Category Archives: Client Researcher

TGP 19 Eileen O’Duill – Probate Research

Featured Guest

Eileen Ó Dúill

Eileen Ó Dúill, has been a professional Irish genealogist since 1990, specializing in legal and probate genealogical research. She is currently the only Certified Genealogist in Ireland. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and served on the board of the as the International Trustee for Britain and Ireland (2007-2012).Eileen O'Duill - Heirs Ireland on The Genealogy Professional podcast

Eileen has lectured at national and international conferences in the US, Ireland, Canada and the U.K. from 1999 to 2014 and co-presented a webinar on Irish genealogical research for Ancestry.com. She was a course tutor and lecturer on the Diploma in Family History (Genealogy) at the Independent College, Dublin and currently teaches on the summer school programme at University College Cork. She has been admitted as an expert witness in the Surrogate Courts in 6 counties of New York.

Eileen was able to turn a lifelong hobby into a business providing a professional genealogical research service. Being an American living in Ireland for 39 years, has enabled her to have a unique perspective on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and an understanding of her fellow countrymen in their quest for their Irish heritage.

Contact Links

Heirs Ireland website

Other Links

Celtic Connections Conference, Waltham, MA – August 15 & 16, 2014

Back to Our Past, Dublin, Ireland – October 17-19, 2014

University of Cork, Genealogy Summer School program – June 29 – July 6, 2014

The Gathering, Ireland (2013)

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“1) Get a copy of Professional Genealogy and 2) follow the Transitional Genealogists mailing list.

Recommended Book

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors by John Grenham

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – Tool for sharing large files

Advice

“Practice, Practice, Practice! Learn by doing. Get as much experience as possible.”

Action Item

This week, since Eileen and I talked quite a bit about public speaking, let’s warm up to the idea and get you thinking about incorporating public speaking into your offerings.  You won’t actually try to arrange any public speaking engagements. First we need to make sure you are prepared in advance.

ACTION: Before you can do any public speaking you need to get prepared with a potential talk, some equipment and a target venue. Here are the three steps for this week’s action item:

1) You Need a Talk

Think of a topic or project that you could turn in to a potential talk. If you are brand new to public speaking stick to a beginner topic or a subject that you know inside and out.

2) You Need Equipment

To do public speaking you will need to have a laptop computer (or borrow one) and have the corresponding software. For Windows computers this is typically PowerPoint. Keynote for Mac users. If you don’t have this equipment currently can you plan to get it in the future or can you borrow it for your talks?

3) You Need a Venue

Select a location to target for your first talk. Ideally it will be a local historical society, genealogical society or local library.  Hopefully you have already established some relationships with the folks in these organizations. If not, go back and do your networking first.

 

Direct Link to this post:

http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/eileen-oduill

TGP 17 Luana Darby – Serving Professionals

Featured Guest

Luana Darby

Luana Darby grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories about growing up in Kansas in the early 1900s. This piqued her interest and developed into a passion to learn more about her roots, which turned into a successful business helping others find and tell their story. Luana Darby on the Genealogy Professional podcastLuana received a bachelor’s degree in Family History from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in library and information science from San Jose State University.

Luana is a past president of the Utah Genealogical Association and is active in several professional organizations including the Association of Professional Genealogists. She has spoken at many local, regional and national conferences on a variety of technology and genealogical research based topics.

Luana is the owner of Lineages by Luana  and co-owner of American Patriots and Pioneers Research Services.  Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, her research expertise includes the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, with a special interest Palatine German research – tracing Germans immigrants of the 1700s who settled in Colonial Pennsylvania.

Contact Links

Lineages by Luana

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“Take the time. Set out your  strengths and weaknesses. See what things you really enjoy and have a passion for and head yourself in that direction.

Recommended Book

Professional Genealogy edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Pennsylvania German Pioneers by Strassburger and Hinke (note: there are 3 volumes)

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – Tool for sharing large files

Advice

“Network and if you’re just starting, find a mentor.” “

Action Item

This week we continue with the theme of networking – but with a twist. Have you ever received emails from people requesting services that you don’t provide? What do you do with those emails? Ignore them? Delete them? Create opportunity for yourself by providing value for potential (or non-potential as the case may be) clients and colleagues. When you receive an email such as this reply back that you don’t provide the service but that you can connect them with someone who does. Then provide the email address or website for the person who most closely matches what they need. The person will appreciate the time you took to help them and may even return someday to be a customer of yours.

ACTION: Check back through your email from the last 4 weeks. Are there any emails that you’ve ignored? Emails from people asking for services that you don’t provide? Take the time to respond to those people by referring them to colleagues who do do that sort of work. In doing so, you will provide value in your response and will look very professional to the person who contacted you.

