Professional Experience


I became interested in genealogical research as a teenager. My first "official" foray into it was to interview my paternal grandmother who called what she told me “a whole bunch of nothing.” It did not sound like "nothing" to me and if anything inspired me to dig further. I interviewed all relatives who would allow me to take up their time with my questions. In the 70’s my cousin attended Brigham Young University and did the first real documenting of family facts vs oral history and shared her results with me. I was hooked! For the next 20 years she and I researched casually as we raised our children. I went back to work as a school librarian and part of my training was learning to teach others how to use the Internet as a research tool. Meanwhile, about 1990, Personal Ancestral File software was first released and I began transcribing my family data to disc. By 1996, I was on the first ROOTS-L “surfing” to find cousins…. When I had results, the “hook” got much stronger. I volunteered to manage surname and geographic mailing lists. Within a couple of years, I knew I had to figure out how I could do this kind of work full time and I took early retirement from the school district to do so. I began my genealogical website; “Climbing the Branches” in 1998 and immediately had positive results in being contacted by “cousins” who offered to share more information than I ever dreamed of having. Applying my computer skills and my library research technique experience to this endeavor was a perfect fit! By 1999, I  began "fleshing out the bones of the skeleton" writing as narrative the information I had collected using timelines and other tools to put it all into proper perspective. I took courses in interview technique and memoir/personal history writing and volunteered to gain experience wherever it seemed right. Since then, it has been a joyful ride….  While I love teaching genealogical methodology and do lecturing on a variety of topics, my first love is the writing and publishing full family stories. I also realized that “along the way” in researching I had gathered information that was not pertinent to me, but that could help others and began devising ways to share the information. Now, I am ready to help you organize and put together a full family history you will be proud to present as a legacy.


"My Search for Edie" Ancestry Magazine; September/October 2004; Vol. 22/No.5

"My Search for Edie" 1st Prize ~ Category:Original Research Story; International Society of Family History Writers and Editors "Excellence in Writing" Competition 2004