My journey to becoming a professional genealogist is a rather serendipitous one. It all began back in the fall of 2014 when I enrolled in the Pathway Program (if you want to learn more about Pathway, click here). Once I completed the program I was able to then matriculate into Brigham Young University Idaho’s online degree program. I needed a degree so I could fulfill my dream of being a National Park ranger (I wanted to be in the mountains and nature every day). Unfortunately, BYU-I did not offer a degree that had anything to do with nature or park management, so I decided to seek a Bachelor’s degree in University Studies. The University Studies degree than required me to select a minor and the only one that appealed to me in the slightest was Family History.
Fast-forward to 2016 and I finally decided to take my first genealogy class. It was an introductory class taught by an amazing teacher/ professional genealogist. In this class, I learned the basic fundamentals of family history research and needless to say, I was hooked. I loved every second of it, I never knew genealogy could be so much fun. It was in the middle of that class that I made the decision to forgo a career as a park ranger and instead become a professional genealogist. Thankfully, BYU-I offered an Associate degree in genealogy, so it allowed me the ability to graduate with two degrees.
Since that first class, genealogy has consumed my life. If I am not working on a research project for a class, you can find me devouring every book I can get my hands on that deals with family history research, or you can find me attending any number of genealogy seminars or conferences. And if I am not doing either of those two things, you will find me watching a webinar before bed or listening to a podcast while driving in my car. You could say that I am obsessed and that is okay with me because helping others discover the people and stories that lie in their family trees has become my passion.
Every day brings new challenges and obstacles but the rewards far exceed them and I absolutely love when my clients learn something new about someone they thought they already knew. So that is the short version of my genealogy journey and I would love to hear yours. How did you come to love genealogy?