African American roots in repositories throughout California, Arizona and Mexico. He is particularly interested in Catholic church records and is experienced in diocesan and parish repositories.

    Anthony's research helped restore a stolen headstone to the Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery in San Bernardino last summer, a story he tells in L.A. Beat "Serendipity and the Headstone That Wouldn't Stay Put." In March, Anthony will be traveling to Mexico with his cousins following his ancestors' footsteps to visit family and research.

    After receiving the student grant in June 2011, Anthony organized an extensive summer research plan. He wrote to me in the fall to share the results of his research; here are some highlights from that letter --

    Hi there!

    I just wanted to take a minute to write and give you an update on my summer...

    The biggest project this summer was, by far, renovating my great grandfather's place. I think I'd told you already that he had passed away last June at the age of ninety-eight. He was only a couple months away from his ninety-ninth birthday! He lived on a two and a half acre lot next to my grandparents and uncle and aunt. The yard and house both needed so much done to them… That was some of the dirtiest work I've ever had to do (and that's saying something) since most of the stuff had not been touched since they'd moved in the house about twenty-five years ago. Plus mice had gotten into the sheds and the extreme heat just intensified all that. So you can imagine what that must have been like!

    In the midst of all the filth were some real gems. As we were cleaning out one shed, there were some old papers on the floor that looked like trash. As my grandpa was about to throw them out, he decided to unroll them and see what they were. Lo and behold they turned out to be my great grandpa's school certificates from 1920 to 1923! It was an amazing find! They were just lying there on the floor in all the dust and other stuff... they could have been stepped on, chewed up by the mice, or destroyed through by a plethora of different ways. And what's most amazing is that they were in fairly decent shape! I'm using some of the grant money to have them restored by one of the paper conservationists at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I have my initial meeting with her in a couple of weeks.

    Not only did I find the school certificates, but there were many boxes of old papers that I was able to go through. My great grandpa was an early Antelope Valley real estate agent, so he had tons of paperwork from that. He owned a lot of property in other cities, counties, states, and even countries, so you can imagine the paper trail that left!

    As for research I've made tremendous breakthroughs, uncovered deep dark family secrets, and added so much to my family tree as a result of the grant money. Most of the money went toward ordering microfilm from the Family History Center and toward copies. I’d say nearly fifty percent of the grant money went toward copies. Here are some of the more interesting things I’ve found:

    1) My second great grandmother, Delfina Rubio, had a very colorful love life. She married about five times. I can’t say for sure how many times as I think there may be more, but I found one of her marriages that I had been speculating about for a while now. I also found some of her siblings and other family members in the Santa Cruz Co., Arizona marriage records.

    2) I made a tremendous breakthrough on my African-American side of the family with one single marriage record...

    3) I found many interesting births, marriages, and deaths in Mexico. 

    4) I subscribed to GenealogyBank and was able to find dozens of interesting articles on my family. Some helped solve mysteries that I've been trying to uncover for a long time!

    5) I've made countless trips down to Riverside this year to do research. The past two times I've looked up probates and court cases.

    6) Since I usually don't pay for research or look-ups, I was able to do so this time. I contacted the Coronado-Quivira Museum in Rice Co., Kansas to have them look up some school records that corresponded to the school certificates that I had found on my great grandpa. They even sent school photos from the time he would have been in school (but no one is identified in them, unfortunately)… And up in Colusa Co., in northern California, I was able to get copies of coroner's records that helped me understand the circumstances of three of my ancestors' deaths. 

    I know I'm probably forgetting some things, but this is the bulk of what I used the grant money towards. I truly cannot thank you enough for giving me such a wonderful summer of research. I really don't know how my research would have gone if it wasn't for this financial jump-start! Through this, you've given me maybe the most important thing which is memories that I will cherish! As you and your mother did your research together, I was able to do the same with my mother when I made my trips down to Riverside - granted she would head off to the antique shops while I did my research. lol! But we spent most of our time together down there. Whenever I think of my research trips down there, I think of how we would both go and have lunch at a little sandwich shop near the Mission Inn called The Upper Crust (you should go there if you ever get a chance!) And once again, I feel so honored to have been the first recipient of the memorial grant! Thank you!


