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Posted on March 22, 2014 | 4:58 p.m.

Genies Get Educated at Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society Spring Seminar

Source: Glenn Avolio for the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society

Family research enthusiasts sometime refer to each other as “Genies,” short for genealogists, and “Genies” is a particularly fitting name when you see the magic these dedicated individuals can work in reconstructing a family tree. You don’t need an Aladdin’s lamp to find your way, this gift of being able to pry obscure facts and convoluted connections from the billions of bits of available data comes with experience and education.

The Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society will be hosting its annual Spring Seminar from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at Goleta Presbyterian Church, 6067 Shirrell Way. This year’s theme is “A Potpourri of Genealogy Ideas,” and two highly respected, nationally recognized speakers will present eight exciting topics.

Hank Jones, a professional genealogist since 1965, is an entertaining genealogical lecturer, an accomplished writer and a respected Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. He is best known for his extensive work with Palatine genealogy and for his popular book, Psychic Roots. You will no doubt recognize Jones from his many roles on TV and movies during his long career as an entertainer and screen actor.

The second featured speaker will be J.H. “Jay” Fonkert, CG, a director of the Association of Professional Genealogists and past president of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. His research, writing and lecturing focus on Midwest, Dutch and English genealogy, as well as genealogical methodology. He is an instructor in the Advanced Practicum Course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), and has published more than 40 research and teaching articles.

While it is now relatively easy to take the initial steps toward finding your pedigree with resources like, education is the key to successfully filling in the details and getting past the inevitable dead ends and brick walls that always interrupt the family history process.

The cost of the April 5 seminar is $40 for SBCGS members and $45 for nonmembers. Register by March 28 and receive a $5 discount. Optional boxed lunch is available for $10. Space is limited and early registration is encouraged.

Click here to register now, or email

Click here for more information about the Santa Barbara Genealogical Society. Click here for a calendar of genealogical events.

— Glenn Avolio is the public relations chairman of the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society.


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