Hybrid Chapter

July Meeting: No meeting - Enjoy Pioneer Day

August Meeting: August 28, 10:00 AM MT

Speaker: Randee Mitchell

In Search of Josefa

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My maternal Grandmother is the one who, on occasion, would tell me stories of her father and the parents he never knew due to the family story that he had been adopted. My effort to find out more was frustrating because of the lack of information about her father’s “adoption”. An adoption that was “never recorded”. Or was this just a story that was somehow passed down erroneously from one generation to the next? My presentation will be the human-interest story of my quest to find the biological mother of my great grandfather and in so doing, finding myself. Compared to many who are on their own genealogy hunts, I know little, but the people…my people…and their life stories, have changed me. Through DNA matches, a distant cousin across the country and a lot of dead ends, I was finally able to put a face to the name “Josefa De Leon”…my great great grandmother. Hers is a story worth hearing. Kidnapped at 13, widowed with 5 living children in a foreign country at 25 and love triangles that would plague her later years. Her life wasn’t picturesque, but somehow when I look at her I feel connected to her in a way I never anticipated. She is the one I set out to find, but through her I am finding all the others.

Randee MitchellHi, my name is Randee Holbrook Mitchell. I am a genealogist of the most beginning kind. Whatever level comes before “novice” is probably the level I would feel most comfortable being called in my skills.
I was born the last of 4 children, the only one that was born with dark eyes, hair and skin. These physical characteristics I knew came from my mother’s Mexican roots, but I often found myself questioning if “who I was”, was a result of “who they were”. People I knew existed up the branches of my maternal family tree whose faces, names and lives I knew nothing about, but I wanted to know them. There was something inside of me that made it so I had to know them.
I have spent the last 25+ years trying to put the fragmented pieces of my family history together. Each piece has come painfully slow at times, but regardless of time, as I have found them one by one…I have found pieces of myself too. While I don’t have any fancy titles or degrees, my journey is deeply personal and has changed me. Welcome to my journey, the journey that after all these years I have entitled “In Search of Josefa”.

September Meeting: September 25, 10:00 AM MT

Speaker: Morag Peers

An Into to Scottish Clans, Tartan and Heraldry

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Scottish Clans, Tartans and Coats of Arms. If you have Scottish ancestry you’ve probably wondered what clan you belong to, or which tartan you should be wearing. We’ll discuss what the clan system was as well and whether it still has relevance today, talk about the basics of heraldry and who can and cannot use coats of arms, and look at rules around the use and wearing of tartans. Finally, we’ll learn about how linking into a Scottish noble family can help progress your own genealogy.

Morag PeersMorag Peers is a freelance genealogist based in Glasgow, Scotland. She started getting interested in her own family history as a teenager when a visiting uncle from America shared a huge, hand written family tree tracing her paternal line back to the early 17th century. She spent the next few decades researching both sides of her ancestry, finding deep roots in the Scottish Borders on the paternal line, and Ireland on the maternal line. In 2020, she started studying for the MSc in Genealogical Studies at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, completing large research projects on two Scottish Reformatory schools, and Scottish passport records.
Morag now has her own genealogy business, helping people discover their own Scottish or British roots, looking into house histories and offers ancestral tourism services for overseas visitors keen to visit the places their ancestors lived, worked and went to church. Away from genealogy, Morag has three teenage children, and is interested in crafts and visiting as many parts of the world as possible.