    If you know a young genealogist between the ages of 18 and 25 who could benefit from a cash grant to assist their genealogy education and research, please tell them about the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant. The deadline for completed application materials is Monday, 18 March 2013. See the SWF Grant page for more details.


    SCGS 2013 Jamboree Extension Webinar Series Announced


    The Southern California Genealogical Society has announced the webinar lineup for the 2013 Jamboree Extension Series, and I'm honored to be included in the April 2013 program with over two dozen outstanding genealogy speakers offering free genealogy and family history educational programs.

    The series offers FREE live genealogy webinars open to anyone, and archived on-demand versions for SCGS members. If you plan to attend the SCGS Jamboree, it's definitely worthwhile to join SCGS and take advantage of this additional society benefit.

    The 2013 webinar series will include presenters from Alzo to Woodward (no "Z") on topics as diverse as Mobile Capturing of Your Ancestor's Documents and Pictures by Leland K. Meitzler and Time Travel with Google Earth by Lisa Louise Cooke. Read the entire schedule at the Jamboree website here.

    I will be presenting Break Down Brick Walls with Home Sources: Solve genealogical mysteries with clues in family sources on Saturday, April 6 at 10 am Pacific Time. Using artifacts from family archives, I will share photos and examples of where to find hidden details about our ancestors' lives in the things they left behind. Registration for the webinar is now open here.

    Hope you can join us for the SCGS 2013 Jamboree Extension Series.


    A.C. Ivory, the Skydiving Student Genealogist for Follow Friday

    Many genealogists keep a bucket list, but the top item on genealogist A.C. Ivory's list has to be unique. "For years, I've wanted to go skydiving," he says, "so ... I finally did it!" 

    Ac ivory skydive
    A.C. Ivory; photo copyright A.C. Ivory, used with permission

    A.C. brings the same persistence to genealogical research that he shows in planning and fulfilling his goal to try skydiving. Personal research, college studies, travel, and work with ProGenealogists in Salt Lake City are all part of A.C.'s life as a student genealogist since receiving the 2012 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant

    A.C. recently sent an update on his activities --

    It was such a great honor and surprise to receive the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant this past June at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. I am fortunate enough to have met Denise's mother, Suzanne, at the Jamboree in 2010 and hear of her love and passion for genealogy. Denise has set up a wonderful grant for students like me and Elyse to expand our education and love for genealogy.
    Over the last few months after receiving the grant I continued to work at ProGenealogists,'s official research firm and expand my knowledge and skills in genealogy. The genealogy grant has given me the opportunity to purchase new genealogy research books, a paid subscription to Dropbox where I can store all of my genealogy files and access them anywhere, and to pay for another year's subscription to Weeby Pro. Weebly is the service I use to create my family's genealogy websites.
    I have built a few family websites where I can create custom pages to share my family history with the world. Although they are not anywhere complete, go ahead and check them out for yourselves.


    What does to future hold for me? Ever since returning home from an LDS Mission in Canada I have wanted to pursue a career in the genealogy field. I have worked very hard the past four years learning everything I can about  genealogy research and new technology for genealogy, and attending genealogy conferences to learn and network with other genealogists. I am currently attending the University of Utah for a degree in Mass Communications with and emphasis in New Media. Although this degree does not exactly fit with genealogy, I am confident that it will help me pursue my goals to work in whatever way I can in the genealogy field. 
    I am currently a professional genealogist at ProGenealogists and am continually learning more about genealogy research. Whether I continue to work as a researcher or spread to other areas in genealogy, I look forward to expanding my network with the genealogy community and helping others learn how to research their own families.



    The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant has been awarded to three student genealogists since being founded in 2010. The goal of the program is to assist young genealogists in the pursuit of genealogy education and experience. The 2012 grant was presented to A.C. Ivory and Elyse Doerflinger at the SCGS Jamboree in Burbank, California; the 2011 recipient was Anthony Ray of Lancaster, California.

