Jamboree 2017


Last week I attended my third Jamboree, the Southern California Genealogical Society’s annual conference, in Burbank, California. This year I crossed the imaginary divide and became a speaker as well. On Saturday morning, I presented one lecture, Dating Fashion in Photographs, and then sat on a panel The Next Generation: Young Genealogists and Your Society. As usual the conference was a blast. The committee did an excellent job making everyone feel welcome. And in one case, when a session was too full, the speaker gracefully consented to give his talk again later that same evening.


Divided into two parts, Jamboree begins with a separate DNA day on Thursday, then continues Friday thru Sunday with a wide variety of lectures and a full lineup of vendors in the exhibition hall. I generally arrive Wednesday afternoon and leave sometime Sunday morning. Over the course of this year’s Jamboree, I attended seventeen sessions, one banquet with keynote speaker Debbie Kennett, and the NextGen meetup. I hosted two ProGen meetups, sat in the Author’s Nook, gave one lecture, and participated in a panel discussion. Most importantly, I connected with old genealogy friends, and made a lot of new ones. At home, I have few opportunities to connect with fellow genealogy enthusiasts and professionals in person. It was wonderful to talk about genealogy and share family stories, without people’s eyes glazing over. I’m sure you know what I mean!

NextGen Panel: Eric Wells, Deborah Sweeney, Lisa Medina, Melanie Frick, Randy Whited, Paul Woodbury (Photo credit: Victoria Wells)

Various ProGen members, including Blaine T. Bettinger, Patricia Stanard, Lisa Gorrell, Mike Bronner, Jill Morelli, Dennis VanderWerff, Jane Neff Rollins, Janice Lovelace, Annette Burke Lyttle, Janice M. Sellers, Elissa Scalise Powell, and me (Deborah Sweeney).

Knitting in the hotel lobby Wednesday before the conference began

I always like to hang out in the lobby when I arrive in Burbank. It’s a long day for me since I drive from Northern California. It’s a great way to find old friends and make new ones. Plus I usually get some knitting done, like this sweater.

Melanie Frick and I

This year I didn’t get to spend as much time with fellow genealogist (and panel leader), Melanie Frick. But we found time to take our annual photograph.


Blaine T. Bettinger and I

Blaine and I spent 18 months in the together in the ProGen Study program. We always take a reunion photo! Maybe someday we can convince the rest of our group to come to Jamboree as well!

Ready to speak first thing Saturday morning!

My session was packed! Over 60 people came to hear me speak. Audio of my presentation is available through the Jamboree website.

James M. Baker, CG and I

While hanging out at the Author’s Nook, I was able to meet Northern California’s resident certified genealogist (CG), James M. Baker. It was great to finally meet him in person, instead of just hearing about him.

I spent a couple evenings hanging out with a fantastic group of genealogists, including Lauren McGuire, Lara Diamond, Debra Dudek, Brad Larkin, Mark Hammond, Jon Nedry, and Blaine Bettinger. After a LONG day attending sessions, it was great to sit back enjoy their company.

If you have never attended an all day genealogy seminar or conference, I encourage you to do so. Conferences provide a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills as well as to network with other genealogists. Stay tuned this summer for an exciting announcement and a new series of blog posts.

©2017 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/06/18/jamboree-2017-2/

2 thoughts on “Jamboree 2017

  1. davidmadison1942

    ” gave one lecture” YAY!!! 🙂

    ” It was wonderful to talk about genealogy and share family stories, without people’s eyes glazing over. I’m sure you know what I mean!” LOL 🙂

    “While hanging out at the Author’s Nook” That has such a nice ring to it!


Tell Me What You Think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s