How much more do you want to know about your ancestry?
Many people are curious about their ancestry. Thus the popularity of genealogical societies, genealogy databases such as Ancestry and MyHeritage, and TV programs such as Finding Your Roots and Who Do You Think You Are.
Yet, effective research skills and time are both needed to effectively learn more about one’s “family tree” – who were my ancestors, where did they come from, how did they live, what experiences or characteristics made them distinct?
Genealogy author Kim Burkhardt – whose experience also includes market research in business settings – provides professional genealogy services. When you hire Ms. Burkhardt, benefits include:
- Hiring a genealogist whose experience includes writing books about her own ancestors.
- Contracting out the hours necessary to do genealogical research
- Access to the research skills needed to get it right.
- Results delivered in a meaningful, engaging, lasting format
Examples of Ms. Burkhardt’s research skills that get it right:
A) One of Ms. Burkhardt’s ancestors had a spouse whose first name had been recorded as “Beulah.” It would have been easy to assume that the ancestor’s spouse was the first “Beulah” identified in genealogy databases of the right age, same ethnicity, and geographic proximity who showed up in genealogy databases – but that wasn’t the case. Effective research identified that there were two women named Beulah where were born during the correct time period, who were of the same ethnicity, and who lived within close geographic proximity; Ms. Burkhardt then identified the correct “Beulah.”
B) In another case, Ms. Burkhardt had an ancestor who had been placed in an orphanage. Little was known about his background. Orphanage records had been burned in a fire, making it seeming difficult to trace that ancestor. A DNA test, however, led to information indicating that this ancestor’s name changed after leaving the orphanage. Then, Ms. Burkhardt used the ancestor’s birth name – not his later name – to find his census records from the orphanage; she was then able to find his parents and a wealth of genealogical information about his ancestors.
C) In a third situation, a relative had found eleven birth certificates for Ms. Burkhardt’s Irish great-grandfather and his siblings. It was initially thought that the great grandfather had been one of twelve children, ten of whom had lived – meaning that we were only missing one birth certificate. Then, however, we found a 1911 Irish census document indicating that he’d been one of thirteen children, ten of whom lived. So, we were missing TWO birth certificates of the siblings, not just one birth certificate. How to find the two missing birth certificates? Ms. Burkhardt recognized this to be question of when and where. So, she created a spreadsheet of the eleven birth certificates we already had and counted the number of months between each birth certificate – reasoning that there are nine months for each pregnancy. Taking this approach, Ms. Burkhardt identified three time periods in which there were at least eighteen months between birth certificates – times when another child could have been born. We knew where the family had lived during each of those three time periods, so Kim’s Irish relative then went looking for birth certificates during those three time periods in the locations where the family had lived; we thus found another birth certificate for another of the siblings.
Reommendations for Ms. Burkhardt’s “Out of Obscurity” Genealogical Services:
- “Kim has taken the exploration of my family tree with her usual fervour and has already discovered some very interesting family history. I would highly recommend her as she is both tenacious and ethical, so that I know she will dig deep and respect the privacy of whatever she might find.” Alison Granger-Brown, Ph.D.
- In 2014, Kim Burkhardt and a relative co-wrote a genealogy book for the Irish side of her family. Two references emerged from this:
- A relative said, “Kim’s genealogy and the resulting book has meant a lot to our family. We now know more about our ancestry.” Jerry Arnold, Mukilteo, Washington.
- When the genealogy book was printed and distributed to relatives, a relative’s friend saw the book and contacted Kim with the following comment: “Your book is great! You didn’t just list names and dates of ancestors. You wrote the entire book in narrative format, making the book readable.”
Ms. Burkhardt is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. (APGen).
Contact Ms. Burkhardt for Genealogy Services at:
P.O. Box 30874, Seattle, WA 98113, USA
Email: burkhardtwrites [@] gmail.com
Phone: (206) 525-5056