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Lene Kottal: Danish Family Historian Since 1995

Lene Dræby Kottal took an interest in her own family history more than 25 years ago. In 2013, she turned her passion into her profession.

Lene's goal as a pro genealogist is to deliver accurate research reports and well-written narrative genealogies with detailed biographies for both male and female ancestors, so her clients feel that they know their Danish ancestry better after doing business with her.

Some people distinguish between genealogists and family historians, but to Lene, family history is an integral part of genealogical research.

Blog Post: Genealogist versus Family Historian

Lene Kottal's Education and Credentials

After finishing the Danish equivalent of college, Lene Dræby Kottal studied English at the University of Southern Denmark. Apart from improving her English language skills, she took courses in American history and social studies, which helps her understand and explain some of the differences between family research in Denmark and the United States.

Furthermore, she completed a course in the history of the Indo-European languages, which gives her an advantage when it comes to family research. Danish spelling has changed immensely over the years, which has influenced both place names and family names. Lene's knowledge of changes and variations in spelling not only helps her when she backtracks through generations of ancestors, but also when going forward in time trying to find descendants.

In May 2022, Lene Dræby Kottal reached a milestone when the Board for Certification of Genealogists approved her portfolio. She therefore now holds the credential Certified Genealogist® She is the only genealogist in Denmark to hold this credential.

Lene Dræby Kottal is an alumna of the ProGen study group, completing the course in June 2023. ProGen not only focuses on research skills, but also business skills. Efficient administrative routines leave more room for the fun parts of being a professional genealogist: Research and writing.

Read about Certification at the BCG Website
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Continuous Development of Skills

Lene Dræby Kottal continues to develop her family research skills through various activities, both in terms of methodology and specific record types:

- Researching her own family and writing about it
- Reading the National Genealogical Society Quarterly
- Reading Danish family research periodicals
- Attending lectures, e.g. at the Danish National Archives
- Watching webinars, e.g. Legacy Family Tree Webinars
- Networking with other genealogists

In addition to all this, Lene reads a lot of history books. At the moment, she is reading books about the Danish town Fredericia, where her fourth great-grandfather was a municipal councilor in the mid-eighteenhundreds. The photo shows one of the old guns in Fredericia. Reading history books inspires Lene to use less-used record types to dig even deeper into a family's history.

Lene constantly strives to ensure that her work is in accordance with the standard, not only to provide the best work to you as a client, but also to maximize her chances of obtaining a renewal of the credential. To keep being a board-certified genealogist, Lene must submit a portfolio of her work for approval every five years.


Lene Kottal's Family and Other Interests

Lene Dræby Kottal's family is her other great passion. She married Søren in 2010. Two years later, they were blessed with a boy, Maximilian. Søren does not share her interest in genealogy, but he gave her confidence to make family research her profession.

Maximilian is beginning to understand what genealogy is, and Lene and Maximilian are planning to explore some family history projects together.

During the summer, the family like to spend time in their garden and on vacations in their Camp-let trailer tent.

The photo shows an old town sign from Stubenbach, Bohemia, where Lene's great-grandfather Maximilian Kottal was born. Going there was a dream come true, and Lene hopes to assist her clients in their dream of walking in the footsteps of their Danish ancestors.