Jean Wilcox Hibben; PhD, MA (DBA Circlemending), has been involved in family research for over 40 years. A former Board Certified genealogist, she is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the National Genealogical Society (NGS), and is or has been on the following Boards: the California State Genealogical Alliance (now disbanded), the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (now disbanded), the Assoc. of Professional Genealogists (past APG board member and past president of the So. Calif. Chapter), the Southern California Genealogical Society (for 2023), and the Corona Genealogical Society (president and webmaster). She writes the “Ask Aunty Jeff” column for the Jefferson County, NY, Genealogical Society Informer and maintains her own website with information about her presentations, CDs, articles, projects, etc.: https://circlemending.org.
Jean is associated with the Corona California Family History Center (former director, current, though informal, staff trainer); she was the lead researcher for the 2013 Season of the PBS television program Genealogy Roadshow and did research for Follow Your Past, appearing on Travel Channel in 2016. A native of the Chicago suburbs and retired Southern California college speech professor, she holds a master’s degree in speech communication and doctorate in folklore. Jean is a national speaker known for her entertaining, as well as informative, presentations, and is a frequent writer for various genealogy publications.
A former square dance caller, Jean has been playing guitar for over 55 years, learning a variety of other folk instruments along the way. She sees a connection between family history and music because, in learning about our forebears, we try to piece together the various elements of our ancestors’ lives in an effort to create a complete (or as complete as possible) picture of who they were in their homes, families, occupations, religions, and activities. Their musical interests/involvement should be considered part of this whole picture, or circle, of their lives and that is the primary focus of much of Jean’s writings and programs.
Jean’s philosophy is that “who we are is a compilation of our experiences and associations as well as our biological connections. When we understand our ancestors we can better understand ourselves. By doing this, we can complete our personal family circles.” This connects to her mission statement: “My goal is to assist others in their efforts to connect generations (past to present), completing the family circle.”