Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Jean is looking for family stories

Jean Wilcox Hibben is a Southern California genealogist and story teller par excellence (she has spoken at SDGS several times). She is a doctoral candidate now, and is looking for family stories to use in her research and dissertation.

She recently posted this to the APG mailing list (see the thread here). I asked for and was granted permission by Jean to post this on this blog.


Greetings, fellow APGers.

Some of you may have already heard about my dissertation project, and some have already submitted stories to it, but for those who have not, here is my plea for help.

I am a doctoral candidate in folklore and my dissertation is on family stories. Since my concentration is American folklore, the stories need to be American in origin, but immigration stories are acceptable. They need to be stories that have endured over at least 2 generations (things your grandparents told you or maybe what your parents shared that they learned from their parents, grandparents, etc.). Stories need to have had some sort of impact (however slight: even that the story inspired you to research your family lineage) ... in other words, why did the story manage to survive? Stories must also be from your own family (though if you have a client who has a great story, please encourage that person to submit it!).

I am collecting stories from the genealogical community as that is the population I am eventually generalizing to, but stories need not be proven true ... in fact, some of the questionable stories that have endured and even impacted families are the most intriguing. I am following the general cataloging of folklorist Stephen Zeitlin at the folklore center in NY.

As an enticement, I am offering to donate $1 per story (that meets the criteria) to the genealogical society identified on the submission form (yes, this is ethical as I am not soliciting by offering to pay directly to submitters). I expect to be compiling the data by early spring 2008, so the sooner the stories are submitted, the more time I have to work with them (donations will be made once the analysis is complete ... hopefully by June 2008).

If you would be willing to submit your stories and/or present this opportunity (perhaps as a fundraiser) to your own genealogical society, please see the details and submission form at: <>. Sample stories can also be found at that website: <>, click on "Dissertation project."

I appreciate this list for the many bits of information I have received over the past years and now hope that some of you good folks will assist me in this area. Thank you so very much!!

Jean Wilcox Hibben, MA,CGsm
Riverside County, California
Member, Association of Professional Genealogists
Member, Genealogical Speakers Guild
President, Corona (CA) Genealogical Society


Can you help Jean out with her project? There is an incentive for people to submit articles. It might be useful to visit her web site to see the type of stories that she wants.

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