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I am now booking live in person events and Zoom events through early 2025. I am available for one program events, half-day or full-day seminars. Primary topics are family patterns, ancestral healing, military research (WWI - WWII), and genealogy. Explore some of the programs I offer below or let's create a custom program for your organization. I am available for full-day military research seminars.Explore Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Why Was Grandma So Mean?
There are always more than two sides to every family story. Do you ever wonder what influenced the behaviors, patterns, & emotions of our ancestors? Explore your genealogy & military documents with new tools & questions to understand who your ancestors were & what shaped their behaviors.
I will share new tools & questions to help you better understand who your ancestors were & what shaped their behaviors. We will also explore how their unhealed trauma, family patterns and behaviors were passed down through the generations. Being aware of how their unhealed past may be affecting how you live your life or show you possibilities for why your family is or was the way they were with beliefs, patterns, behaviors, energies, and emotions.
Circle of Influence
Using Genealogy & FAN to Identify Family Patterns and Trauma
Part 1 of the Circle of Influence Series.
We've heard of the FAN concept in genealogy - Friends, Associates, and Neighbors - as a way to locate genealogical records to prove the "John Smith" in the records is or is not your John Smith. Have you ever considered using this concept another way to help you identify why an ancestor was the way they were or carried certain patterns?
Using case studies, in this new program we will explore the FAN concept with an added F for FAMILY and create the web of who was involved in an ancestor's life or even your own, that influence who you became, the beliefs, behaviors and patterns lived and possibly any traumas that may have been passed down.
The Ripple Effect
Mapping the Intersections of Family, Trauma, War, and Patterns.
Part 2 of the Circle of Influence Series.
This program will help you use the Circle of Influence in a different way as we explore the impacts of war on our service members, civilians, and children of war. The material will pave the way for you to understand your family better, create new research paths and ask better questions so you can write better stories. You may walk away with big ah-ha moments about who your family members really were!
Breakdown! Unspoken Effects of Genealogy & Military Research
Have you heard of Compassion Fatigue? Anticipated grief? Have you experienced anger, grief, loss, shame, guilt, etc., as a result of your research? Have you become depressed or anxious? Join me in an exploration of the ways our research & professional work can impact our mental health.
This program dives into the ways our research, especially the military work and stress of combat and death, can change us if we are not taking care of ourselves and our energy.
Introduction to Genograms
Are you interested in better understanding why you are who you are? Why your family and ancestors held certain beliefs, behaviors, and patterns? Using a genogram, you can learn a lot more about your family. A genogram is a tool that resembles a family tree through which we use symbols to identify family beliefs, behaviors, and patterns. There are many themes that can be explored using this tool.
In this interactive workshop, I will help you create a basic genogram, learn some basic symbols, and start to identify patterns in our families.
Ancestral Time Travels: Timelines
Every genealogist and military researcher uses timelines in their research. They are automatically created on family trees as we add facts about our ancestor. Did you know this generic timeline is only one way to use this powerful tool? Are you ready to step out of the generic timeline box and travel through the life of an ancestor from a completely different perspective?
This new perspective on timelines may open new research paths. You might also identify some family beliefs, behaviors, and patterns that will allow you to remove old blocks, end negative cycles, and help you create a new reality.
This program has an 18-page workbook and covers timelines which cover health, energy, traumas, resilience & faith, military service, and what was left out of the family narrative.
Wise Female Ancestors
Women are the creators of life. We are powerful beyond belief and for centuries have been feared for our knowledge, intuition, power, and healing abilities. Because of this fear, women have been silenced, shoved aside, shamed, abused, tortured, persecuted, and killed. Many went to their graves with their stories and wisdom inside them. We carry their unhealed, unprocessed traumas, unfulfilled dreams, and their wounds often run our lives on an unconscious level. It is time we break the silence on the powerful women in our families, tell their stories, and heal.
Using tools and numerous questions to dive deeper into the layers of our ancestors’ stories and records, you may discover some women were not who you thought they were. You may also discover you have more in common with them than you thought.
