Sunday, June 26, 2016

Virtual Culture and Folkways With Jean

Today, in the 21st Century, we live in 2 worlds: the terra firma (well, so we hope – sometimes not so “firma” in So. California) and the virtual one. Try as we might to ignore this fact, the “virtual reality” is in our lives, even for those who do not personally use the Internet. This is because so many others do (like it or not, when you do your banking, electronic communication is employed; if you do anything with genealogy, somewhere along the line there is someone who is using virtual tools to accomplish a task, even if you hand-write a letter with the famous SASE for a reply or vital record; etc.). While some are fighting it (and I was a fighter for a long period of time, back before about 1995), those of us interested in family history are embracing it on different levels.

You can be like Gena and utilize most of the social media tools out there to hunt down living and dead relatives; like me, who acknowledges that it all exists but just doesn’t take the time to learn all the ins and outs (yes, I use Evernote® and enjoy it, but I know I am not using it to full advantage); or just use it minimally to look for ancestors on a website or attend webinars. It is that last one that I want to take a moment to discuss here.

Back in the time, BC (Before Computers), if you wanted to learn about genealogy you attended society meetings, learned from Family History Seminars at local Family History Centers, went to conferences, or accessed written materials (journals, magazines, books, etc.). And there could be a long time between learning one methodology and the next. Today, however, you can have a learning experience every day (and nearly every hour of every day, if you have the equipment and memberships) by tuning into webinars (live streamed or archived by various societies, most requiring that you merely be a member of the society to access their library – and a one-year membership usually would cost less than the value in a single video), going to the Family Search Help Center and then choosing the  Learning Center for videos on almost every imaginable genealogy topic, or take online classes in specific concentrations (some equivalent to a set of courses one would take for a major in, say, Social History).

On August 20 and 27 (Saturdays), in the morning (90 minutes) and afternoon (90 minutes) – times dependent on where you live (in So. Calif., those will both be in the morning) – I will be presenting 6 hours of instruction on “Learning About Your Ancestor Through Culture and Folkways” with an additional (optional) “Plus” discussion session on Wednesday evening, August 24. The 6-hour course costs $69.99 (for all 6 hours!!) and the plus session is an additional $30 (so $99.99 . . . OK, let’s say “just under $100” . . . for the whole experience). You will receive extensive syllabus material, one “assignment” that is a self-governed exercise to apply the material to your own family history, and one “exercise” (if you take the Plus session) that is turned in and evaluated by me with feedback received as quickly as practical. There is limited “seating” for the live-streamed program, so register soon, if you are interested in “attending.”

If you have appreciated the information provided by this blog and/or the accompanying podcast(s), then this course may be just what you need to pull it all together for application to your own family’s history. It is hoped that those taking the course will also get a better sense of the lifestyles of their ancestors, allowing them to know them better.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, but those dates don’t work for you, the course will be archived and you can “take it” at a later date and at your own time schedule (spread over a longer or shorter period of time). The only exception to that is that the “Plus” session is not offered in the archived version, since it is a live discussion experience.

To register for the course, or any of the others offered by the newly formed Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research, go to or read more about the Institute by checking out their home page.

Personally, I’m excited about being a part of this and here are the classes that will be included:
1)      “Culture and Folkways: definitions and roles”
2)      “Using genealogical resources to understand the lives of our ancestors”
3)      “Folkways and traditions”
4)      “Where they lived and what they did”

The Plus session will be a discussion on “Culture assimilation and breaking away”
Full explanations of what is covered in each of these can be found at .

Being able to have the genealogy instruction brought right to you is one of the best aspects of our virtual world. We are no longer subject to the high cost of parking fees, sitting in traffic, spending money on gas, giving up a week’s pay for a hotel room for one night, then fighting to find a seat in an auditorium or classroom . . . it’s an amazing world. I wonder what our forebears would say about it!

--Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, MA, CG®


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Genealogy Journey's Podcast #12: Fishing

Fishing trip - second morning's catch.Mississippi Department of  Archives and History.

Happy Father's Day! In honor of Father's Day we are focusing on fishing for this podcast. 

Did your family fish? If so, where? Any fishing photos in your photo album? Now's the time to write down your fishing memories. 

In this podcast we learn some fishing history and about Jean's favorite bait. You'll never guess what it is. 


California Grunion Facts and Expected Runs
California Beaches - Grunion Run Schedule
Moon Tides

History of Fishing
Wikipedia - History of Fishing 
Fishing History
Dr. Ben Sherman - History of Fishing 

Fishing Villages
Wikipedia - Fishing village
Smarter Travel - 10 Fantastic Fishing Villages
Visit England - Harbours and Fishing Villages 
Pinterest - Fishing Villages
Espana - The Fishing Villages of Asturias

Fishing Nets
Wikipedia - Fishing Net
Wikipedia - Cast Net
National Geographic Society - Cast-Net Fishing
Wikipedia - Fishing Trawler

THE FISHIN’ HOLE (sung by Andy Griffith)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Genealogy Journey's Podcast #11: Underwear

Today's podcast is a look at a specific part of fashion history...underwear. The resources we discuss can be found via  the following:

American Heritage Dictionaries. Word Histories and Mysteries: From Abracadabra to Zeus. Boston: 
Houghton Mifflin Co., 2004.

Feldman, David. Who Put the Butter in Butterfly? . . . and Other Fearless Investigations into our Illogical Language. New York: Harper & Row, 1989.

Funk, Charles Earle. Hog on Ice & Other Curious Expressions. New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1948.

Funk, Charles Earle. Horsefeathers & Other Curious Words. New York: Harper & Row, 1958, 1986

Garrison, Webb. What’s in a Word? Fascinating Stories of More Than 350 Everyday Words and Phrases. Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 2000.

Hendrickson, Robert. The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, Rev. & Expanded Ed. New York: Checkmark Books, 1997, 2000. 

Mordock, John, & Myron Korach. Common Phrases and Where they Come from. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2001.

Morris, William, & Mary Morris. Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, 2nd ed. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.


Family Tree Magazine - PhotoDetective blog by Maureen Taylor

YouTube - Indianapolis Museum of Art - Revealing Garments: A Brief History of Women's Underwear (presentation by H. Kristina Haugland)

Google Play: Fashions and Costumes from Godey's Lady's Book: Including 8 Plates in Full Color

Also note that Godey's Lady's Book is also available online on several websites including subscription website Accessible Archives .

50 Years of Pantyhose

Clothing in the Colonies (for ordering or making)

Fashion History: Love to Know

Front View, Back View – Underwear in America 

Wikipedia - Godey’s Lady’s Book
Wikipedia - Bra 
Wikipedia - Slip (clothing)
Wikipedia - Nylon
Wikipedia - Pantyhose

Heroes, Heroines & History - Saloon Girls of the Wild West 

“The Ladies, God Bless ‘Em!” Shady Ladies of the Old West by Christine Jeffords

Legends of America - Painted Ladies of the Old West 

Why Nylons’ Run is Over

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Gena and Jean at Jamboree 2016!

Going to Jamboree? Gena and Jean are presenting the following workshops/presentations:


TH-F Enhancing Your Genealogy with Social History 
FR003 Women's Work: Tracing Your Ancestor's Occupations and Volunteer Work
FR019 I'm in the Book: Researching Women in Directories 


TH-A Understanding Gothic German by Learning to Write It: You, Too, Can Read Those Records 
FF-E Why and How to Become a Professional Genealogist
SU022 Beware the Enchanted Forest: Perils and Pitfalls of On-line Trees 

And Butch, our Podcast tech guy and Jean's husband:

SU-A Five Computer Programs to Simplify the Life of a Genealogist

Learn more about these presentations and others at the Jamboree website.

See you at Jamboree!