    Keep up with A.C. :

    AC Ivory Blog

    AC on FaceBook – ac.ivory

    AC on Twitter -- @acivory


    Genealogy Grant Winner "Gets Archiving"


    Elyse Doerflinger

    If you follow Elyse Doerflinger of Elyse's Genealogy Blog at her blog, on Facebook, or Twitter, you know that this winner of the 2012 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant is a very busy young woman. Not only is she a full-time teacher, Elyse is also finishing her credential program at a local university, researching her family tree, speaking at genealogy societies, and planning a June wedding. So, what does she do in her free time?

    Elyse recently sent us an update on her activities --

    Elyse, in action, at a recent genealogy event

    When I was awarded the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genalogy Grant at Southern California Genealogy Society’s Jamboree conference, I was so excited and completely surprised. After taking countless pictures, drying my happy tears, and letting the reality of having $500 to spend on my genealogy truly sink in, my brain was going crazy with all the opportunities of what to do with the money.

    To be honest, it took me awhile to figure out what I really wanted to do with the money.  I explored buying books or webinars, or joining a genealogy society.   I thought about renting all the microfilm that has been on my “to rent” list.  I spent hours in Best Buy considering new tech tools that I could buy.  In the end, I couldn’t decide on one thing to spend the money on.  So I decided to do a little bit of everything.

    My first bout of inspiration hit when I was sitting in front my of my closet that holds all of my family photos, artifacts,and important documents.  Frankly, the closet was an unorganized mess in old boxes.  Nothing was properly labeled or cared for, and it was really hard to get to boxes on the bottom.  Inspiration hit: organize the closet and all of the stuff within it.

    I found the best boxes to use while walking around Ikea.  I brought home two different size boxes. Then I went online and bought some archival quality photo sleeves from Light Impressions. I’ve been organizing the photos in small batches as my busy schedule allows, and truly taking the time to enjoy the experience.  I often notice something new on the old ancestral photos and if it hasn’t been scanned yet, then I pull out my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner.

    On top of my big photo organization task, I’ve been slowly tackling my giant “microfilm to rent” list. I’ve spent a lot of time at the family history center, scrolling through microfilm for my ancestors. I’ve even been trying to tackle some of my ancestors from across the pond - particularly with my very intimidating German ancestors.

    What does the future hold for me?  Although I’m not planning on pursuing genealogy as a full-time profession (I’m studying to be an elementary school teacher), genealogy will always play a huge role in my life.  Speaking and writing about genealogy and technology is a huge passion of mine and something I will definitely continue to do.  I’m not sure where my genealogy addiction will take me, but I know it will be one amazing journey. 

    The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant has been awarded to three student genealogists since being founded in 2010. The goal of the program is to assist young genealogists in the pursuit of genealogy education and experience. The 2012 grant was presented to A.C. Ivory and Elyse Doerflinger at the SCGS Jamboree in Burbank, California; the 2011 recipient was Anthony Ray of Lancaster, California.

    P.S - I'm more than a little happy to see that Elyse used some of the grant funds to purchase archival storage containers for her family history treasures! And I'm glad she is finding helpful preservation tips in my new book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes.



    Exciting News for Student Genealogists

    The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree has a reputation for setting trends in the genealogy conference world -- Bloggers' Summit, Jamboree App, Social Media Policy, to name a few ground-breaking projects. With the just-announced Jamboree scholarship program for young genealogists, SCGS has done it again.

    SCGS has announced a new Jamboree scholarship program for aspiring genealogists and family historians between the ages of 18 and 29 as of June 8, 2012. The scholarship will offer reduced Jamboree registration of $15 per day or $25 for all three days for young people registering online with government issued ID by May 28, 2012. A limited number of scholarship slots are available.

    In 2010, SCGS generously provided full conference registration to the recipient of the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant, sponsored by The Family Curator. This award is one of a very few scholarships available aimed to assist young genealogists pursue education in family history.

