December 2018 Main Speaker: Jan Gow
“Finding your Family History – on the Internet” or “What is Genealogy? It’s an allergy and you can’t stop scratching!”
Jan Gow was born in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia and grew up near Tamworth. Following the pattern of her small town, when she turned 21, she left for England for two years living in the ‘mother country’. It was the thing to do!! An early P&O cruise! Six weeks on the “Strathaird” with lots of stops for 2-3 days. Still in touch with friends from this experience, including one David Gow from New Zealand! They were married in London 57 years ago.
Jan started researching her family history by visiting the Family History Library in Salt Lake City! She had won the fare to the USA (an ITC Speech Contest) and this was one of her stopovers. She came away Hooked on Genealogy – which is the name of her Genealogy Tours – the 26th year this year. Three weeks in Salt Lake City and 3 weeks in the UK.
Jan has been Treasurer and then President of the NZ Society of Genealogists. She started a couple of NZSG branches and has been teaching in community education classes since 1985. She has spoken at local, national, international conferences and on cruise ships and in a prison! Jan was awarded the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations Award for Meritorious Service to Family History in 2006. She was also made a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists in London in 2012 and received the QSM for her service to genealogy in NZ.
Jan loves finding ways to pretend we are organised!! Or help us to think we are organised. And some of this does prove to be very helpful! And we do get organised! She will talk about some of the ideas in her “You need a cake tin” session.
David and Jan’s three children all live overseas. But the one grandchild is in Auckland, so that is special.
Jan delights in this wonderful hobby, where so much remains the same over the decades, but there is so much that is new and different. Always something new!!