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TGP 53: Melissa Barker – The Archive Lady

Featured Guest

Melissa Barker

Melissa Barker

Melissa Barker is a Certified Archives Manager and Public Historian currently working at the Houston County, Tennessee Archives. She lectures, teaches and writes about the genealogy research process, researching in archives and records preservation. She conducts virtual webinar presentations across the United States for genealogical and historical societies. She writes a popular blog entitled A Genealogist in the Archives and is a well known book Reviews Editor for the FGS Magazine FORUM and Utah Genealogical Association Magazine Crossroads. She writes a bi-weekly advice column entitled The Archive Lady published at Abundant Genealogy. She writes history pieces for her local newspaper The Houston County Herald called From the Archives. Her Professional Genealogy expertise is in Tennessee records and she is currently taking research clients. She has been researching her own family history for the past 30 years.

Contact Links

Website – A Genealogist in the Archives

Facebook – The Archive Lady

Twitter – Melissa Barker

Best Advice Ever Received

“Find out what you love to do and figure our how to make an income at it.”

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“Watch webinars. They are a great educational tool which you can access right now from your home.”

Recommended Book

Organize Your Genealogy: Strategies and Solutions for Every Researcher by Drew Smith


“Always remember that not everything is online. You need to contact or visit an archive.”

Action Item

One thing that really struck me was how Melissa created a niche, that worked within her constraints, by promoting herself as a webinar-only speaker. I like the way she bucked convention by not following the traditional speaker path.


For your action item this week I want you to think out of the box the same way Melissa did. In her case, she chose to do webinars-only instead of in-person speaking events. Is there a path you’re not following because of constraints due to a full-time job, family responsibilities, location, cost or something else? Try to think of a way around the problem.  You don’t need to stick to traditional rules with your business. Make it your own and push yourself out of your comfort zone to make it happen.

If you like, head to the TGP Action Group on Facebook and share your obstacles and we’ll see if we can come up with solutions.


The Genealogy Professional podcast is now available on Spotify. Search for either Marian Pierre-Louis or genealogy to find it. Don’t forget to follow!

I’m trying to get on a bi-weekly schedule for the podcast. Eventually I’ll settle on an exact release date twice a month. But in the meantime you can expect a new podcast generally every two weeks.

Direct link to this post: https://www.thegenealogyprofessional.com/melissa-barker

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