Tag Archives: professional genealogy

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/

Weekly Update – March 15, 2015

I thought I would try writing about some events, happenings, accomplishments, etc., that are occurring in my little portion of the genealogy world this week.

Dear Mother, Love Daddy coverIn the world of Dear Mother, Love Daddy:

Currently, there is a book giveaway running on Goodreads which will last until the end of the month. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25099832-dear-mother-love-daddy

If you are interested in purchasing an autographed copy of the book, I am selling copies. The cost is $21. The price includes one book, one autograph, and priority mail shipping within the U.S. Please contact me through the contact page/form tab if you are interested. The book is still available on Amazon.com. Follow the link on the right hand side of the blog to purchase directly from Amazon.

Professional Genealogy by Elizabeth Shown Mills

In my professional learning:

This month is the last month of the Professional Genealogy (ProGen) program for me. I have spent the last 19 months working hard to better my genealogy skills. I recommend the program highly to anyone who is interested in taking the next step in their own learning. New groups form every few months. Study groups have roughly 6-10 members with a credentialed genealogist mentoring each group. After 19 months, I have made some wonderful friends and increased my network in this small professional community.

I’m looking forward to taking a “small” break and then I’m thinking of signing up for a couple home study courses through the National Genealogy Society. The online course titled Researching Your American Revolution Ancestor sounds interesting. I have many Revolutionary War ancestors and I want to make sure I am finding all the relevant documents.


I’m continuing to pin some boards related to my research and specific blog posts. Since I no longer have my archives listed on the right side of the blog page screen, Pinterest is a great way to see some of the older posts. I’ve also created boards for a couple of the Indiana counties where my ancestors lived, a board with links to my ancestors’ graves, and a board with photographs of locations that are featured in the book Dear Mother, Love Daddy. Two boards that get the most traffic are Lena’s Postcards and 19th Century Fashion. My first career was in theatrical costume design. I loved researching historical costumes. In genealogy, this has been a very helpful skill for researching and dating old photographs.

Upcoming Events:

Next weekend, I am attending the spring seminar of my local genealogy society, the Sacramento Root Cellar. D. Joshua Taylor, who is probably best known at present for his work on Genealogy Road Show, will be the keynote speaker.

In June, I will be attending my first official genealogy conference, the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree.  I have signed up for two workshops with Dr. Thomas W. Jones and Judy G. Russell. I am pretty excited that I will finally be able to meet these two genealogy rock stars in person. You may have noticed that there is a new badge on the side of the blog. By displaying the Jamboree blogger badge, I will be an honorary blogger for this event.

Until next week!

Blogger badge-blogger-1


©2015 copyright by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/03/15/weekly-update-march-15-2015/