Friday, June 14, 2019

Gena's 2019 Northern California Speaking Tour

It's Summer! That means it's time for Gena's annual California Speaking Tour. Join Gena at one of the societies listed below for genealogy and resources. 

Well I'm not speaking in Monterey but it does make for a nice California photo. (2018) Gena Philibert-Ortega.

NEW this year is the opportunity to consult with Gena on your genealogy brick wall problem. Meet Gena in San Ramon for 30 minutes & get help with your research. Just $20! Contact Gena for appointment times at

It's also time to start booking 2020's tour. 2020 includes a speaking tour in California (July), Arizona (April), and Texas (Fall). To learn more, contact Gena! 

See you on the Tour!

July 8, 2019: Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society
Topics: Her Name was Not Unknown: Finding Female Ancestors & We’re Related to George Washington?: Proving Family Stories.

July 9, 2019: El Dorado Hills Genealogical Society
Topic: Journals, Store Ledgers and Letters to Aunt Mary: Using Manuscript Collections

July 11, 2019: Contra Costa Genealogical Society
Topic: A Genealogist Goes to the Library

July 13, 2019: Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group
Topic: Her Name was Not "Unknown": Finding Female Ancestors

July 14, 2019: Sacramento Public Library
Topic: The Farmer Takes a Wife

July 16, 2019: San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society
Topic: Anatomy of Birth, Marriage and Death Records

July 18, 2019: Marin County Genealogical Society
Topic:Step Away From the Computer: Using Archives, Academic Libraries and Museums for Your Research

July 19, 2019: Mt. Diablo Genealogical Society
Topic: Brick Walls

July 20, 2019: Ventura County Genealogy Society
Topics: 25 Tips for Researching Female Ancestors & Using the FamilySearch Catalog

Topics are subject to change. See the individual society’s website for more information. 

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Women's History Month 2019: Until Next Time

Wow! 31 days. We took 30 of those days looking at directories that go beyond city directories to find mentions of women's lives.

So let's take this last day to talk tips for finding your female ancestors. I want to highlight some of the "best practices" that probably  became obvious as I added blog posts.

1. Always take time to search by location. This is something I harp on in presentations. I think it's because my research training was not just genealogy so my background included different types of research and resources. Research is more than plugging in a name/date/place. Use websites like WorldCat, ArchiveGrid, and digitized book websites and search by the place your ancestor lived.

2. Don't stop at the homepage search. For genealogy websites, they have so much more to offer than just that homepage search. Explore their card catalog, search by location, check out what databases exist in their collections. That's how you find the hidden gems.

3. Use digitized book websites. These are truly some of the most important websites for genealogy. But because they aren't "genealogy" websites or what they include is not clear they are easy to ignore. Search by place, search by name, just search and explore. Take some time to explore Google Books, Internet Archive, and Hathi Trust today.

4. Research isn't a race, it takes time. We've grown accustomed to the luxury of typing in a name/date/place and like a slot machine, getting a "hit" that adds to our genealogy wealth. But that's not real research. Research requires asking questions, finding what sources have that answer, and searching for them. It requires learning more about the time period and place. It requires curiosity and persistence. The reward is that you learn more about the story of your ancestor's life.

Thanks for taking the time this month to read my Women's History Month posts. You can read posts from previous years by clicking on the Women's History Month images to the right. 

I want to give a general shout-out to my friends, presentation audience, and others who gave me the inspiration for posts this month. Special thanks to Tami Osmer Mize of Conference Keeper who designed the promotional images. 

Good luck researching your female ancestors!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Women's History Month 2019: The Englishwoman's Directory

Sometimes a directory might not be as useful for  finding an individual ancestor but can help you better understand the world they lived in. One such directory is The Englishwoman's Year Book and Directory 1900 available on Google Books

All kinds of institutions are listed here that assisted women and children.

And there is even a small obituary section.

And there is a directory of individual women's names as well. 

This book has a little bit of everything and even for those who didn't descend from "Ladies" you may find something that can help you with your understanding of your female English ancestor's world.