My Doughboy's Story
Did all the WWI Army records burn? Have you struggled to learn anything about your WWI Army soldier? Were you told his record burned at the NPRC? Did you know you can reconstruct World War I Army service online right now? You may not learn all the details of your veteran's service history, but you will learn enough to tell a story and access unit records, even if the service file burned! In this program you’ll explore:
- How to create a timeline of service with the information you have plus what you'll discover online.
- Worksheets to help you start any WWI or WWII research project. This webinar is focused on WWI Army but the strategies and basic records apply to both wars and all branches.
- Live demonstrations of how to use vital databases at FamilySearch, Ancestry, NARA, and Fold3 to start your reconstruction of service timeline.
- A look at additional records you may discover online or offline related to our honored war dead.
- Next steps. Where do you go once you have a timeline of service? What else can be discovered online?
- Resources to discover offline information.
You will walk away from this program with actionable steps to reconstruct the military service of your WWI Army veteran using online sources. The best part????? These databases and skills will help you research your WWII Army or Air Corps/Army Air Force veteran when those records are finished being digitized and placed online also!
Everything you learn in this webinar can be applied to WWII.
Research a Veteran
Exploring the Basics of Military Research
Please note this is part 1 of 2 in military research.
All the records DID NOT burn. Have you ever wondered what dad or grandpa did in the war? What happened to your uncle who died? What was training and combat like? How did grandpa get wounded? What happened to the family during and after the war? Answers can be found. In this session you will learn:
- Where to begin your research at home.
- What questions to ask.
- The first part of the research strategy to learn any veteran's story from any 20th century war and and military branch.
- What records you need to establish the foundation and where to locate them.
- How to create a timeline of service.
- How to begin writing the story.
I use storytelling along with the records to help you understand the deeper impacts of service. You might want a tissue for the story at the end of this session.
Exploring the Greatest Generation
Adding Context to the Veteran's Story
Please note this is the 2nd part of my research strategy. Research A Veteran is Part 1.
Contextual records are everywhere, not just the National Archives!
Once you have established what units your service member was in and where they served, it is time to explore unit-level records.
In this program you’ll explore:
- The second part of the research strategy to piece together your veteran's story.
- How to add to your timeline of service and expand the narrative.
- Explore various histories, journals, photos, and maps for all the military branches.
- You will learn about the most valuable foundational records to put your service member into context and write a richer story everyone will want to read.
These records help you write the narrative to your stories. They will also help you understand why your veteran was who they were after service, and probably bring up more questions for you to consider.
World War II Sacrifice
Records & Resources for the Prisoners, Missing, & Dead
Discover the history of the American Graves Registration Service and the records they created for our honored war dead.
In this program you’ll learn:
- What records were created by the American Grave Registration Service for World War I & World War II. How to access those records and tell your veteran's story.
- You will learn about online resources for locating information.
- We will explore POW records.
- I'll share a case study on James Privoznik who was Killed in Action 11 January 1945. Through our research, writing, and travel journey, I'll tell you his story and how I found information when most would say it is impossible.
- You will have access to some death records to peruse at your leisure.
Words that Heal. The Power of Writing a Veteran's Story.
As we approach the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings on June 6, it's time to capture and share the stories of bravery, sacrifice, and resilience.
Discover the transformative power of stories as you embark on a journey of genealogy and military research. Stories have the ability to heal, preserve the past, and prevent history from repeating itself. Join our workshop and unlock the secrets to crafting compelling narratives that honor your family's heritage and pay tribute to the brave veterans who shaped our world.
You will learn:
- Organizing Your Research
- The Importance of Veterans' Stories
- Story Outlines and Writing Prompts.
- Unveiling the Right Questions.
- Do's and Don'ts of Writing.
- Compassion Fatigue, Grief & Self-Care In Writing.
- Project Placement.
Get ready to unleash your storytelling potential and honor your veterans through the written word.
Researching WWII Online
One place many people begin research for their World War II service member is online. While most of the records you need to reconstruct service history are not available online, you can find clues and unit or contextual information to add to your soldier’s story. Tools and strategies taught in this course will apply to WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam military research.
In this program, Jennifer will:
- Explain some myths and common questions about online research.
- Explain how to research using the collections on Ancestry.com and Fold3.com.
- Discuss other places you can find information online and how that can lead to offline resources.
- Explain where and how to connect with other researchers or European grave adopters.
