Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, instructor, and researcher, whose focus is genealogy, social and women’s history. She holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women’s Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. Her published works include three books, numerous online and print articles, two volumes of Tracing Female Ancestors (Moorshead Publishing), and a QuickGuide from Legacy Family Tree. She is the editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s magazine, Crossroads.
She has lectured to diverse groups including universities, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, the Alberta Genealogical Society Conference, the Geo-Literary Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Legacy Family Tree Webinar series. Her research projects include Sowerby’s British Mineralogy: Its Influence on Martha Proby and Others in the Scientific Community during the 19th Century for the Gemological Institute of America, as well as genealogical research for the first season of PBS’s Genealogy Roadshow and the Travel Channel’s Follow Your Past.
Her current research includes women’s repatriation and citizenship in the 20th century, foodways and community in fundraising cookbooks, and women’s material culture. Her writings can be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera as well as the GenealogyBank blog.
Go In-Depth with Gena:
Why have you chosen to teach others Genealogy?
I’ve loved family history since I was a child listening to my maternal grandmother tell stories of her ancestors. I believe that people can find great meaning in knowing more about the lives that led to their own. I love to help people discover their ancestor’s lives and in turn better understand their own place in history.
What is your best piece of advice for someone just starting in Genealogy?
It’s not a race to see who can trace their family back the furthest. Take time to document each generation’s life including how their live was impacted by the time and place they lived in. Don’t forget that you’ll one day be someone’s ancestor, so document your own life and what you have experienced historically.
Why should someone take your class?
No matter where you are in your genealogical education, there is a great benefit in learning how to do, good, solid research. Knowing how to research will benefit you as you seek to learn more about your female ancestors and that’s my goal. My passion is helping others learn to do better research and document the lives of their female ancestors.
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