My path through genealogy has been filled with twists, turns, and surprises. I began with my own family research more than thirty years ago and have added building and genealogical research for clients since 2014. Whether you are just beginning or are trying to overcome obstacles on your journey, I look forward to helping you. Have you taken a DNA test or started an Ancestry.com tree but don’t know how to move forward? Contact me and we can get started on your story today!
Document Retrieval & Local Research
I have experience in several counties and repositories across the South. I will travel to repositories in Alabama, Tennessee, or Georgia. I’ve also done lots of research in the Midwest, primarily Missouri and Kansas. If you need something in an area where I have researched, I make frequent trips “back home” and might be able to conduct research there in tandem with my own.
Do you need to track down living heirs to the family fortune or at least grandma’s button collection? I have experience conducting searches of businesses and individuals.
The following topics are designed as one-hour presentations either in-person or virtually. I am always working on new ideas so do not hesitate to contact me if you do not see what you need here.
Lure Your Ancestor out of the National Register of Historic Places
Don’t Forget to Misspell! Getting the Most from Digital Newspaper Research
A Genealogist’s Guide to Sanborn Maps
Researching Your Ancestor’s Brick & Mortar Can Help Break Down Your Brick Wall
Using Postcards, Letters and Memorabilia to Unlock Your Family History
Grip, Grippe and the Spanish Lady: The 1918 Pandemic and Your Family Records
Using Unusual Government Documents to Discover Your Ancestor
Using City Directories to Fill in Historic Context: Two Case Studies
Research Your Family Business Using Sanborn Maps and Newspapers
City Directories: Google for a Different Generation
Sanborn Maps and City Directories: A Genealogist’s Guide
Historic Context from Unusual Sources
Roma: A Small-Town Life (dinner talk)
Uncle Bud’s Trunk (dinner talk)
In August 2018 I had the honor to speak at the National World War One Museum and Memorial on the centennial of the outbreak of Spanish Influenza Pandemic and the US Government response to it. The Museum recorded the event in Kansas City and you can find it here on YouTube. It has been viewed more than 40,000 times! I have spoken at a number of venues both large and small across the globe to groups who numbered as few as five to some that counted well over 100. I would love to share my energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge with your group about an historical or genealogical topic! Contact me today.
The National Parks Service (NPS) oversees historic preservation in the United States. The NPS calls historic preservation “a conversation with our past about our future,” which makes it a perfect fit for genealogists. I have been privileged for nearly a decade to assist others in the process of documenting the history of properties from downtown business buildings, apartments, commercial districts, homes, government buildings and an entire self-encompassing village. I have helped to conduct historic surveys in several small towns in Kansas that will enable city administrators and business owners to work together to preserve their collective history.
I have assisted clients by conducting house / building / property research resulting in over fifty properties being listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. The non-profit organization National Trust for Historic Preservation explains on their website that “Old places shape the story of who we are, where we come from, and where we’re going. Historic places tell America’s full story. They inspire us and help us imagine what comes next.” I couldn’t agree more! I have found inspiring stories of business owners lives changed by historic events (Civil War, the Great Depression and WWII), legislative measures (Prohibition and passage of the National Highways Act), and social trends (roaring twenties) that have helped me to better understand what life was like in those times at the personal level. Not just the places but stories of people too — their hopes, dreams, successes and failures – created the foundation on which our country and each of our own lives was built.
See examples of my projects on the blog page under Historic Preservation.