It’s a great day for genealogy!

It’s a great day for genealogy! And, it’s a particularly good day for me too!

Today marks exactly 43 years since I started working in genealogy.
Wow, it’s been fun.

It was 26 July 1965 – in Stamford, CT – George B. Everton, Sr. (1904-1996) and his wife Ellen (Nielsen) Everton (1902-1987) were conducting a genealogy workshop at the Ferguson Library. I worked at the “Ferguson” and was listening to their presentation from the hall – standing in the doorway – when he announced that they were going to give out a few door prizes – “to the youngest and oldest person” attending the lecture.

He said, “the youngest person is easy …. it’s him” – pointing to me. I was shocked – but was pleased to receive a 10-generation family tree chart. And, as they say – the rest was history.

When I started to fill in that chart the family knew a few generations – now we have records on over 70,000 ancestors and cousins in the family computer and I now have “cousins” from all parts of the world.

It has been fun. Over the past 43 years I have taught workshops and given presentations in 37 States & was a keynote speaker at the first genealogy conference in China. I have written over 20 books and many, many articles that were published in national, state and local – genealogy, library and archival journals.

And the capstone has been the opportunity to be the “Father” of GenealogyBank – and to watch it grow into an essential core genealogy online service – with over 3,500 newspapers you just won’t find anywhere else – easy access to more than 1 billion of our ancestors & cousins.

It’s a great day for genealogy and a great day for me too!

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Written by Thomas Jay Kemp

Thomas Jay Kemp

Thomas Jay Kemp is the Director of Genealogy Products at GenealogyBank. Tom Kemp is an internationally known librarian and archivist – he is the author of over 35 genealogy books and hundreds of articles about genealogy and family history.

He previously served as the Chair of the National Council of Library & Information Associations (Washington, DC) and as Library Director of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

An active genealogist, he has been working on his own family history for 47 years. With the rapidly growing online archives at GenealogyBank – it is a great day for genealogy!

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8 thoughts on “It’s a great day for genealogy!

  1. If you’re interested, there is a very active new group on Facebook called GeneaBloggers. About 60 members so far, some of the folks you already know (Dear Myrtle, for one). Love to see you there!

  2. Tom,

    Congratulations on the anniversary…

    It’s always a great day for genealogy!!

    I’m curious, have you done a genealogy resume of your two score and three years of work uncovering your ancestry? Are there published books available for your work? I’m particularly interested in the Richmond family work you did years ago.

    All the best — Randy

  3. Tom, I’m about 10 years behind you. How did you ever get over that brick wall that we all seem to face? I have been climbing mine for over 20 years, and haven’t reached it yet. Keep searching, you never know what or who you will find. After all, you don’t really know who you are until you know from whom you are descended.
    Congratulations from:

    a proud airforce grandma

  4. Good morning Tom,
    Yes, I must add my congrats on this great milestone. I have fond memories of my early beginnings but I am not able to put an exact date such as yours. I had just married to my first spouse and her mother would boast about her family roots in GA and I got fed up with hearing of her bragging. I set out to prove her stories and legends to be false. After stumbling around the local genealogical library and reading some books on early Wiregrass Georgia I discovered what she was telling me was true and much, much more. I became so fascinated that I had a hard time staying away from that little library in Bartow, FL. Now it is a great library and fills many needs. I can only hope others can recall their beginnings.
    Thanks
    Alvie L. Davidson CG

  5. When I retired a bit early–and was waiting for my husband to catch up with me–my brother asked, “Suz, why don’t WE see if WE can locate Mother’s birth parents?” WE, of course, turned out to be ME. I thought I would stop once/if I could identify her parents. I did find her Armstrong family (a miracle in the State of California); but, by then,I was “hooked” and have been happily addicted to family research ever since.

    Sue

  6. Hello Tom, Bromley, UK calling!

    Many congratualtions on the 43rd anniversary.

    I am very much a newcomer in comparison. I started up in the pursuit about 10 years ago. I love it & have met family members I never knew. My wife thinks I'm mad. Just wait when I retire!

    Richard Brown

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