 

Direct Link to this post: http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/luana-darby

TGP 16 Fiona Fitzsimons – Irish Research

Featured Guest

Fiona Fitzsimons

Fiona is a founder and Director of Eneclann, a Trinity College Campus Company established in 1998, that specialises in history and heritage services.

As Eneclann’s Research director, she plays a key role in developing and ensuring quality in the company’s digital publications and the online resources at findmypast.ie and Fiona Fitzsimons of Eneclann on The Genealogy Professional podcastwww.irishorigins.com

In family history, Fiona is probably best known for tracing President Obama’s Irish family history. In 2013 Fiona gave a private presentation on the President’s Irish roots to Michelle Obama and her daughters on the occasion of their visit to Trinity College Dublin.

Fiona and her team have also brought you the Irish research for Who Do You Think You Are?, PBS’s Faces of America and Finding Your Roots, RTE’s Ancestors During the Famine, and others.

Fiona and her research team have also completed some of the largest historical research projects ever undertaken in Ireland, developing new methodologies to be tested and used by other resarchers. Work includes an audit of the accuracy of the Irish Genealogical Project’s database of church records, and the Irish Battlefields Project for the Department of the Environment.

In 2013 Fiona was elected to the Board of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Contact Links

Eneclann website

Eneclann Facebook page

Eneclann Twitter page

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Familiarize themselves with Irish genealogy websites.

Recommended Book

Anything by Jorge Luis Borges, the former Director of the National Library of Argentina

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – Tool for sharing large files

Advice

“Keep detailed research notes. Stay on top of your own records. Build up your own research library.”

Action Item

This week we focus on Fiona’s suggestion to build up our own research library. There are certain books that all of us need to have at arm’s reach at a moments notice.  For every researcher this will be different based on where you live and what your research specialties are.  You may not own all of the books right now but you can strive to get them later.

ACTION: Make a list of the top 10 books that would appear in your genealogy reference library.  You might have some now and others might be on your wish list. What is crucial for you to have at moments notice? Share your list in the comments below!

Here are six that are on my list:

Professional Genealogy edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood

Red Book by Ancestry

Land & Property Research in the United States by E. Wade Hone

The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual
Direct Link to this post: http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/fiona-fitzsimons

 

TGP 15 Rebecca Whitman Koford – Maryland Research

Featured Guest

Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG

Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG is a professional genealogist in American research with special emphasis in Maryland. She has been interested in genealogy ever since the age of five, when she could read her parents’ collection of old handwritten family group sheets.

Rebecca has been taking clients and lecturing since 2004. She has spoken for the Maryland State Archives, Banneker-Douglas Museum in Annapolis, Maryland, Kensington Family Rebecca Whitman Koford on the Genealogy Professional podcastHistory Conferences, Baltimore Family History Workshops, the York Family History Conference in Pennsylvania, The Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, and for groups in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Rebecca is a member of DAR, NGS, MDHS, NYG&B, and former Assistant Director of the Columbia Family History Center, and is a Certified Genealogist.

She was the Treasurer for the National Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and taught Beginning and Advanced Genealogy courses for Howard Community College until her move in 2010. She now volunteers at the Family History Center in Frederick. She was coordinator for the 4th and 14th ProGen (peer-led group study of Mills’ book Professional Genealogy) and 16th GenProof (peer-led group study of Jones’ book Mastering Genealogical Proof) online study groups and is currently enthusiastic about the Preserve the Pensions: War of 1812 project sponsored by FGS. Rebecca is head genealogist for ReelTributes, a genealogical documentary company, and she invites you to view her monthly blog articles at www.reeltributes.com. She lives in Mt. Airy, Maryland, with three active teenagers and a very patient husband.

Contact Links

Rebecca’s APG Profile

Rebecca – Google+ page

APG National Capital Area Chapter

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Find people  who are in a genealogy career. Go and join your local APG group.

Recommended Book

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood

Productivity Tool

The templates Rebecca uses (created in MS Word) to keep herself organized

Advice

“Enjoy the journey.”

Action Item

This week let’s focus on your most fun project! Is there is a project than stands out more than others? Perhaps a client that was great to work with or a project that was really fun?

ACTION: The first step in your action item this week is to identify one or two projects that standout for you, either as the most fun, the most challenging or for some other positive reason. Make a list of those projects. It can be a client project, one that you’ve done for yourself or for family or friends.

