Category Archives: Client Researcher

TGP 25 Yvette Hoitink – Dutch Genealogy

Featured Guest

Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. Her company, Dutch Genealogy Services, specializes in helping people from all over the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Most of her clients are descendants of emigrants who left the Netherlands in the 19th and 20th century but she also helps people find their New Netherland roots. Her services include doing research, interpreting documents for English-Yvette Hoitink - Dutch Genealogy on the Genealogy Professional podcastspeaking clients, preparing visits to places of origin for clients and giving lectures.

Genealogy has been her favorite pursuit for over twenty years. Yvette started doing genealogy in 1991, when she was just 15 years old. Two years later, she created the first genealogical website in the Netherlands (probably one of the earliest in the world). This got her in touch with descendants of Dutch emigrants all over the world, which made her realize how many people were searching for their Dutch roots.

Yvette studied Computer Science and Management Studies at the University of Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands. For ten years, she and her partner ran an IT company that specialized in consultancy and custom software for cultural heritage organizations, working for archives and libraries throughout the country. Since 2006, Yvette has worked for the Nationaal Archief, the National Archives of the Netherlands, where she currently works part-time as a project manager in the IT department. Through her own company and her job at the National Archives, Yvette has been involved in the development of the largest genealogical websites in the Netherlands so she has been a genealogy professional for over fifteen years. She started taking clients two years ago.

Yvette Hoitink writes about Dutch Genealogy on her blog (in English) and her weekly newsletter and has a column in Gen, the quarterly magazine of the Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie [Central Bureau for Genealogy, the largest genealogical repository in the Netherlands]. Together with Jeroen van Luin, she wrote Internet bij Stamboomonderzoek, a successful book about internet genealogy. She also gives lectures in Dutch and English about topics such as Dutch genealogy, 19th century emigration, internet genealogy and local history.

Contact Links

Dutch Genealogy Services website

Dutch Genealogy Blog

Dutch Genealogy on Facebook

Yvette Hoitink on Twitter – @DutchGen

Other Links

Roberta Estes Blog – DNA Explained

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“Treat yourself like your first client and create research plans, create research reports and pretend.”

Recommended Book

Dutch Roots by Rob van Drie  (2012) Kindle Edition

Productivity Tool

Trello – Organization tool

Advice

“You may think you know your stuff and you may think your an awesome genealogist and you probably are but you’ll grow so much if you start taking on clients. Just working on other people’s projects is going to open your mind to new ideas. “

Action Item

Yvette Hoitink talked about how she had researched her father’s entire village and how many of the residents had emigrated to America.  She has put all the information online for free on her website. Not only does it provide valuable information for people looking for details on that village but it also drives people searching for Dutch ancestors to her website.  While they are there they learn that Yvette is a genealogy professional who can help them with their research.

ACTION:

Providing valuable free content on your website is a great way to attract new visitors to your site.  For this week’s action item think about what valuable information you can provide for free to drive people to your website. Perhaps you are an expert in an ethnic genealogy group or in a geographic area (like Yvette). Can you provide content on your website that would be valuable to a first time visitor and would also demonstrate your expertise?

Your action item for this week is to think of some valuable information related to your niche that your can share on your website which new visitors will find via search engines. If you are feeling very ambitious go ahead and put it on your site and then wait a month or so to see what kind of results you get. Make sure that people can easily see that you provide research services on the same topic!

Direct Link to this post:

http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/yvette-hoitink

TGP 23 Kathleen Brandt – Military Research

Featured Guest

Kathleen Brandt

Kathleen Brandt is a Professional International Genealogist and Consultant and is a published freelance writer for genealogy magazines and columns. She is the author of the Kathleen Brandt on the Genealogy Professional podcasta3Genealogy educational and skill building blog that explores various cultural and ethnic folk life, traditions, history, and genealogy research tips.

Utilizing twenty years of experience as an international corporate executive and five years of teaching college level Spanish, French and English writing courses, Kathleen offers workshops and lectures, and is a consultant for various international corporations, colleges and universities conducting historical, cultural, and genealogical projects. She has also researched for television episodes of NBC and TLC: Who Do You Think You Are?; and appeared in 2011 presenting to actor and singer Tim McGraw. Her work and research may also be seen on the Chris O’Donnell, Reba McEntire and Ashley Judd episodes, as well as on The History Channel: How the States Got Their Shape, and PBS: Finding Your Roots. She most recently appeared on CCTV America: Asia America Biz.

Her complete Experience / Qualifications CV may be reviewed at the a3Genealogy.com website

Contact Links

a3Genealogy.com website

a3Genealogy on Facebook

Kathleen Brandt on Twitter – @a3Genealogy

Other Links

Association of Professional Genealogists

The Federation of Genealogical Societies

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“Write a complete business plan with your financial goals”

Recommended Book

 Professional Genealogy edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills

WWI and WWII books by Shelby Stanton

Productivity Tool

Drop Box, Evernote, Google Drive and Hootsuite

Advice

“Most businesses aren’t lucrative, not because the person doesn’t know their craft, we normally do, but because they fail to attend to their business affairs. I encourage everyone to write a business plan.”

Action Item

This week let’s focus on what’s unique about your business and your services. What do you do that separates you from other genealogy professionals? Secondly, what separates you from other professionals in your niche?

ACTION:

Make a list of two to four items that makes you and your business unique within the genealogical community. Next make another list that demonstrates how you are different from others within in your niche. Now look at your how you are projecting your business on the internet and in your business materials.  Does your current visual presence reflect your unique qualities?