    I am so excited that my local society, SCGS, has taken on this much-needed project. Unlike many professional and academic fields, most genealogy conferences do not offer a reduced registration rate for students or young persons working in the field. This can, and does, deter young people from attending professional conferences. I hope other genealogy seminars, workshops, and conferences will join SCGS in offering reduced registration to young people. If you agree, add a note in the comments and forward an email to your local society.

    Contact SCGS for registration and more information.


    The Face of Genealogy: Anthony Ray, Student Genealogist

    It was an honor to meet Anthony Ray at the SCGS Jamboree and to introduce him at the Friday night banquet as the recipient of the 2011 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant.

    We were graciously seated at the head table with Jamboree co-chairs Paula Hinkel and Leo Meyers, and keynote speaker Tony Burroughs. During the evening, I had time to chat with Anthony and his mother, and also enjoyed hearing Anthony and Tony talk about their interest in family history.

    Anthony has been actively pursuing his family history for over eight years, a long time in the life of a 20-year-old student. He first became interested in genealogy after the death of his great-grandfather in 2003 when the family gathering brought out photos and stories. Anthony discovered a photograph of his ancestor who was a musician, composer, and music teacher – the career path Anthony has chosen as a music major at West Coast Bible College in Lancaster.

    In talking with him for only a short time, it quickly becomes obvious that he is a knowledgeable and competent researcher. With Hispanic, English, Scottish, German, and African American roots, Anthony has a wide field to cover. His particular interest is Catholic church records and he has been able to conduct research at diocesan repositories as well as church offices.

    Anthony’s family is especially supportive of his genealogy work. As a home-schooled student, Anthony’s mother helped schedule time and arranged trips that included visits to distant research locations.

    Anthony Ray heads the cemetery indexing project of the Antelope Valley Genealogical Society and is a volunteer researcher assisting with Hispanic research at the Palmdale Family History Center. He has attended four KinDig Conferences sponsored by the AVGS and was a recent speaker at the annual conference of the Old Spanish Trail Association.

    Anthony was especially looking forward to attending presentations at Jamboree that would help him acquire to new research skills and learn about new resources.

    The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Fund was established in 2010 by family and friends of Suzanne Freeman to honor her lifetime of service and her interest in genealogy, and to assist young genealogists wishing to advance their genealogical education.  Suzanne Freeman (my mother) and I attended the SCGS Jamboree together in past years and enjoyed meeting young genealogists and bloggers. We often talked about conference expenses and hoped to find assistance available to encourage student attendance. We are pleased that the 2011 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Grant was able to help Anthony Ray attend the Jamboree. More information about the Grant and how to donate is available at

    The SCGS Jamboree Committee is the first conference, to our knowledge, to offer a full conference registration to a student genealogist as part of a grant program. In addition to providing registration to the recipient of the Freeman Memorial Grant, the Jamboree Committee also supported establishing a student scholarship funded by raffle ticket sales for the beautiful Jamboree Quilt. This project was organized by Pat Richley-Erickson and Gena Philbert Ortega through the online Genea Quilters group to benefit the 2012 Jamboree Student Scholarship Fund.


    2011 Jamboree Countdown

    I'm registered for the 2011 SCGS Jamboree, are you? Early-bird registration ends this week, April 30, 2011. The line-up of speakers, exhibitors, and special events looks outstanding, and if last year was any indication, the GeneaBlogger presence will be even stronger. This is a Don't Miss conference in my book.

    I am also looking forward to the GENEii Family History Writers Conference, scheduled Thursday, June 9 as a pre-Jamboree event. The all-day conference features John Philip Coletta and a panel of family history writers.

    Last year, and also in 2009, my mom and I both attended and had a great time meeting other Mother-Daughter genealogy teams. If you are still undecided about attending the Jamboree, maybe a few posts from previous years will convince you to join us. 



    New SCGS Webinars Available

    Have you heard today's exciting announcement from the Southern California Genealogical Society? Free web-based seminars featuring great speakers on timely topics will be available starting March 5 through the Jamboree Extension Series . According to the SCGS press release, each webinar can accommodate up to 1000 attendees and will also be available for viewing in the SCGS member-only area of the SCGS website. 

