Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Speaker Profile-Billie Stone Fogarty

Do you have a disappearing ancestor?  Maybe he or she fell off the edge of the world!  Okay, maybe not …. but they might have succumbed to the flu epidemic of 1918 or fallen into the gaps that opened up in the great New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12 when even the Mississippi  River ran backwards for a time! 

Our ancestors did not live in a vacuum. They were affected by the disasters of their day just as surely as we are today.  Sometimes these events have had a lasting impact on our lives as well as theirs.  You probably know about the Irish Potato Famine causing so many to come to America to escape starvation and to find a better life. But what other tragedies might have occurred that caused our ancestors to give up on life where they were and risk everything to find a new life?

Speaker Billie Fogarty had some of those questions answered when she found accounts of an ancestor dying in a tornado and another who remembered the New Madrid earthquakes nearly ninety years after they occurred!  She leads us on a journey through epidemics, pandemics, and catastrophes (oh my!) in "The Great Madrid Earthquake and Other Calamities That Shook Our Ancestors," Friday at 11:00 a.m., F326.  But never fear!  You might be amazed at what you discover!

Billie Stone Fogarty, M.Ed., is president of the Genealogical Speakers Guild and serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Oklahoma Genealogical Society.

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