Direct Link to this post:

http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/kathleen-brandt

TGP 21 Jane Wilcox – New York Research

Featured Guest

Jane E. Wilcox

Jane E. Wilcox is a genealogical researcher, writer, editor, lecturer, and radio show host, with more than forty years of genealogy experience. She owns Forget-Me-Not Ancestry in Kingston, N.Y. and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) Education Committee.
Jane hosts The Forget-Me-Not Hour: Your Ancestors Want Their Stories to Be Told radio show on the internet at www.BlogTalkRadio.com/JaneEWilcox (and formerly on WHVW 950 Jane E. Wilcox on the Genealogy Professional podcastAM radio in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) and is author of the forthcoming family biography, From England to America: The Odyssey of the William and Margaret Wilcockson Family. She has consulted for the producers of the hit TV show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation for a genealogy mystery TV pilot.

Jane holds an M.S. degree in journalism from Northwestern University, a B.A. degree in English literature and in history, with an emphasis in Colonial American history, from the University of Michigan, and a Teacher’s Certification from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. As a historian, journalist and teacher, Jane brings historical context to all of her work and enjoys sharing her knowledge with her clients and audiences.

Fascinated with genealogy and history since she was a child, Jane learned genealogy on the lap of her grandmother, a national genealogical records chairman for the Daughters of the American Revolution. Through her research, she has come to believe that the ancestors want their stories to be told.

Contact Links

Website for Jane Wilcox

Jane Wilcox on Facebook

Jane Wilcox on Twitter – @janeewilcox

Other Links

Association of Professional Genealogists

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“Join the Association of Professional Genealogists and take advantage of what they have to offer.”

Recommended Book

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

Productivity Tool

Using tables in MS Word for client reports

Advice

“Don’t try to be like everyone else. Find your unique niche and use your unique skills and let people know what you have to offer. “

Action Item

This week we switch from talking about to-do lists to focusing on discipline.  Discipline is forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do but will be beneficial for you to do. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with your job at all unless of course you need to start working fewer hours. But the overall benefit should improve your day and every aspect of your life. I gave the examples of committing to exercising and making the beds before starting work each morning.

ACTION:

Think of two areas in your life that could use a little more discipline. Figure out how you are going to incorporate these two new commitments into your life.  Keep it simple and try to make it as easy as possible for you to succeed.

Direct Link to this post:

http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/jane-wilcox

TGP 20 Cathi Desmarais – Vermont Research

Featured Guest

Cathi Becker Wiest Desmarais, CG

Cathi is a full-time professional genealogist and owner of Stone House Historical Research, established in 2008. In addition to family history research, Cathi works on U.S. Army military repatriation cases, finding next-of-kin and family DNA donors for unrecovered soldiers from past wars. She also locates missing or unknown heirs and beneficiaries for law firms and title insurance companies. Her work has given her broad U.S. and Cathi Desmarais on the Genealogy Professional podcastinternational experience, with a particular emphasis on Ireland, Vermont, and Pennsylvania.

Cathi currently serves as the Vice-President of the Association of Professional Genealogists and as a board member and mentor program coordinator for the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy. Cathi’s writing has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Crossroads, The NYG&B Record, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.

Cathi earned an M.S. Ed. from the University of Vermont, and has attended the Forensic Genealogical Institute in Dallas, Texas; the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP); the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research at Samford University; the National Institute on Genealogical Research in Washington, DC; and Boston University’s Genealogical Writing course. She has lectured locally as well as at the GRIP and the Forensic Genealogy Institute.

Contact Links

Stone House Historical Research website

Stone House Research on Facbeook

No Stone Unturned blog

Cathi Desmarais on Twitter – @cathidesmarais

Other Links

Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy

Association of Professional Genealogists

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Write down your goals. Get them down on paper. Where do you want to be a year from now? And then break down your goals into quarterly, monthly and weekly tasks. Stay open to new possibilities.

Recommended Book

“If you want to improve your writing, I would recommend Getting the Words Right by Theodore Cheney. That was on our bibliography in the writing class taught by Tom Jones and John Colletta a couple of summers ago at Boston University, and it had a big impact on my writing.

I also learn about writing by reading other people’s family history books. I loved Only a Few Bones by John Colletta, The Journey Takers by Leslie Huber, Running Away to Home by Jennifer Wilson, and Annie’s Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg. ”

Productivity Tool

Harvest – time tracking tool

Asana   project management platform 

Advice

“Take your business seriously. Prepare yourself well.”

Action Item

This week we are focusing on the practical. We can start our work week off better if we determine ahead of time what we need to accomplish. Sometimes we start out with the best of intentions. Then somehow our week gets away from us. Our focus this week will be on settings goals and creating to-do lists.  While Cathi talked about setting weekly, monthly and even quarterly goals we are going to focus just on weekly goals.

ACTION:

Make a to-do list for the next 7 days. Prioritize your do-to list in order of importance. You can even separate tasks by days if you like. Print out your to-do list and keep it on the desk next to you or pin it to the wall near your computer.

Next, tackle what you fear most. Whatever is on your list that you want to do least – do that first.  Hold off on accepting, or perhaps just scheduling, new tasks or projects until your existing to-do list is complete. Cross of each item as you finish it to get that sense of accomplishment!

 

Direct Link to this post:

http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/cathi-desmarais

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/