Category Archives: ICAPGen member spotlights

Spotlight on Suzannah Beasley, AG®

Suzannah Profile (1)

Meet Suzannah Beasley, AG, who is accredited for research in the U.S. New England States.

Accreditation

Becoming an accredited genealogist was always the goal for Suzannah once she stepped on the genealogy path. Suzannah started BYU with the intention of being a dietitian with a minor in family history. During her sophomore year, she realized that she was enjoying her family history classes more than her nutrition classes, so she switched her major to family history. Suzannah graduated with her degree in Family History – Genealogy from BYU in 2009. Her love for New England research was cemented as she interned and later worked for the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. As Suzannah started working for her own clients, she knew it was time to finish the accreditation process. She became an accredited genealogist in 2011.

Projects

Suzannah knows that once you start researching for clients, you quickly find that no two families are alike. Suzannah has researched for, or has supervised research for, more than 700 genealogy cases. They have varied far and wide from early colonial research to the present day. Her most memorable case was when she helped her client find his birth family. After all of the research and phone calls it was amazing to see three siblings meet each other after not knowing each other for forty years.

New England

While the six New England states don’t cover many acres of land, they cover an enormous amount of history, and many families in the United States have at least some roots in New England. It is an amazing place to research because of the quality of the records. For instance, many areas of the United States didn’t start recording birth records until after 1900. New England started recording birth information in the 1600’s.

When Suzannah was working on her four generation project to become an accredited genealogist, she was living in New England. She did extensive research on her family using online resources, personal trips to the Family History Library in Salt Lake, as well as visiting the National Archives branch in Boston. After doing all of that research, she decided she wanted to go to New Hampshire and Connecticut to see the farms where her family had lived. She also planned on visiting cemeteries, the local historical societies, and the town libraries to do research, but she didn’t think she would find much more information, if anything. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Those personal visits provided a wealth of information that wasn’t available elsewhere. The information and stories she found made Suzannah’s ancestors more than just names on a piece of paper. Good genealogy research can transform names and dates into real people.

Since then Suzannah has worked hard to convey this lesson to the researchers who have worked for her, students she has taught at BYU-Idaho, and to many others she has helped. While there are many wonderful resources online, and more records in archives, there are many records that haven’t been gathered. They are still in local churches, libraries, or are held by family members. Sometimes when we are stuck on a brick wall, we can solve it by finding key records that take a little more effort to gather.

For more information about Suzannah, you can visit her website atwww.globalgenealogists.com.

Meet Paula Faccio, AG®, accredited for research in Italy

PaulaFaccio

This month we would like to introduce you to Paula Faccio, AG®, who is accredited by ICAPGenSM   for research in Italy.  We interviewed Paula to learn more about her journey to accreditation, and are pleased to share some of what we learned about her.

Motivation

Genealogy was a passion of Paula’s from the time she was eighteen years old, and becoming a professional genealogist just naturally seemed like the next step for her to take.  She recognized that accreditation should be a priority if she wanted to do this as a profession, so she started down that road. With credentials, she would be recognized as a competent researcher who understood the records of Italy, and clients could have confidence in her ability to access and analyze them.

Challenges with Italian research

According to Paula, one challenging aspect of Italian research is the fact that parish records in northern Italy and part of southern Italy have not been microfilmed.   This makes the research more difficult, more time-consuming, and more expensive, because it requires onsite research.

Any researcher who has benefited from an abundance of microfilmed records for a locality should appreciate their own good fortune–and while we might like an excuse for an occasional trip to Italy, it would be quite challenging to do without that staple of genealogical research.

Advice for those pursuing accreditation

“Just do it!” says Paula. “It’s not an easy process, but definitely very rewarding and worthwhile.  At the time I started the process to become accredited my level of English was very basic and I was the only Hispanic person in the classes. Many times, I found myself translating everything back and forth between Spanish, Italian, and English, because I was not sure if I was understanding everything correctly.  Believe me, if I could do it with all my limitations, then you can definitely do it too! I cannot describe to you the joy that I felt when they told me: ‘Welcome to ICAPGen, you are now an Accredited Genealogist.’  I hope you can experience this same joy as well!”

The future for Paula

Having reached her goal of accreditation, Paula would also like to pursue the credential of Certified Genealogist.

Paula is currently working on two of her clients’ projects in southern Italy. One of the clients lives in Spain, so she is putting her language skills to good use! Being multi-lingual is a tremendous asset to a genealogist, and we congratulate Paula for being undaunted in her pursuit of accreditation, especially in those early stages when her level of English was so basic. She seems to epitomize her favorite quote: “Set your goals high, achieve them…and then exceed them!”

You can learn more about Paula on her website at http://www.yourpast.org/.