Category Archives: Calfornia

TGP 28 Ron Arons – Black Sheep Genealogy

Featured Guest

Ron Arons

Born in New York, Ron Arons was reared a goodie-two-shoes. Aside from four moving violations (including a “California” roll through a stop sign, doing 40 MPH in a 30 MPH zone, and driving with his brights on), Arons has never been afoul of the law.

Ron worked for many years as a marketer at many high-tech companies, including Texas Instruments, Ashton-Tate, and Sybase, before deciding to work full time on his book. Ron Ron Arons on The Genealogy Professional podcastbecame interested in understanding his roots after he lost both his parents to cancer 16-18 years ago. In the process of researching his criminal ancestor’s past, Ron has traced his roots to England, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania.

In 2005 Ron won a Hackman Research Residency Award from the New York State Archives to continue his research of New York Jewish criminals.

In January, 2008, Ron appeared on the PBS television series, The Jewish Americans, as the acknowledged expert on Jewish criminals of New York’s Lower East Side.

Arons tours the country giving educational and entertaining presentations on Jewish criminals and Jewish genealogy. Ron earned a B.S. in Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

He is the author of three books:

Contact Links

Ron Arons website

Ron Arons on Facebook

Ron Arons on Twitter – @RonArons

Other Links

The International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies (IAJGS)

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“Follow your passion. Find out what you’re good at. What you’re passionate about.”

Recommended Book

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty:  How We Lie to Everyone-Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely

Productivity Tool

Mind Mapping Tools


“Find your passion and just do it!”

Action Item

Staying current with productivity and problem solving tools is an important part of professional development. The concept of mind mapping is probably new to many of us. Let’s take some time this week to learn about this new tool and explore how it can help us in our work.


Explore the Freemind and Xmind links above. They are free online mind mapping tools. Spend some time getting to know what mind mapping is and discover how it can help you in your work.  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of it!

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TGP 7 Sheri Fenley – Genealogy California Style

Featured Guest

Sheri Fenley

Sheri Fenley is a professional genealogist from Stockton, California who specializes in the genealogical research of North Central California with an emphasis on San Joaquin County. She also focuses on lineage society applications.

She is a member of numerous organizations including

Sheri Fenley, the Educated Genealogist

Sheri is an alumni of the ProGen 1 class completing the course in 2009.  As well, she did two years of coursework at the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research  (IGHR) at Samford University.

She is the editor of the San Joaquin Genealogical Society newsletter and author of the popular blog “The Educated Genealogist” which was voted as one of Family Tree Magazine’s Top 40 Blogs.

More Alphabet Soup

SLIG – Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Association)

GRIP – Genealogy Research Institute of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)

 Contact Links

Sheri’s website –

Sheri’s blog – The Educated Genealogist

Follow Sheri on Twitter – @sherifenley

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Start a blog.

Recommended Book

Genealogy as a Pastime and Profession by Donald Lines Jacobus and

Pittfalls in Genealogical Research by Milton Rubincam

Productivity Tool

Google Hangouts – Google Hangouts allow you to have a video conference with up to 10 other people (for free).


“Jump in with Both Feet”

Action Item

This week’s action item is about getting to know an archive and its staff. Sheri Fenley talked about the importance of getting to know the staff at local archives.

For this action item first choose a local archives or research library in your local area. Next schedule to visit the archives daily for a week. If you can’t go during the week then go on consecutive Saturdays.  You will make progress just having the staff see you return multiple times. You will make more progress if you introduce yourself to the staff, ask them for a brief tour or ask for their procedures and policies.  These will all act as ways to help you interact with the staff.  After your week of visits or multiple Saturdays you should be well on your well to getting to know the staff at one of your local archives or libraries!