When did you first start researching your family history? Was there a moment when you knew you were “hooked?”
I started researching after my mother found five half siblings that she never knew. I took her to Pittsburgh to meet and visit with them. It was quite a moment and I was hooked.
Do you have a pet ancestor? Can you tell us a little bit about what makes this person so special to you as a researcher?
Louis Fassbinder. Louis is my great grandfather. He came to America in the 1860s as a teenager and soon became a successful butcher. He married another German, Barbara Brandstetter. One of the things that makes him special is that I have found and visited his hometown in Hessen-Darmstadt-Buedingen.
What record set to you believe is the most under-utilized? What advice would you give students in using this record set?
The BLM website, www.glorecords.blm.gov. This should be the first place to visit if we are researching federal land records, especially bounty lands. There is a record of almost all transactions where the government disposed of federal land.
What books and periodicals would you recommend for intermediate to advanced researchers? Are there any lesser-known texts you advise?
History of Public Land Law Development by Paul W. Gates. Out of print but you can get the CD version from Arkansas Research, Inc., PO Box 303, Conway, AR 72033, www.arkansasresearch.com/HistReprints /GatesLandBook.htm (I have no financial interest). Also Richard Griffith and His Valuations of Ireland: With an Inventory of the Books of the General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland, by James R. Reilly, CGRS if you do Irish research. It is available from GPC.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a genealogical educator? What advice would you give for those who would follow in your footsteps?
I have some belief that I help people conduct successful research, be that personal or professional we all can learn new things. For those that follow – start with a narrow focus and learn that very well before expanding to other areas.
Why would you recommend a student attend SLIG in general?
Quality instructors, exciting curriculum and a great setting – plus through in the FHL
Will you tell us a little bit about what makes your SLIG course unique among genealogical education offerings?
We understand the repositories and research opportunities in Washington, DC and present a unique offering in educating people how they can tap into these resources remotely.