Experience and Passion for 20 Years
I have more than 20 years of experience in doing family research. In 2013, I began doing genealogy as a professional, and since then I have turned my passion into my full-time profession.
After finishing the Danish equivalent of college, I studied English at the University of Southern Denmark. Apart from enhancing my English language skills, I took courses in American history and social studies, which helps me understand and explain some of the differences between family research in Denmark and the USA.
Furthermore, I completed a course in the history of the Indo-European languages, which gives me a clear advantage when it comes to family research. Danish spelling has changed immensely over the years, which has influenced both place names and family names. My knowledge of changes and variations in spelling not only helps me when I backtrack through generations of ancestors, but also when going forward in time trying to find descendants.
Continuous Development of Skills
I continue to develop my family research skills through various activities, both in terms of methodology and specific record types:
- Reading the National Genealogical Society Quarterly
- Participating in an NGSQ study group
- Reading Danish family research periodicals
- Attending lectures, e.g. at the Danish National Archives
- Watching webinars, e.g. Legacy Family Tree Webinars
- Being a part of the Twitter Genchat network
In addition to all this, I read a lot of history books. At the moment, I am reading volume two of a series about the history of Danish schools (shown in the photo to the left). Reading history books inspires me to look for record types, which were previously less known to me.
My Family and Other Interests
My family is my other great passion. I married my husband, Søren, in 2010. Two years later, we were blessed with a boy, Maximilian. Søren does not share my interest in genealogy, but he gave me confidence to make family research my profession. Maximilian is still too young to fully understand what I do, other than "write about dead people."
From August through April much of our time is spent at the local ice hockey rink, where Maximilian plays. During the summer, we like to spend time in our garden and on vacations in our Camp-let trailer tent.
The photo shows an old town sign from Stubenbach, Bohemia, where my great-grandfather Maximilian Kottal was born. Going there was a dream come true.