Meet our Members: Gina Jarvi

+23 votes

Hi everyone!

Meet_our_Members_Photos-80.jpgIt's time to meet another one of our wonderful WikiTreers. This week's member is Gina Jarvi.

Gina became a Wiki Genealogist in January of 2018. She is very active in our US Black Heritage project.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Currently, I am researching families of slave holders such as Ball, Lecomte, Prud’homme. But the family surnames I research are: Bean, Bailey, Lobbin/Lobban, O’Brien, Pocock, Shortell, Skellenger (all spellings).

What are some of the locations you are researching?

These days I am in the southern United States: Louisiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

My father gave me my first look into our family history when he gave me a Pocock Family Tree that had been created by a cousin on one of the 12 branches. It is a very large tree. From looking into his tree, I thought a lot about my mother’s and how little I knew of hers. So that sent me on a quest to uncover the mysteries on her side. I am still on that quest.

Who's your favorite ancestor and why?

I am not sure. They are all so fascinating! My maternal grandmother died in childbirth with my mother and she was a woman I would have loved to have known. She was a musician with a beautiful voice, and where, I am quite sure, my mother got her voice from. My mother was a voice actress dubbing foreign films. She and her two sisters also sang three part harmonies.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

I never knew anything about my mother’s mother, so I went to Stamford, Connecticut, where my mother was born to see if I could find her mother’s grave. After a stop at the vital records department, I not only found where she was buried, but the church where she and my grandfather were married and the address where they lived before she died. It was a powerful experience.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I love traveling and walking in nature. I also dabble in a variety of art forms.  

(interview continues in comments)

WikiTree profile: Gina Jarvi
in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)

How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing?

I have been on WikiTree since 2018, but it has only been in this past year that I spend just about everyday on WikiTree volunteering with the US Black Heritage projects. I have spent quite a bit of time reflecting on my ancestry, and these projects offer me one way that I can make reparations for the actions of some of my ancestors. I am a Guide on the USBH Path program and I am a co-leader with Elaine Weatherall on the USBH Heritage Exchange Slavery projects. 

What brought you to WikiTree?

I’ve been on Ancestry for many years, but I happened upon WikiTree on one of my Google searches. It excited me to learn the vision concept of growing one family tree. I had tried to write for Wikipedia, but it was overwhelming. In my teaching years, I used a wiki to teach adults in the computer lab, so I thought I might be able to figure out WikiTree. There is still much to learn.

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree?

I love the new Sorcerers app. I also appreciate the spreadsheet charting tool that I use quite a bit when putting together large lists of information.

If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?

I know it is a BIG ask, but I find searching on WikiTree to be very time consuming. However, a very simple ask would be to have the Sources heading show up in FSPs just like in person profiles. ‘’Things’’ should have sources also.

What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy?

I am so impressed and so grateful for the community here. I have only encountered gracious assistance and patience during my newbie stage (which I am still in). 

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Yes! Ask for the help offered when first signing up. I didn’t and I regret it. Join a project that interests you and you’ll find answers you never knew you had questions for. :)

9 Answers

+14 votes
Best answer
So glad to learn more about you, Gina! And you are a wonderful WikiTreer and teammate :)
by Elaine Martzen G2G6 Mach 4 (46.1k points)
selected by Valorie Zimmerman
PS, we are 18th cousins 3x removed. Surely we can find someone born before 1350 as our shared ancestor ;)
Elaine, we go way back! :) Thanks for the love.
+13 votes

Nice to put a face to your name, Gina.  Thank you for being one of the team leaders for the US Black Heritage Project.  I am sure our paths will continue to cross on Wikitree.

by Carolyn Martin G2G6 Pilot (199k points)
Indeed they will, Carolyn. You are an inspiration.
+13 votes
Congratulations on being nominated as the Wonderful WikiTreer of the Week.

It is nice to learn a little bit more about you and to see your face. I like to know how people looks like when I see posts of them.
by Dieter Lewerenz G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
Thank you Dieter, I hope to learn more about you.
+11 votes
Gina, your work is so appreciated!  Thank you for all your contributions to the USBH project!
by Bartley McRorie G2G6 Mach 6 (68.3k points)
Thank you, Bart!
+10 votes
Gina, I have so enjoyed working with you!  You bring wonderful insight to the Black Heritage projects, and you are a good trainer.  Thanks for all your help.
by Michelle Detwiler G2G3 (3.9k points)
Thank you, Michelle~it was a pleasure!
+8 votes

it's been so great getting to work closely with you at USBH and I loved learning more about you. I'm going to ask you to teach me how to use the spreadsheet charting tool. wink

by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (827k points)

You are a wonderful leader, Emma. I'll send you an email with the the how-to :)


+6 votes
I loved learning more about you, Gina!  Thank you for all you do for WikiTree in general, and for the USBH Project, specifically.  I will happily chime in with Elaine in complete agreement that you are a wonderful WikiTreer and teammate! :)
by Cheryl Cruise G2G6 Mach 5 (57.0k points)
Thank you Cheryl~ it really is an honor to work with so many wonderful WikiTreers!
+2 votes
Hello fellow Minnesotan!

I'm glad that we can work together on the USBH project. May we continue to make accurate connections!

Reparations are beautiful things.
by Eileen Robinson G2G6 Mach 3 (35.1k points)
+2 votes
Congratulations, Gina, and thank you for all you do for our tree.  It's fascinating to hear more about your work for the Black Heritage projects.  I agree that the searching functions could use some improvement, and that Free Spaces should have sources.
by Mark Weinheimer G2G6 Pilot (507k points)
Wow...thank you Mark. So many interesting people here. You lived a lot of places in beautiful NY state. I attended Ithaca College for 4 years and grew up in NYC. Did you see that we are 19th cousins only once removed! Small world (haha).

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