Next contact the person you did the project for whether that is a client, family or friend, and ask them for permission to use the information about the project in an article or lecture so that you can teach others. Yes, even if it was for family or friends you need to contact them and ask for permission. Get the permission in writing.  If anyone has privacy concerns let them know that you will not include their personal information in your finished product.

We’re not going to take the next step yet of turning the project information into usable content to be shared. For this week, simply select the projects and ask for permission. Asking for written permission is the most important part. In a future episode we will discuss what to do with the project so that you can transform it and share it.

Direct Link to this post: http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/rebecca-koford

TGP 13 Leslie Brinkley Lawson – Forensic Genealogist

Featured Guest

Leslie Brinkley Lawson

Leslie Brinkley Lawson, full-time professional genealogist, specializes in forensic genealogy (missing & unknown heirs, probate research), providing due diligence and kinship determinations. Clients include attorneys, executors, guardians, banks, probate firms, private clients. She is a regional and national speaker.Leslie Brinkley Lawson - Forensic Genealogist

As a forensic genealogist Leslie Lawson has completed genealogy research for attorneys across the United States. She has a range of experience from proving family lines to reuniting family members as well as proving parentage for those unable to speak due to injury or disability [dementia, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia].

Leslie currently serves as the President of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) and President of the Oregon Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Visit her website: www.LawsonResearch.net.

Contact Links

Leslie’s website – Lawson Research Services

Facebook – Lawson Research Services

Leslie on Twitter – @llawson3967

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

  1. Join APG and fully investigate that website.”
  2. “Set goals for the month, the quarter and the year and have a close friend who is going to keep you accountable to those goals.

Recommended Book

Professional Genealogy edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Mastering Genealogical Proof by Dr. Thomas W. Jones

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – Tool for sharing large files

Mozy – Backup service for computer files

Snag It (by TechSmith) – screen capture software

Sunrise – Calendar App

Advice

“Create templates for everything. Create a template for your report form, for your citations using Evidence Explained. Make yourself a template of every citation you use on a regular basis.”

Genealogy Idol Competition video where Michael Hait describes creating macros for citations. (free to watch)

Action Item

Leslie talked about networking and finding cients. Are you doing everything you can to find new clients? Here’s a check list of active and passive ways to make yourself visible to potential clients.

ACTION: Go through the list and rate how you are doing in each area. Commit to making improvements in your weaker areas.

Passive

  • Do you have a full and complete profile on a Professional Organization Website? (such as APG, BCG, ICAPGEN)Do you have a website?
  • Do you have a social media presence? (Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+)
  • Do you have a business card (try VistaPrint for inexpensive business cards

Active

  • Do you respond to discussions on a professional association list?
  • Do you respond to queries on general genealogy lists? (such as surname or geographic specific lists)
  • Do you participate in groups on LinkedIn where you’re target clients are active?
  • Have you joined societies related to your niche and volunteered so that you get to know other members?
  • Have you advertised online or in print magazines where your target clients are known to spend their time?
  • Do you write a blog related to your expertise?
  • Do you network?

What other ideas can you come up with that I’ve left off the list?

 

Direct Link to this post: http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/leslie-lawson

 

 

TGP 12 LaDonna Garner – Reaching Out to Clients

Featured Guest

LaDonna Garner, CG

LaDonna Garner, CG is a historic preservationist, researcher, and volunteer focusing in the Southeastern Missouri area. She is the St. Louis Genealogical Society’s African American Special LaDonna Garner, CG - Genealogy and Historic PreservationInterest Group Leader, and a member of several organizations including the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Association for Gravestone Studies and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Board-Certified in Genealogy in 2006, Garner has been researching her family history for nearly 30 years. Her current focus surround projects of recording the history of cemeteries in Missouri African-American communities, client assistance in genealogical brickwalls and consultations in historic landscape preservation. Her passion for cemetery preservation was inspired by her interest in family lineage and role as Founder/Secretary of the Mt. Zion Cemetery Board to preserve Mount Zion Cemetery, Festus, Missouri which was established by African American settlers in the circa 1880s and closed in circa 1973.

She  is former vice president and editor of Jefferson County (Missouri) Genealogical Society and a member of St. Louis (Louisiana) Genealogical Society. She is a graduate of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) course – American Genealogy, the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR), 2009 and attendee of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR).

Contact Links

LaDonna’s website – Leafseeker Consulting

Leafseeker blog – blog.leafseeker.com

Leafseeker Consulting on Facebook

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Take advantage of local or state or even online business management courses.

