Join us for Discover Your Roots XIII, the 13th Annual African American Family History Conference, happening at the Historic Los Angeles Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Historians, family history researchers, genealogists and other experts will host presentations and conduct specialized classes focusing on a diverse range of American American genealogy subjects. Volunteers will be on hand to help you get started or dive deeper…
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Bonnie Raymer Petrovich began doing Family History in the late 60’s. Born in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, her roots go back to Germany on her Father’s side and Scotland on her Mother’s. She has made a research trip to Germany where she visited the village that her Father’s family immigrated from. While there she had the opportunity to see where they lived and farmed. She even met a “Cousin” who still lives there. Sitting inside the small Lutheran church where her family went to worship was a special experience.
For the past 8 and 1/2 years, she was the Director of the Valencia Family History Center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, where she taught weekly classes. The last 11 years she has been a Family History Consultant for her Ward. In addition to teaching classes regularly at the Valencia FHC she also teaches at the Los Angeles Regional Family History Center. Currently residing in Fillmore, she teaches 2 classes a week in Ventura & Fillmore. Bonnie has made presentations for the Santa Clarita Genealogical Society, the San Fernando Genealogical Society, the West End Genealogical Society in Marina Del Rey, the Jewish Samuel Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and for the Annual Valencia Family History Fair. She also was a presenter at the Genealogy Jamboree for the Southern California Genealogical Society in Burbank. She was the Keynote address for the Whittier Family History Fair. She teaches an ongoing Genealogy Sunday School class and loves teaching and sharing her knowledge with others.
A member of several Societies both locally and in Pennsylvania, she likes to keep informed.
Her most recent goal accomplished was a trip to the Highlands of Scotland, and the home of her Mother’s ancestors. She was able to spend several days in the town of Dundee where her Grandfather and both sets of Great Grandparents on her Mothers side were born and lived. With her Mother, they attended the Highland Games and enjoyed the rich heritage of Scotland
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Margo was raised in eastern Canada in a military family. Her fondest childhood memory is the two years her family lived in Kent, England where she attended Bromley County Grammar School for Girls. Presently serving an LDS mission with her husband at the Los Angeles Family History Library, Margo is married to Jim and has seven children and twenty-three grandchildren.
Margo’s love of genealogy started at an early age and her English, Scottish and Irish roots run deep. She is an Accredited Genealogist in England research. In her previous life, she was a British Research Consultant for FamilySearch in Salt Lake City. She has presented at a number of regional conferences.
Robin is a marketing consultant and has also worked many years as a technical trainer and certified instructional designer. Inheriting her family’s genealogy archives and artifacts caused Robin to engage in a learning process that has taken her on a fascinating journey creating the tie between personal history and the value of technology. She encourages everyone to find their unique voice in creating a personal history worthy of sharing with their posterity.
Most recently Robin developed a program empowering people to conquer their fears of working on the computer. She created the Techy Challenged to Techy Champions Program in her efforts to help clients document their personal history. It quickly became evident they lacked a working knowledge of specific computer skills necessary for the documentation process.
Robin is active in the community and serves on the board of OC Women2Women, a non-profit organization empowering and nurturing women locally and internationally with a hand up not a hand out. For the last nine years she has been the president of a young women’s youth organization for girls ages 12-18, focusing on building self-esteem and growing closer to Christ. Robin feels that women are the center of the home, and that the home is a powerful resource for changes in the community. Robin and her husband consider their greatest blessings to be their four children, and 15 grandchildren under the age of ten.
If Robin could share just one message with the world, it would be “You can do it if you set your mind to it!”
Barbara is the chair of the Southern California Genealogical Jamboree conference and serves on the board of the Southern California Genealogical Society. She also conducts workshops and moderates Jamboree Extension Series webinars. She is editor of the British Isles Family History Society USA Journal. Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, National Genealogical Society, Genealogical Speakers Guild, New England Historical Genealogical Society, New York Genealogical & Biographical Society and British Isles Family History SocietyUSA. Barbara is a Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) volunteer genealogist/consultant. She teaches with LAUSD.
Anulkah Thomas is a southern California native born to Afro-Panamanian parents. She received the BA in Ethnic Studies from Pomona College and the MA in sociology from Harvard University. Presently she works for Community Health Councils, a Los Angeles non-profit policy and advocacy organization that seeks to promote social justice and achieve equity in community and environmental resources to improve the health of underserved populations. In her spare time Anulkah researches her family history, which winds through Panama, the Caribbean, and all the way back to Africa.
Alva Moore Stevenson, a native Angeleno, is a historian, oral historian, and writer. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and Masters in African American Studies with a concentration in Latin American Studies. For the last thirty-four years, Alva has held positions in the UCLA Library, twenty-five of those in the Center for Oral History Research. Alva is Program Coordinator in Library Special Collections, which includes responsibilities in Oral History, the Collecting Los Angeles initiative and University Archives.
Alva’s career in the Library, in various capacities, has involved documenting the history of African Americans in Los Angeles resulting in the exhibit,Forming and Transforming the City: African Americans in Los Angeles of which she was Curator. Alva’s Master’s thesis, Afro Mexican Racial and Ethnic Self-Identity: Three Generations of the Thornton Family in Nogales, Arizona was based upon her research into the genealogy of her mother’s family.
In her thesis situates her family history within the larger history of Blacks in Mexico, Afro Mexicans who migrated north into the U.S. and African Americans who migrated southward into Mexico. Eager to share this knowledge, Alva gives frequent presentations on-campus, at academic conferences, other colleges and universities and to community groups. She is Guest Editor of a special issue of the Journal of Pan-African Studies entitled,Africans in Mexico: History, Race and Place.
Barbara Randall is active in the Southern California Genealogical Society and is Chair of Jamboree 2015. She conducts workshops primarily in the southern California region on a variety of topics. Barbara is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, National Genealogical Society, Genealogical Speakers Guild, New England Historical Genealogical Society, New York Genealogical & Biographical Society and British Isles Family History Society-USA. Barbara is a DAR registrar and volunteer genealogist/consultant. She is a special education teacher/coordinator.