Monday, March 13, 2006

Speaker Spotlight: John W. Konvalinka, CG

John Konvalinka was born and raised near New York City. He remembers being interested in history from an early age, but wishes he’d listened more closely when his great aunts (daughters of the Konvalinka immigrant ancestor) told him stories about the old days with their Bohemian father and Irish mother, whom he met and married within a year of arriving in the U.S. As well as filling in some of the gaps by finding other Konvalinkas and researching old newspapers, with the help of the Czech archives he was able to locate his great grandfather’s birthplace and trace the family back to the 18th century.
Read More About John Konvalinka

He’s been even more fortunate with two other lines: tracing his Sanders and Rose ancestors back to the 13th century in England and Scotland. Fortunately, both families owned property (which remained in the family for many centuries) and left good records!

But this and his other genealogical activities had to wait a good number of years. His four years as a Navy pilot, plus almost 35 years working with the Accenture (the management consulting firm) and Comcast (the cable television network) – to say nothing of raising three children – really got in the way of his genealogical research.

Nevertheless, when freed from the shackles of having a day job (at least temporarily) he became deeply involved in genealogical research in this country and in the U.K. – which also provides a nice reason to visit his daughter and brand new British granddaughter. He qualified as a Certified Genealogical Records Specialist (sm) and a Certified Genealogical Lecturer (sm).

He has lectured at a number of national, international and regional genealogical conferences, and taught genealogical courses at Rutgers University and the Princeton (NJ) Adult School. At NGS he will be presenting Super Sleuthing the Census: Beyond Population Schedules & the Federal Census, The Other Side of the Courthouse- Adding Law Libraries and Legislative Records to Your Research Plan (with Sandra Hewlett), Traditional Computer Based Genealogical Research: Not "Either/Or" but Both, Your Immigrant Ancestor: Find Them in Cyberspace, Making Your Case Using the Genealogical Proof Standard and co-chairing (with Sheila Benedict) the Britain and Ireland Roundtable.

He maintains a website with his family history and other information at


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