I started researching my ancestry as a teenager in the late 1970s and have been obsessed ever since. Are you old enough to remember where you were when you heard Elvis died? I was in the Woodbury County, Iowa courthouse in Sioux City where I grew up. I was looking up records of my ancestors. The staff had the radio on and the news came that Elvis had passed away. I got the genealogy bug early and have had it ever since.
It’s been over 40 years since I began researching my ancestors. In 2008 I decided I needed to take this passion further and I attended my first genealogy institute in Birmingham, Alabama. That was when I realized just how much I didn’t know about how to do research professionally. To remedy this, I’ve attended over 25 week-long institutes over the past decade plus. Not to mention numerous conferences, workshops, and online classes and webinars.
These week-long institutes concentrate on a specific genealogy topic that is studied in depth. Some of the courses I’ve taken focused on advanced techniques, records regarding specific states, the role of the law in genealogy, land records, military records, and government documents. They are taught by some of the most respected genealogists in the country.
I’ve also done work on two episodes of the television program “Who Do You Think You Are?” I worked on both the Kelsey Grammer episode and the John Stamos episode. You can find my name in the credits of the John Stamos episode, although I wasn’t listed in the Kelsey Grammer credits.
In addition to my genealogy education, I also hold a Bachelors degree from the University of Iowa. I’ve worked for the University of Iowa for over 25 years and am in an administrative position. As a result of my affiliation with the university, I have access to many genealogical resources that the general public does not. Please see my resources page for more details.
I have experience researching in just about every place you’d find genealogical records. From cemeteries to local libraries to courthouses to state archives to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City to the resources in Washington, DC such as the DAR library, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives in downtown Washington and Archives II in Maryland. I’m comfortable researching in any of these venues.
I generally make an annual trip to both Washington, DC and Salt Lake City. If your problem requires research in either of these locales, I can do it during my annual trips. I only charge my usual hourly fee during these trips. No extra charge for travel is charged.