I'd rather be in an archive right now
I love using unusual sources and social history to solve puzzles. I also do short-term tasks like obtaining copies of documents from area repositories, and I provide coaching to researchers who are stuck. I visit various repositories in Suffolk & Middlesex counties in metro Boston. I have a special interest in researching people, families, and communities that have been marginalized in surviving records. My research focuses include (but are not limited to) colonial-era New England; researching enslaved and recently free Northerners; researching emigrants' British Isles ancestors and relatives; tracking migratory families; and researching immigrants, from the colonial era to the 20th century.
I had been helping people with pro bono projects for several years, and after completing Boston University's Certificate in Genealogical Research in 2010, I began taking paying clients.
My personal research has given me skills in tracking migratory people, both between and within countries, and has exposed me to a wide range of record sets and types of research. Some of the record sets I especially enjoy using are school records, historical newspapers, court records, tax records, account books, notarial records, maps, and cemetery records, as well as using DNA test results as a complement to traditional research methods.
My services: PLEASE NOTE: On 1 April 2020 I resumed taking paying clients, but as of July 2022 many archives in the Boston area remain open by advance appointment only, with some archives currently closed. I'm fully vaccinated and I'm happy to go to archives in person for clients where it is an option and they have safety measures in place. Please be aware that many of the open archives require appointments to be booked days in advance. I enjoy doing research both for non-local clients who need local help with some aspect of their own personal or professional genealogical or historical research project and clients who would like someone else to research their family. In addition to general genealogical and historical research, I can: retrieve records from numerous area repositories; provide coaching to researchers who are stuck; compile gift books of photos & stories based on your research & family memorabilia; help you create a plan to better care for your private family archival materials; help you provide social history context for your research and/or take photographs of local historic sites; conduct oral history interviews; and other services.
My geographic specialties: Boston area; Massachusetts; New England; England; Scotland
My time period specialties: 17th to 20th centuries
Highlights: B.A. (Anthropology), Oberlin College; Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University Center for Professional Education (2010); ProGen Study Group (2010-12); "Writing Family History Narratives and Other Genealogical Works" (2011) and "Civilly Uncommon: Advanced Legal Analysis for Genealogists" (2014), Boston University advanced genealogical courses; "Pre- and Post-Slavery Research" at the Midwest African-American Genealogical Institute (2016); "Practical Genetic Genealogy" at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (2016); “African-Native American Research” at the Midwest African-American Genealogical Institute (2020); "Researching New York: Resources and Strategies" at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (2020); "From Sea to Shining Sea: Researching our Ancestors' Migrations in America" at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (2021, Week 1); "The Pennsylvania German and Research in the Keystone State" at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (2021, Week 2); "Writing and Documenting for Peer Review" at SLIG Academy for Professionals (2021); "Beyond the Golden Door: Immigrants to the U.S.A. after 1890" at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (2021, Week 1); "Advanced DNA Evidence" at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (2021, Week 2); "Researching Ontario and Quebec Ancestors" at the Canadian Genealogical Virtual Research Intensive [Institute] (2021); "Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis" at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (2021); "Operation Jumpstart: Beyond the Basics of Military Research" at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (2022); "Catholic Records" at the Applied Genealogy Institute (2022); "Mastering the Art of Genealogical Documentation" at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (2022, Week 1); "Gateway to the Garden State: New Jersey Research" at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (2022, Week 2); and "Researching African American Ancestors: Courthouse Records" at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (2022); as well as taking additional courses and attending numerous conferences, seminars, lectures, etc.
My blog is linked in the sidebar as "Member's Website."
Articles: "Using School Records," article in the September 2012 issue of Indiana Genealogist, published by the Indiana Genealogical Society; "The Long Trek Westward: Migration from New England to New York and the Midwest," article in the December 2013 issue of The Bulletin, published by the Genealogical Forum of Oregon.
Lectures: "Researching Enslaved and Recently Free Northerners," History Camp Boston in Boston, Massachusetts, on 26 March 2016; "Early Modern England and the Colonization of New England," History Camp Pioneer Valley in Holyoke, Massachusetts, on 30 July 2016.