I have been a genealogist since I was 14 years old and decided to interview my grandmother (above, aged three, in San Francisco) about every single relative she could recall. I wanted to know how I came to be a fifth generation Californian, and discovered I was descended from Canadians as well. She had a brilliant memory, listing aunts and uncles in perfect birth order, so that it was easy to find the families in the census returns.
Genealogy remained a non-professional passion while I trained for and built a career as a librarian, researcher and children's author. The passion continued as I moved around the world, living and working in North and South America, Africa and Europe, and learning to speak French and Portuguese. I became a professional genealogist about ten years ago and in July 2011 I received certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
I have not a drop of French blood in me, but my children are half French. In searching for their French ancestors, I began to learn and am still learning about genealogy in France. I have made enough progress that I now write for others about their French ancestors. Each search reveals so much about the genealogical culture in France -- so much that is interesting, amusing, baffling, or disturbing -- that I decided to share what I learn about "la généalogie" as I go on the journey.