I became interested in genealogy in 1999 when my brother-in-law told a story about his wife's Italian grandfather who was alleged to have stowed away on a ship to come to America. I knew it was unlikely that I had a similar story, but it made me realize that all of us have ancestors with stories to tell. I wanted to discover my ancestors' stories. Family responsibilities for the next ten years left little time for genealogy research, but I learned a lot and with kids who went to far-flung locations for college, I managed to wend my way through areas where my ancestors lived on my way to visit them. As a result I gained a lot of experience in a variety of research locations—mainly courthouses, but also archives and historical societies.
In December 2014, I became a Certified Genealogist®. From 2009 through 2016 I gained a lot of experience researching the families of other people by working in the Local History & Genealogy department of the Springfield-Greene County (Missouri) Library District. I have been an active member of Ozarks Genealogical Society for over twenty years.
As a child and young adult, mysteries and historical fiction made up my main reading diet. As I became more disciplined and through the inspiration of one college instructor, I finally became interested in non-fiction history. Homeschooling my six children for twenty-five years helped deepen my understanding and love of history. Course work for my biology degree including genetics has made a natural transition to incorporating DNA evidence into the body of genealogical research
I have spent several years taking genealogy courses, doing work for clients, and teaching. I am still doing those occasionally, but my main focus has turned to the hard work of researching and writing about my family. My hope is that this quiet and more isolated work will serve to benefit others in ways that my previous activity has not.
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- 2015-2018- Practical Genetic Genealogy Course at Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh.
- 2017–2022 Genetics for Genealogists: Beginning DNA at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Athens, Georgia
- 2021 DNA Fundamentals for Genealogy at the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research
Numerous lectures and workshops on a wide variety of topics including DNA, land, probate, newspapers, methodology for many societies and conferences.
BA in biology, Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, 1981
National Genealogical Society's American Genealogy: A Home Study Course, 2008
Institute of Genealogical and Historic Research at Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
- 2008 - Intermediate Genealogy & Historical Studies (Lloyd Bockstruck, coordinator)
- 2009 - Advanced Methodology & Evidence Analysis (Elizabeth Shown Mills, coordinator)
- 2010 - Advanced Library Research: Law Libraries & Government Documents (Ann Fleming & Kay Freilich, coordinators)
- 2011 - Writing & Publishing for Genealogists (Tom Jones, coordinator)
Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
- 2009 - Skill Building for Professional-Level Research (Tom Jones, coordinator)
- 2012 - Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum (Angela McGhie, coordinator)
- 2014 - Researching New York: Resources and Strategies (Karen Mauer Jones, coordinator)
- 2016 - Corpus Juris: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogy (Judy Russell, coordinator)
- 2019 - Metes & Bounds Land Platting (Gerald Smith, Coordinator)
- 2020 – In-Depth Swedish and Finnish Research (Jeff Svare, coordinator)
- 2021 – Pre-1837 English Research: Digging Deeper (Paul Milner, coordinator)
National Institute of Genealogical Research, Washington, D.C., 2009
Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh
- 2012 - Advanced Research Methods (Tom Jones, coordinator)
- 2013 - Determining Kinship Reliably (Tom Jones, coordinator)
- 2014 - Practical Genetic Genealogy (Debbie Parker Wayne, coordinator)
- 2016 - Diving Deeper into New England: Advanced Strategies for Success (Joshua Taylor, coordinator)
- 2017 - Irish Genealogical Research (David Rencher, coordinator)
- 2018 – Tackling Tough Research Problems (Kimberly Powell, coordinator)
- 2013 - Sources for Tracing Pre-mid-nineteenth Century English Ancestors
ProGen Study Group 2 (completed June 2010) in which genealogists "put into practice the principles found in Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills.” Mentor for ProGen Study Group 32 and GenProof Study Group 67.