Amber Larsen, AG®, was newly accredited for research in Denmark, and ICAPGen℠ recently asked her a few questions so we could get to know her. Welcome to the ranks of Accredited Genealogist professionals, Amber!
- What motivated you to pursue accreditation?
I really like to learn new things and challenge myself, and I felt that getting my accreditation would push me to a higher level of excellence in the field that I love.
- What are some challenging or unique aspects to researching in your area of accreditation?
My area of accreditation is Denmark. The main challenge is really just getting used to the language and handwriting. Reading old English documents can be challenging at times, but replacing that with a foreign language, as well as a completely different style of handwriting really takes a lot of study and research experience to master. It’s doable, but definitely takes some time and determination.
- What advice do you have for those pursuing accreditation?
Practice, practice, practice. Don’t just stay in your comfort zones of research, really push yourself and branch out. Research different record types, different locations, etc. The human family is unpredictable and diverse, and so is researching those human families! You never know what scenarios of research you’ll encounter, so it’s really important to get used to embracing many different research challenges and learning the research strategies to help in lots of situations.
- What are some of your goals as a genealogist?
I really enjoy teaching. One of my goals right now is to present as often as I can, and help give others the tools to better research and discover their ancestors. I also have toyed with the idea of getting a MA/PhD in European History at some point, and teach history and genealogy research at a university. The future has endless possibilities!
- What research projects are you involved with now, or have planned for the future?
One project I began a couple years ago that I’m interested in continuing to pursue is researching socioeconomic changes that happened to Danish families as they immigrated to America. Did they keep the same occupations they had in the homeland? Did grow similar crops? Did they have their own land? Did they participate in religion like they did in Denmark? Essentially, I’m interested in studying how Danish immigrants’ lives changed after coming to the United States, and what parts of their culture they were able to sustain despite living in a different country.
- Is there anything else you want to let us know about your genealogy experience or activities?
I’m probably one of the younger AGs, and one with the fewest years of experience… I only started doing actual genealogy research in 2013. But I fell in love with it, and took all the classes I could. I attended Brigham Young University where they offer a degree in Family History – Genealogy with region/country-specialized classes. I took Danish language classes to understand pronunciation, sentence structure, and vocabulary to help me read the records. I took a Scandinavian research class, handwriting class, and history class. I also completed an internship at the Frederiksberg Stadsarkiv in Denmark under excellent mentoring from the archivists there. It really just all fell into place. I’m so grateful and so blessed for the experiences and education I’ve been able to receive, and can’t wait to continue to learn more.