    Upcoming webinars in March and April include

     Thomas MacEntee, Social Networking - New Horizons for Genealogists

    • George G. Morgan, Tell Me About When You Were a Child
    • Marian Pierre-Louis, Looking After the Poor: Finding Your Ancestors in New England Poverty Records
    • Lisa Louise Cooke, Getting the Scoop on Your Ancestors from Old Newspapers

    The full listing is available at the SCGS website Jamboree Extension page.

    Online learning has stolen the headlines lately following the success of virtual participation at RootsTech earlier this month. Thank you, SCGS for your commitment to extending genealogy learning beyond the conference classroom. 


    Get Your SCGS Jamboree Blogger Badge Today

    The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree has just posted an assortment of great Jamboree badges you can include on your blog or website. It looks like Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers has been VERY busy!

    In a new twist to conference badges, the Jamboree badges come in several styles to promote different kinds of participation --

    • Blogger
    • Speaker
    • Sponsor
    • Exhibitor
    • General Info
    • and yes, I wish I could go!

    You can choose your favorite badge at the SCGS Jamboree blog.


    Young Genealogists Invited to Apply for Grant to Attend 2011 SCGS Jamboree  

    It’s Mom’s birthday today, and we are giving a gift in her honor! 

    Suzanne Freeman was an enthusiastic attendee at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree and a life-long supporter of youth activities and volunteerism. The 2011 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant pays tribute to these interests by offering a $500 grant to a young genealogist attending the 2011 SCGS Jamboree. 

    Any genealogist who is 18 to 25 years of age as of July 1, 2011 and a student within the last year is eligible to apply. Funds may be used for travel, lodging, and other conference-related expenses. 

    The SCGS Jamboree has become a premiere regional genealogy conference offering national speakers, workshops, and demonstrations. More than 1700 genealogists attended the 2010 event in Burbank, California.

    Please help spread the word and encourage any young genealogists you know to apply for the 2011 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Grant. Application and more information is available at

    Denise Levenick with Suzanne Freeman,
    2009 SCGS Jamboree GeneaBlogger Bag Project


    Suzanne Winsor Freeman

    Genealogy bloggers came to know Suzanne the past two years at the SCGS Jamboree where she enthusiastically joined the GeneaBlogger Welcome Bag project, assisting in the assembly and distribution of gifts to attending genealogy bloggers. She was a fan of new technology such as podcasts by Lisa Louise Cooke and The Genealogy Guys, but also looked forward to analyzing old photographs with Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective.

    She embraced the possibilities of DNA and had recently submitted a sample for testing. In June, 2010 at the SCGS Jamboree in Burbank, she was delighted to meet her cousin Christopher Childs from the New England Historic and Genealogical Society. At the time of her death in Tucson, Arizona August 28, 2010, Suzanne was still searching for her elusive Winsor cousins.

    Suzanne enjoyed researching family history online and frequently posted queries that resulted in new family connections. She supplied stories and anecdotes for, the blog written by her daughter Denise Levenick, where her tales always received enthusiastic reader comments. Suzanne was also honored to appear at as a guest blogger.  

    Suzanne was born January 5, 1933 in Olathe, Kansas to Arline (Kinsel) and Frank Ammi Brown, and grew up in Orange and Santa Ana after her family moved to California in 1937. She purchased property in Green Valley, Arizona in 1982 and became a full-time Arizona resident in 1997.

    As a mother and homemaker, Suzanne found great satisfaction as a Girl Scout Leader and church volunteer in La Habra, California, and later used her community experience as Executive Director of the North Orange County Volunteer Bureau. In Green Valley, Suzanne was active in the Green Valley Evangelical Free Church and the Green Valley Genealogical Society.

    Contributons to the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Fund may be made at any Wells Fargo Bank, or directly to Wells Fargo Bank, Green Valley, Arizona 520/625-1222.

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