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Southern California Genealogical Society Continues Innovative Webinar Series


Family history research is one of the fastest-growing leisure activities in the digital age. Helping lead the charge to equip ever-growing numbers of researchers, the Southern California Genealogical Society, located in Burbank, California, is continuing its dynamic semi-monthly Jamboree Extension Webinar Series throughout 2013. All sessions are presented by leading professional genealogists from around the globe.

Roy Chan is a civic innovator who uses digital storytelling to affirm cultural heritage, family hist ...

Roy Chan is a civic innovator who uses digital storytelling to affirm cultural heritage, family history, and promote community engagement. On behalf of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Roy developed an interactive web repository for its Immigrant Voices storytelling project. Currently, he is building community/university partnerships and interviewing dozens of former Angel Island detainees and other Pacific Coast immigrants for the project. He is also the director of the Oakland Chinatown Oral History Project in which he has created a number of interactive environments for local residents to both share and read neighborhood stories in a growing digital archive. In 2010 when he was Co-Director of the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Roy worked with other family researchers to host the first ever Chinese American Family History Conference in the area. (Photo: Business Wire)

A particularly compelling topic for genealogists worldwide is immigration to the U.S., which will be the theme spotlighted this November by Roy Chan in his “Immigrant Voices – Angel Island Immigration” session. The unique story of Angel Island, an entry point for Chinese, Japanese and other immigrants to America, has been captured through the rich oral history work of the AIISF's Immigrant Voices project. Chan will explore this topic in innovative ways using digital storytelling to affirm cultural heritage and family history. The webinar will be held Saturday, November 3, at 10 a.m. Pacific time.

Other upcoming sessions include digital preservation of photographs, documents and sound; and Jewish Genealogy.

“The Jamboree Extension Webinar Series began in 2010,” explains Paula Hinkel, vice president and frequent moderator of the webcasts. “It was launched to provide ongoing education to our members and other family historians. It's an adjunct to our annual genealogy conference, the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.” Jamboree Extension Series webinars have had over 10,000 viewings, including genealogy groups that use the webinars in their education program.

“We've had instances where audience members told us they found long-lost ancestors - while a webinar was in process - using information presented in the session,” said Hinkel. “That's what we call positive feedback!”

Sessions cover a wide range of topics, from use of online resources to tips for writing your research results in a way that will entertain other members of the family. Past sessions have explored the use of DNA in genetic genealogy, Irish-American Catholic Genealogy, using Google, occupations, cemetery research, and Colonial America records.

For a complete list of the 2012 sessions, please visit The schedule for 2013 will be posted by November 1. To receive announcements of upcoming webinars, register your email address at

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

Southern California Genealogical Society
Paula Hinkel, 818-574-8393
Vice President

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