Recommended Book

A Graveyard Preservation Primer by Lynette Strangstad

Productivity Tool

Adobe PDF – For sending clients files and reports in a printable format

Advice

“Overall, whatever level of genealogy you want to do and whatever aspect you want to focus on for your business, I say you go for it no matter who tells you you can’t and not matter who looks at you like you’re crazy because it all works out.”

Action Item

LaDonna talked about several obstacles she has encountered during her career such as working in isolation and helping her local community become comfortable with her genealogy services.  There are many obstacles that we face both when we are starting and growing our genealogy business. They vary from the voice in your head that says you can’t do this to the voice of friends and family that say you shouldn’t embark on a career in genealogy. Other times obstacles can include your desire to become certified before opening up shop or a mismatch in services to local needs. It’s time to tackle these obstacles head on!

ACTION: Make a list on paper of all the obstacles that are preventing you from starting your genealogy business or keeping you from moving forward. Next take each obstacle one by one and determine how you are going to work around it. Will it be by creating a plan to get certification? Or perhaps by finding a mentor who can guide you through the bumps? Or perhaps you will focus on how you can explain to your loved ones why this is important for you and then show them your business plan! By writing down your obstacles you can clearly identify them and then you can specifically determine how to remove them so they won’t hold you back.

Direct Link to this post: http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/ladonna-garner/

 

 

TGP 11 Israel Pickholtz – Jewish Genealogy in Israel

Featured Guest

Israel Pickholtz

Israel Pickholtz – A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-born genealogist who has been living in
Israel since 1973. His personal research includes single-surname research in Galicia (formerly Austria, now Ukraine) as well as families from Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, Hungary and later in the US, UK and Israel. From there he developed skills relating to more general Jewish genealogy, including Holocaust research.

Israel  has participated in grave translation projects, searches for missing relatives and Genealogist Israel PickholtzHolocaust-era insurance claims, as well as traditional genealogy research using European, American and Israeli sources.

His most frequent assignments from Israeli sources involve locating and photographing graves, locating living people, Mandatory Citizenship records, records for Galician residents in the 1920s and 1930s, inheritance matters and Holocaust research.

He has lectured at the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) conferences on Jewish Genealogy in the United States, as well as other subjects in Israel.

Israel has served on the Board of the Israel Genealogical Society, as Secretary of Gesher Galicia and as Town Leader for Jewish Records Indexing-Poland (JRI-Poland). He currently serves as Secretary of the Professional Jewish Genealogists Group.

Contact Links

Israel Pickholtz on Twitter – @allmy4parents

Israel’s blog – allmyforeparents.blogspot.com

Israel Pickholtz on the Association of Professional Genealogist’s website

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Comment on other people’s blogs. Put your name out in any way you can that doesn’t make you look like a fool.

Recommended Book

My 15 Grandmothers by Genie Milgrom

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – File Sharing
Gmail – Israel uses Gmail as a spam filter

Advice

“Write and write and write and get your name out there. If you can do a blog, do a blog.”

Action Item

Israel mentioned in the interview that he contacted me by leaving a comment on this blog.  This is a great idea to get started interacting with the genealogical community, both before and after you become a professional.

ACTION: Your action item this week is to start interacting with the genealogical community by leaving comments on other people’s blogs. First, target a type of blog that is of interest to you. Perhaps that would be an ethnic blog like an Italian genealogy blog or location focused such as one on the state of Nebraska.  Then go to  Geneabloggers.com, a blog directory site founded by Thomas MacEntee, to find blogs on your topic.

Next start to “follow” (read them regularly) those blogs. Notice how frequently they publish new posts.  Lastly, provide thoughtful responses in the comments to what you have read in the blog post.  You are now on your way to building relationships with others in the genealogical community!

Direct Link to this post: http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/israel-pickholtz

 

 

TGP 10 Michael Strauss – Diversifying Services

Featured Guest

Michael Strauss, AG

Michael L. Strauss, AG – Professional Genealogist, Author, and Lecturer — is an Accredited Michael Strauss, AGGenealogist for the Eastern States Region with the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGEN). A native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Virginia, he has been an avid genealogist for more than 30 years.

Strauss holds a BA in History and is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran. He is a recipient of a grant from the Foundation for Coast Guard History in Spokane, WA and received a research scholarship from the General George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, VA.

He currently serves as President of the Virginia Beach Genealogical Society since 2012. In addition he is a published author and is currently an expert witness in kinship estate matters in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Strauss is an approved genealogist for the United States Army to locate DNA-qualified family members of MIAs from WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam and is a licensed Private Investigator in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

He is a Civil War re-enactor with the 99th New York Infantry. He also likes to appear at lectures in uniform and with real artifacts in order to give the audience the most realistic experience possible.

