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Genealogist Helps Open Doors to Family Research

Debbie Kaska Click to view larger
Debbie Kaska

Debbie Kaska will present Opening the Doors to Your Genealogy House in a free talk at Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society’s (SBCGS) monthly meeting, 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance St.

Kaska will offer attendees the keys to open the doors to the seven rooms in the “genealogy house,” the society said. Consideration of some important questions will get participants through the door and then the rooms will be explored.

Understanding the role of each room and how the rooms are connected will help to focus one's research into family history, the society said. The presentation also will look at ways to maintain and enhance searching skills.

Kaska said she began her genealogy training at her father’s knee as he shared his detailed knowledge of the family history. It wasn’t hard to visualize as the artifacts lay all around them in the farmlands southwest of Chicago where her ancestors settled.

Kaska later studied molecular biology and followed a career in teaching and research at UCSB that ranged from frogs to green algae to the ironwoods on Santa Cruz Island.

For Kaska, retirement meant time again to explore her family history. In the meantime, methods and access to information had changed dramatically.

Combining the Internet with trips to the library in Salt Lake City, archives in Europe, and visits to the villages where her forebears had lived for centuries helped to fill in many branches on her family tree.

Kaska is the editor of the SBCGS publication, Ancestors West. She also is co-chair of the Brick Walls class and has been a previous program presenter and webinar presenter.

The society's special interest groups meet at 9:30 a.m. for Beginning Genealogy, Civil War Genealogy, Writers' Support Group, German Ancestry, Italian Genealogy, French Canadian Genealogy, Computer Genealogy, DNA, and Jewish Genealogy.

The monthly meeting starts at 10:30 a.m.; the featured speaker starts at 11 a.m. It is not necessary to be a member to attend the presentation.

A calendar of genealogical events can be found at http://sbgen.org/eventListings.php?nm=216.

— Glenn Avolio for Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society.




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