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TGP 20 Catherine Desmarais – Vermont Research

Featured Guest

Catherine Becker Wiest Desmarais, CG

Cathi Desmarais on the Genealogy Professional podcast

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 international 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 


“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.


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!

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