Today's interview is with Jennifer Holik of Woodridge, Illinois. I first "met" Jennifer on Facebook and have been continually impressed with her passion for telling the stories of WW2 military personnel. I'll let Jennifer fill you in on what else she does, and why.
1. How and when did you become involved in the field of genealogy?
I began research about 20 years ago when I was completing some history courses for my degree. We had a project for class and once I spoke to some family members and heard some stories……I was hooked.
2. What is your main genealogical focus?
My business focuses on several things. Primarily – World War II US research. I speak a lot on this topic and just published WWII Research books for all branches to teach people how to conduct research. Nothing like this has ever been done.
My World War II work revolves around writing stories of soldiers so they and their service are remembered. I write guides and books on conducting research and writing the stories. I am on the staff of the World War II History Network (http://wwiihistorynetwork.com) where I join in discussions on WWII topics and genealogy. My lectures focus on how to conduct research and write the stories.
The other part of my business focuses on genealogy. I have a lot of Chicago Italian clients so specialize in that and kids genealogy. I also published books for kids to learn how to do genealogical research.
3. What are your website(s) and blogs?
4. Do you have a Social Media presence?
FaceBook Jennifer Holik-Author https://www.facebook.com/jenniferholikauthor
5. Do you believe a Social Media presence is important?
Yes. I am active primarily on Facebook and LinkedIn, sometimes Twitter and Pinterest. I join genealogy and WWII groups to discuss research and help others with their questions.
6. Are you a member of any genealogical societies or organizations?
Military Writers Society of America
Chicago Writers Association
World War II History Network
Pritzker Military Museum and Library
7. What does genealogy mean to you? Why do you believe it is important?
I believe genealogy is important because we can learn from the past to create a better present and future. Look at the lives of our ancestors and see how they lived, mistakes they made, lessons they learned and passed down. What can we learn from that? I think this especially important where military service is part of the family story. It seems history continues to repeat itself where war is concerned and we never learn our lessons. Examining our soldiers and their stories related to the war in which they fought – what do the soldiers have to teach us?
8. Do you have a prediction or hope for the field of genealogy in the future?
I hope the genealogy field becomes more open to allowing more education and inclusion of teachers of topics collaterally related to genealogical research. Look at the military history, social history, economic history, and even the psychological history of the times. Let’s go outside the genealogy box of names, dates, and places, and explore the real lives and lessons of our ancestors.