Monday, November 18, 2013

I Had Genealogy Fun at the WAGS Meeting on Saturday, 16 November 2013

I mentioned last week, in  Randy's Saturday Roadtrip - Whittier Area Genealogical Society, that I was making my "Discovering Jane's Roots in California, Australia and England" at the Whittier Area Genealogical Society (WAGS) meeting on Saturday.

This was a new venue and group of genealogists for me, and, as usual, they were friendly, welcoming and wonderful people to meet with and eat a meal with.

We left Chula Vista at 9:15 a.m. and I dropped Linda in Huntington Beach (about 105 miles) at my daughter's house at 11:15 a.m., and continued on to Whittier (up the I-405 to I-605, and off at Whittier Blvd. - about 35 miles).  They meet at the Masonic Lodge at 7604 Greenleaf Avenue in Whittier.  I got there at 11:55 a.m. and found the open door off the parking lot.

I signed in, was greeted by the Program chairperson, Greta Gutierrez, and escorted to her table.  The group was just finishing up their education hour learning about the FamilySearch website, presented by the WAGS President, Rick Frohling.  

Lunch was a relatively small sandwich (ham, turkey or roast beef, I think) with cheese and  condiments, with a bag of chips, and your choice of potato salad, macaroni salad or cole slaw, all for $5.  I ate lunch with Greta, Roger and Debbie at our table, and we discussed our local societies.

After lunch, I worked with the equipment person to get my laptop set up so that I would be ready to roll when my time in the schedule came.  Barto was very efficient and expert for the task.  

At 1 p.m., the President moderated a short society business meeting featuring society programs for the coming month and for the 22 February 2014 seminar with Laura Prescott as the honored speaker.  

Here is a photo I took of President Rick and the front of the room:

Here's a photo I took of the audience of over 50 WAGS members and guests before I started my presentation (a bit fuzzy, oh well):

At 1:20 p.m., I was introduced and plugged all of my electronics in and showed my introductory screen.  I asked how many attendees read genealogy blogs, and only about 10 % of the attendees raised their hands.  Those few read Dick Eastman's blog, and several do read mine.  I had a question about what a blog was, and how to read it.  I've found that this is a pretty typical reaction - very few attendees at "traditional" society programs are using social media for education or genealogy industry information.  It's frustrating, but that's how it is even in 2013.

The talk went well - they followed my case study, asked some questions, made a few recommendations for further research, and laughed at my jokes.  I hope that they were impressed by the records I showed, mostly captured from online resources, to illustrate my case study about finding the ancestors of Jane (Whittle) McKnew.  I ran over my time slot a bit, ending at 2:30 p.m. but the group didn't seem to mind.  

I said my goodbyes, they gave me an extra sandwich for the road (I brought it home and had it on Sunday), and Greta guided me back to the freeway onramp and I headed south at 3 p.m.

I arrived at my daughter's house, talked and played with my granddaughters for awhile, and we all went out to dinner at Duke's on the ocean pier in Huntington Beach.  We went back to my daughter's home, and talked some more, then packed up the two guinea piggies (Sparkles and Gritsy) to piggie-sit for the next two weeks while they go off on vacation.  It was fun playing with, talking with and eating with the grandgirls - they are so smart, funny, polite, and loving!  The giunea pigs?  Not so much, at least not yet.  

We left Huntington Beach at about 7:45 p.m. and were home by 9:25 p.m. and I got to watch the second half of my alma mater's football game versus Hawaii, which San Diego State won in overtime, 28-21.  

It was a full day, with only the WAGS adventure dealing with genealogy, but I made some more family history.  I try to never let a good road trip go to waste - there is always some family history to make!  

My thanks to Greta, Rick, Roger and the entire WAGS board and members for hosting me for lunch and the presentation - I hope that I inspired the audience to try some new resources that I listed on my handout.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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