- Discuss using social media to locate information.
The tips you learn in this program will help you with any digitized record set.
Finishing the Story
Tracing the life of a World War I or II soldier can be challenging. Researchers have been conditioned to believe “All the Records Burned!” Some did, but an abundance of other resources exist to reconstruct service history. Many researchers are unaware of the numerous military records and resources available.
In this program, explore the lives, service, and deaths of Michael Kokoska, Frank Winkler, and Robert Brouk. Genealogical, historical, and military records will be shown and discussed. Jennifer will demonstrate how to write the stories of your soldier through a brief reading from her books Stories of the Lost and The Tiger’s Widow.
Healing the Roots
Words, Wounds, Wisdom
Our ancestors impacted us in large and small and positive and negative ways. We carry their words, wounds, and wisdom within us. These things can impact us in unimaginable ways. Have you explored the ways in which these three things have shaped who you are and how you live your life?
As you explore your history, ask yourself the following questions. Where do we find the words that affect us in positive and negative ways? What are the primary wounds you experienced since birth and those experienced by your parents, grandparents, and ancestors. What wisdom do you discover as you explore the lives of your ancestors, through the research and family stories?
This program takes you on a self-evaluation journey through genealogical records, questions, writing, and timelines, as you dive into your personal and ancestral history. You will walk away knowing more about what makes you uniquely you and the impact your ancestors had on shaping your life.
Introduction to Ancestral Lineage Healing
Explore topics related to Ancestral Lineage Healing which include: grief, loss, trauma, family secrets, family patterns, family parallels, caregiving, spirituality and religion, PTSD, racism, LGBTQI, genealogical topics, inherited trauma, and the effects of the war on families in addition to the veteran.
During the exploration you may become aware of how your personal story and life choices have been affected by the past and your family.
What's Wrong With Daddy?
The World Wars affected everyone who served, especially those that saw combat. When the veterans returned home, their families, communities, and the world was changed. Many things regarding combat and the physical, mental, or emotional state of the veteran, were kept secret and silence reigned. Most people that I have spoken to about military research, or clients I have worked with all tell me, He never talked about it. My mom or grandma would never tell me what it was like after he came home. My dad grew up without a father and no one mentioned his name.
Everyone was affected by the war, including future generations. I discovered I was living out my WWII grandparent's patterns with my late Dutch husband. Think inherited trauma and ancestral healing.
In this webinar we are going to look at my family's story, which may shock you when you hear the details. You will:
- Learn some basic tools to start looking at your research in a new way.
- Identify some family beliefs, behaviors, patterns, or traumas that were passed down.
- Look at the hard or difficult to talk about things around military service.
- Explore what happened on the home front before, during, and after the war, both in the U.S. and Europe.
- Look at the propaganda in the U.S. and Europe around veterans, rebuilding after the war, how to welcome a veteran home, and how to readjust when he or she came home.
You will walk away from this webinar with tools and worksheets to help you explore your genealogy & military documents to better understand why your veteran was who he or she was. This may lead you to a better understanding of why YOU are who you are.
This is part 1. Part 2 is The Family's War Secrets.
Family's War Secrets
This is part 2 of a series. Program 1 is What's Wrong with Daddy?
The advanced look at how the World Wars changed everyone who served, especially those that saw combat. When the veterans returned home, their families, communities, and the world was changed. Many things were kept secret and silence reigned.
We are going to look at my family's story again, in a different way, to help you understand how these new tools work. Some of the details you learn may shock you. We will look at the hard things around military service, what happened on the home front before, during, and after the war, both in the U.S. and Europe. What was the propaganda in the U.S. and Europe around veterans, rebuilding after the war, how to welcome a veteran home, and how to readjust when he or she came home? No one was unaffected by this war.
You will walk away from this webinar with tools and worksheets to help you explore your genealogy & military documents. Tools to help you find events & deeper reasons that your veteran and family was changed.
Writing to the Ancestors
Connecting with our ancestors and guides is easier than you might think. All it takes is a little practice, focus, and willingness to receive their messages.
This program explores basic ways to tap into what your ancestors have to say through journaling/guided writing and meditation. We will also explore the other ways our ancestors and guides leave us messages.