Contact Links

Michael’s website – www.genealogyresearchnetwork.com

Frederickburg, Pennslyvania History website –  www.fredpah.com

Information on Civil War Re-enacting – Camp Chase Gazette

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Look at different records that you haven’t been exposed to before.

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – File Sharing

Google Drive– Collaborative File Sharing

Advice

“Genealogy is full of serendipitous moments. Let your ancestors find you because they will.”

Action Item

Michael is both an Accredited Genealogist and a licensed private investigator. He would like to obtain his CG as well because he believes strongly in furthering his education.

ACTION: Explore educational opportunities and licensing that could diversify and further your career.  Would you benefit from obtaining a CG or an AG? Are you interested in discovering what’s involved in becoming a licensed private investigator?

Determine what certifications and/or licenses might fit in with your business and future business goals.  Next, find out what is involved in achieving these goals. Then plan a time line for when you might realistically achieve these goals. It could be now, in three years or even in ten years. Determine what works best for you.

Direct Link to this post: http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/michael-strauss/

TGP 8 Linda Woodward Geiger – New England Roots

Featured Guest

Linda Woodward Geiger, CG, CGL

Linda Woodward Geiger is an associate of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), Linda Woodward Geiger, CG, CGLholding credentials as a Certified Genealogist (sm) and as a Certified Genealogical Lecturer (sm). She is a nationally known speaker, author, and historical researcher. She has spoken at genealogy conferences and seminars in over twenty-five states, and has served as a coordinator and staff member of a variety of courses at the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR).

She currently serves as president of Friends of the National Archives Southeast Region (FNAS); as hostess for webinars sponsored by FNAS and serves as their webmaster.

Linda specializes in federal records; Georgia’s state and county records; and training researcher’s in methodology standards. She is also recognized for her work documenting Cherokee Heritage.

Contact Links

Linda’s website – www.woodward-geiger.com

Linda’s blog – Woodwards WeSearch Blog

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“Make sure you join a local genealogical society and it doesn’t matter if you have ancestors there or not!”

Recommended Book

Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes  by Rachal Mills Lennon 

Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (volumes 1 & 2) by NARA

The Preliminary Inventories for Federal Records of what’s available at the National Archives – Here is an example from Heritage Books

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – File Sharing

Evernote – “Remember  Everything with Evernote”

Advice

“Don’t ever take down any information without having the source citation. Keep a research log.”

Action Item

This week’s action item stems from Linda Woodward Geiger’s last piece of advice where she advises not to take down any information without having a source citation.

This week your action item, if you choose to accept it, is to practice gathering the citation information before you study original documents or images of original documents.  This is for online and offline research. As well, when you check a source but do not find anything you need to write that down too!  See if you can consistently do this for an entire week and you will be well on your way to great genealogical research habits!

TGP 7 Sheri Fenley – Genealogy California Style

Featured Guest

Sheri Fenley

Sheri Fenley is a professional genealogist from Stockton, California who specializes in the genealogical research of North Central California with an emphasis on San Joaquin County. She also focuses on lineage society applications.

She is a member of numerous organizations including

Sheri Fenley, the Educated Genealogist

Sheri is an alumni of the ProGen 1 class completing the course in 2009.  As well, she did two years of coursework at the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research  (IGHR) at Samford University.

She is the editor of the San Joaquin Genealogical Society newsletter and author of the popular blog “The Educated Genealogist” which was voted as one of Family Tree Magazine’s Top 40 Blogs.

More Alphabet Soup

SLIG – Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Association)

GRIP – Genealogy Research Institute of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)

 Contact Links

Sheri’s website –  sherifenley.webs.com

Sheri’s blog – The Educated Genealogist

Follow Sheri on Twitter – @sherifenley

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Start a blog.

Recommended Book

Genealogy as a Pastime and Profession by Donald Lines Jacobus and

Pittfalls in Genealogical Research by Milton Rubincam

Productivity Tool

Google Hangouts – Google Hangouts allow you to have a video conference with up to 10 other people (for free).

Advice

“Jump in with Both Feet”

Action Item

This week’s action item is about getting to know an archive and its staff. Sheri Fenley talked about the importance of getting to know the staff at local archives.

For this action item first choose a local archives or research library in your local area. Next schedule to visit the archives daily for a week. If you can’t go during the week then go on consecutive Saturdays.  You will make progress just having the staff see you return multiple times. You will make more progress if you introduce yourself to the staff, ask them for a brief tour or ask for their procedures and policies.  These will all act as ways to help you interact with the staff.  After your week of visits or multiple Saturdays you should be well on your well to getting to know the staff at one of your local archives or libraries!