Family History Research

Excitement Ahead!

I just received the BCG Standards Manual in the mail yesterday! Very excited to crack it open and really start digging into the certification process. I will have two nights in Jefferson City, MO, with nothing to do after I research for my client so I will have time to start reading. Then several days in Springfield, MO, while I hang out at my sister’s to let it sink in and figure out how to begin.

I am also very excited to research for my client in MO. A new area of research for me in some regards and I’ll get experience in a few new places like the Missouri State Archives; Jefferson City Library; Callaway County Historical Society; Fulton Library; and with some luck – a cemetery or two in Callaway County! Exciting!

Check back next week because I’ll write up my thoughts on each library and repository I visit.


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Chicago and Surrounding Area Professional Genealogy Services

My friend Thomas MacEntee over at Geneabloggers suggested a couple of weeks ago that I join’s Expert Connect. Well I waited because I had so many other things on my to-do list and now Ancestry has shut their Expert Connect down.

If you are looking for a Chicago area, which also includes Indiana, Wisconsin, and Missouri, researcher, I’m happy to help!

I provide:

In-depth Research Services

I conduct repository-based research; online research; and cemetery research.

Look-up Research Services

Just need a document or information or photos from a cemetery? I also conduct research in Northern Illinois for specific document searches such as Death Certificates, Census, Obituaries, etc., searches for a fee for each document plus postage.  I will do cemetery look ups and email you digital photos. If plot layouts are requested, I will mail those to you. Contact me for a list of individual services and fees.


I prepare research reports; lineage society reports; blog, newsletter and magazine articles.

I am located in the Chicago suburbs and have access to many wonderful research facilities such as:

  • National Archives, Great Lakes Region
  • Harold Washington Library
  • Newberry Library
  • Chicago Historical Society
  • Cook County Governmental Offices
  • Illinois Regional Archives Depositories, statewide
  • Illinois State Archives
  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
  • Area Cemeteries

I am also able to conduct research in neighboring states, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

For more information about rates and services, please contact me.

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The Narrative Lineage

I received my Board for Certification of Genealogists Certification Application Guide a few week ago and since then, have been trying to figure out what to do first. I decided to work on the Narrative Lineage, Kinship Determination Project Requirement 7. I have to document three generations of a family and provide two proof summaries of relationships. What I am quickly learning is I have many holes in my research where the additional lines are concerned. The main line and children are very well documented.  It is the second and third generations where the gaps are obvious.

What I am now doing is going back through my files, my tree, and online resources to document what I can and make lists of the documents I need to track down at the various libraries and repositories in the area. That research has also led me down a couple new paths to link families in southern Illinois to my Chicago families. And I’m finding very interesting information.

If you want to figure out where you have holes in your research, start writing your narrative lineage and it will quickly become obvious.

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Professional Genealogist – I’m going for it!

In a matter of weeks my twins will start Kindergarten and all my boys will be in school. It is kind of a sad yet happy moment, although I’m not sure where the last five years have gone!

The last few months I have given a lot of thought to my goals that have kind of been shoved to the side since I had the twins and which goals are a realistic option right now and which ones should wait a while longer. I decided it is time to start the process of being certified in genealogy, so I sent for the Application Guide from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. The guide is supposed to give me the information about applying to be certified and exactly what is involved. I also joined the Association of Professional Genealogists with the lowest category without being listed on their site so I can start networking in the Chicago area.  I am so excited!!

After 14 years of research and dreaming about accomplishing this goal, it is time to find out what I need to do. If you have been down this path and have words of wisdom and tips, I would appreciate hearing it.