Monday, June 17, 2013

Jamboree Postscript - Library Visit

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Denise Hibsch Richmond.  Sharing my adventures at the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) Jamboree 2013 may be somewhat late but what the hay...  

One of the advantages of attending a genealogy conference in your own state is that you can drive there, arrive early and do some research at the host society's library.  Such were my plans before attending the Jamboree.  The SCGS Family Research Library is in Burbank just a couple miles from the host hotel.  Other hotels are in the area since the Burbank airport is nearby.  There's even a  hotel right down the street from the library.

I settled in to research on June 4th and 5th in the library's extensive California section.  My primary focus was on my Kendall ancestors who I first found in the California Great Register of 1890.  Several researchers were already at work when I arrived.  The library boasts several aisles of near-ceiling high shelves categorized by state with a microfilm reader area in back.  Of course there's much more there than California.  Take a look at the catalog of holdings  on the society's website under 'Library Services'.

I made some progress in my search for the history of Los Nietos, now Whittier.  The Kendalls arrived there about 1892.  Can you imagine Whittier as a barley field? (Click photos to enlarge.)  I used my iPhone to photograph the pertinent pages from the book. Source: Ranchos Become Cities by W.W. Robinson. 1939.

I had to scurry to do some lookups for my Huebsch/Hibsch line who also arrived in southern California about 1890.  Why scurry?  The library closed early that day - I hadn't paid attention to its hours!  How exciting it was to find my great-great grandfather Ernest Hibsch and his son, my great-grandfather, William C Hibsch in the index.  They were apparently using the spelling 'Hibsch' by 1895.  A clue!  (Source: Superior Court Los Angeles County Naturalization Index, Vol. 2, 1852-1915.)

During my time at the library I was able to meet Jane Van Tour.  She served as Volunteer Coordinator for Jamboree 2013.  Having been to Jamboree now I don't know how she pulled together 100+ volunteers since she worked just up to the beginning of the pre-conference activities.  I volunteered as a room monitor for several sessions so I was able to get last minute instructions for my job.

The most surprising find while at the library wasn't even at the library.  A laundromat was two doors down from the library.  I had been on the road awhile and needed to do laundry - how convenient to wash and research at the same time.  So there I am, loading the washer, then closing the lid and what do I find in large bold letters but my family name before it was Americanized!  Huebsch.  Talk about an Aha! moment.  The name was also on the dryers.  Come to find out the Huebsch Commercial Laundry Company is a 100+ year old firm located in Ripon, Wisconsin.  A simple Google map search showed that Ripon is just over 50 miles from Calumet County Wisconsin where my Huebsch/Hibsch ancestors lived prior to migrating to California.  Well, well, am I related?

Needless to say, my time at the library was informative but way too short. The lesson learned is that clues come from the most curious of places!

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