Experience[edit | edit source]
- Over 42,000 real-time hours of practical genealogical and historical research experience
- Genealogy and historical research Instructor 15+ years
- Compiler and editor of East Kent Families Database of over 350,000 individuals
- Publisher of more than a dozen research and record reference guides
- 1983 to date non-member Librarian, Family History Consultant and International Research Specialist, Family History Centre, St. Catharines
- 1990 to date Chief Executive and Professional Researcher, Ancestry Solutions (formerly The Family Historian), registered Ontario business
- December, 2006 to date, County Administrator and Project Co-Ordinator, Kent Online Parish Clerks
I have volunteered at our local Family History Centre since May 1983, as Family History Consultant (non-member) and British and European Research Specialist.
From my many years spent working as a legal assistant and certified law clerk I accumulated vast direct research experience as well as an intimate knowledge of record and archival procedures, which placed me in good stead when I took up the quest of personal family history research in earnest in December, 1982. In 1990, after retiring and after much prompting and prodding by family and friends I hung out my shingle as a professional historical researcher. Being very interested in house and business histories, after experience as a licensed realtor, and the life stories of ancestors I was researching, I felt I couldn't just confine myself to strict genealogical research.
An extraordinarily high ranking in analytical skill discovered during organizational psychometric testing enables me to quickly pinpoint solutions to the insurmountable brick walls by which our patrons and my clients are inevitably blocked.
Amongst my professional research experience I have successfully performed research services for Canadian Immigration in verifying claims of entitlement to entry into Canada, citizenship in both Canada and the U.S.A. I have also successfully performed research services for foreign Public Trustees, probate firms and solicitors, locating living heirs and in verifying entitlement to legacies and bequests.
I have had the pleasure of conducting seminars and classes regarding various aspects of genealogical, historical and biographical research and evidence in a night course at a local secondary school and for several libraries and women's groups throughout the Niagara Peninsula. I have also been a participant in several Family History seminars sponsored by and at our local Family History Centre.
My greatest satisfaction comes from consultancy work with the patrons at our centre and with my own clients, in penning helpful research guides, participating in seminars and compiling databases of historical data. I find it very fulfilling teaching novices and amateurs just how to fish in genealogical and historical records, believing that once a person understands the theory - the fishing - of documents, archives and legislative impact on those resources, that person will be able to continue to autonomously find and expand their own family histories.
My skill in several languages - French, Spanish, Italian, German and Latin - as well as successful research of Canadian Metis and Native North American ancestry provided the base upon which I have built more than 42,000 hours of practical genealogical and historical research. My own ancestry rooted in England, Scotland, Germany and Italy contributed to that experience as well as have added to the framework of my expertise in reading and interpreting old English, German and Italian scripts and complex documentation such as Wills, land records, marriage settlements, and inquisitions post-mortem, by way of examples.
I am also the County Administrator for the Kent Online Parish Clerks Project (2006 to date) (www.kent-opc.org) for the transcription of parish records, census returns, municipal records, and numerous archival records.