Barbara Jean Mathews, CG®, FASG

ProGen Member Overview

Barbara is Civil Records Director/Federal of the Massachusetts Genealogical Council; she is a past trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists Education Fund (a Massachusetts charitable trust), the Board for Certification of Genealogists, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the Connecticut Professional Genealogists Council.

Among Barbara's publications are Philo Hodge (1756-1842) of Roxbury, Connecticut; The Descendants of Governor Thomas Welles of Connecticut, volumes 1, 2A, 2B, and 3C. Barbara also edited The Descendants of Thomas Lamkin of the Northern Neck of Virginia. She has published articles in The American Genealogist (TAG), NGS Newsmagazine, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly (APGQ), The Connecticut Nutmegger, and The Essex Genealogist. Her book reviews have appeared in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, TAG, the National Genealogy Society Quarterly, and APGQ.

Most of all, though, Barbara loves to teach. She lectured at local, regional, and national conferences. She has mentored two groups in the ProGen Studies Program, and one group in the GenProof studies program. She particularly enjoyed her work in Boston University's genealogical certificate program.


Barbara trained as a physicist. Her bachelor's degree was earned in the Honors Program at the University of Connecticut, where she did both junior and senior honors theses. She attended the graduate school of the University of Missouri at Rolla in Mossbauer Spectroscopy, but left to return to New England. There she was a technologist for Polaroid and a writer for Data General and other computer companies, producing deep design documentation for both hardware and software. She worked as a front line social worker in a crisis shelter supported by a demonstration grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, earned her MSW from the Florence Heller School at Brandeis University, receiving a U.S. Public Service Fellowship, and did social services new program development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 1991 she switched fields to become a professional genealogist.


From 1993 to 2006, Barbara served as a web columnist and as a Consulting Editor with the Newberry Street Press, a division of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Also starting in 1993, Barbara worked as a Verifying Genealogist for the Massachusetts Society of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, retiring in 2016. She continues to work as a Genealogist for the Welles Family Association.

Publications & BLOGs

The Demanding Genealogist blog looks at published work products and discusses the factors that relate to credibility and reliability. Often-visited topics include source citations, evidence evaluation, and online family trees. The website lists publications. For more information, see the Amazon author page in the links.

Barbara's book The Descendants of Governor Thomas Welles of Connecticut and his Wife, Alice Tomes, volume 1, won the Donald Lines Jacobus Award of the American Society of Genealogists in 2014.