My Genealogical Experience
My first experience with genealogy was in 1982 while on a family vacation coming home from Florida (the longest drive ever!!). My mother decided to take a detour through northern Georgia to research my Dad’s family in Gilmer County, GA. My sister and I were “Index Checkers” for my mom. We had a lot of fun finding our last name! [Hint! Hint! Recruiting technique!]
It took 7 years for the bug to “bite” me, but after my Dad’s mom had visited for Christmas in 1989, I started actively researching her family. It was a rough start; however I was successful in finding info on my great-grandmother and had the wonderful experience of sharing it with my grandmother. (My great-grandmother died six months after the birth of my grandmother.) Through my 20+ years of my family research, I have had the opportunity to learn about many areas of genealogy, especially my Cherokee and Ukrainian families. My husband’s family has proven to be a backyard research treasure trove as well. His lines have taken me to new areas of research (Moravian and Colonial New Jersey). Beyond my own research, I am a County Coordinator for the USGenWeb Project (Warren Co., NJ).
In 2001, I had to opportunity to pursue professional genealogy on a full-time basis, and offer genealogical research services for central and northern New Jersey. During the past 20+ years, I have used many types of records from local to state level and public to private in New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the countries of Poland and Austria-Hungary.
Prior to my working full-time as a genealogist, I was a client service representative and manager with a national financial company for 11 years. My positions provided experience in technological and project management skills as well as providing quality service to my customers.
As the former Education Chairperson for the Monmouth County Genealogy Society (2000-2005), I have had to opportunity to develop new lectures and plan workshops. Currently, I lecture for local genealogical societies and libraries in New Jersey. My experience with the Internet and web design is being utilized in my position as webmaster for the The Genealogical Society of New Jersey and various USGenWeb projects.
During 2003-2008, as Trustee with The Genealogical Society of New Jersey, my experience with websites and data automation grew through data automation projects with the assistance of society volunteers. Also, I became active with the GSNJ Newsletter editorial committee and also served as the Editor for the GSNJ Newsletter.
In 2007, I began compiling my portfolio for certification with the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, however the completion was put on hold in 2008 due to family business commitments.
I have presented genealogical lectures to audiences on a local, county, state and national level (FGS 2008) and also via online chat sessions. An exciting and wonderful experience was the research I completed for the Brooke Shields’ episode for NBC’s show “Who Do You Think You Are?” which led me to the opportunity to appear in the actual filming which aired in April 2010.
— Michelle Tucker Chubenko
Jersey Roots Genealogy — http://www.jerseyrootsgenealogy.com/