Saturday, January 15, 2011


I have been doing family history research since I was 13.  My interest was sparked by what at the time was a fairly standard assignment in junior high school -- do your family tree back four generations.  I still have the purple mimeographed handout.  I even have my original notes from interviewing several family members.  That assignment got me hooked on genealogy.

Since then I've researched all branches of my family, including collateral lines (I definitely believe in whole-family research).  I've taken trips just to meet family members, including one trip to New York and New Jersey when in five days I put 700 miles on my sister's cars and drove through all five boroughs of New York City, plus the two counties on Long Island.  I used to share copies of updated research with all the relatives I was in touch with, until I had three major surgeries in less than four years.  I'm working on getting back up to speed on that.  Not only is it nice to get feedback from people about the work I'm doing, it also ensures that more than one copy is out there.

When I became interested in doing research professionally, I took the advice of several people and volunteered to do research for a few people.  I ended up working on the family history of everyone in my office, my half-sister, my aunt, and several friends.  Oh, yeah, I was hooked!

My professional experience turned out to be a good background for going into this work.  I've worked as an editor for more than 20 years, and I'm also an indexer and translator.  My college degree was in foreign languages (French major, Spanish and Russian minors).  I've done research of various kinds for many years, and I always want to find the answer to a puzzle.

I hung out my shingle in 2005.  My very first ad led to a client, who stayed with me until health problems changed his priorities last year.  Through all of this I now have experience with general American, black American, English, German, Greek, East Indian, Irish, Jewish, Portuguese, Russian, and Scottish ethnic research.  My specialty is Jewish research.

I do a fair amount of volunteer work.  I've been on the staff of the Oakland Regional Family History Center for more than ten years.  I'm the publicity director, programming person, and newsletter editor for the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society and the editor of The Galitzianer, a quarterly journal for Jewish genealogical research in the former Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia.  I have been the treasurer of the California State Genealogical Alliance and the representative of the Northern California chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.  I've worked on several transcription projects, several of which were posted on RootsWeb.

In my blog I plan to talk about projects I'm working on, information I find that I think other people will find useful, and different directions research can take you.  I hope you enjoy my take on things!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the start up of your new blog~!
    You are well on your way now :)


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