About Jay

An Iowa Hawkeye at heart, from “River City” of The Music Man fame, I am a genealogy services professional in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Like many genealogists, I took up genealogy as a hobby in mid-life when I realized I didn’t know as much about my family’s history as I should.  I knew that some people had family trees, but I had not idea where they got them. I don’t think I even knew there was such a thing as genealogists.

Most of my career, I worked as a state government policy analyst — a kind of work that required research, analysis and problem-solving. After I heard a couple off accomplished genealogists talk about evidence analysis and methodology, I was hooked. I have since attended professional genealogy education institutes in Washington, D.C., Birmingham, Alabama, and Salt Lake City, and have learned from some of the best.

As any genealogist knows, my personal family history research will never be complete, but I enjoy helping other less experienced researchers reach their goals. Now that I have retired from my state government job, I support myself partly through my Four Generations Genealogy research service.

I also have a bit more time for gardening and travel. My wife and I have lived in Saint Paul for more than 30 years. We have a daughter and grandchild in Arizona and another daughter in Colorado, with grandchild on the way.

Oh, yes… My family history heritage reaches back to The Netherlands, Sweden and Germany. My wife’s Irish, English, German, Norwegian and Swedish origins also keep me busy. But, my favorite family is Fawkner family of Indiana and Kentucky. The Fawkners are my window on fascinating early American history.

I remain active as past-president of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, and am a Director of the Association of Professional Genealogists (2010-2011).

Professional Memberships:

  • Association of Professional Genealogsts (Northland Chapter)
  • National Genealogical Society
  • Minnesota Genealogical Society
  • Genealogical Speakers Guild
  • International Society of Family History Writers and Editors
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