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.
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.
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:
- 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 volume two of a series about the history of Danish schools (shown in the photo to the left). Reading history books inspires her to use less-used record types to dig 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.
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.
From August through April much of the Kottal family's time is spent at the local ice hockey rink, where Maximilian plays. During the summer, they 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.