Today's Wall Street Journal has an article about the work done by professional genealogists. Searching for Life's Connection With the Past Aided by Online Records, More Hobbyists Turn Genealogy Into a Business by Riva Richmond describes the paths that several genealogists took to become professionals.
Laura Prescott is mentioned a number of times in the article, described as "a college history major who worked in banking and marketing, is turning her love of a good puzzle, a gripping story and an era gone by into a full-time profession. Last year, she joined the growing ranks of self-employed professional genealogists who make a living tracing and chronicling the lives of ordinary families.
"You can be a professional genealogist if you can get as interested in someone else's family as you are in your own," she says. "My big passion in genealogy is not just the names and the dates and the facts. It's tying it into history and putting flesh on the bones of the data you can gather."
Other professional genealogists interviewed include Kathleen W. Hinckley, executive director of the Association of Professional Genealogists; Loretta Dennis Szucs, author of genealogy's modern bible, "The Source;" Megan Smolenyak, the author who recently corrected history by uncovering the identity of the real Annie Moore, an Irish girl documented as the first immigrant to enter Ellis Island; and 21-year-old D. Joshua Taylor, who began compiling genealogies at age 10 and used his skills to help pay for his college education.
You can find the article on page B6 of the October 10, 2006 edition of the Wall Street Journal. If you have a subscription to the online version, you can also read it at http://online.wsj.com/article_print/SB116045254910287738.html.
My thanks to John Ralls for telling me about this story.