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An Interview with MGC Staff: Meet Wendy

Published on Thu, 09/13/2012 - 11:20am

Wendy’s interest in genealogy began at an early age. Wanting to learn more about her family, Wendy started asking questions at age fourteen. She had several older relatives she was not acquainted with, so she asked her parents to write these older relatives to ask them questions. A new, exciting find just revealed itself in a line that came to America in 1638. No one else in her family had anything on this particular family. These ancestors were one of the founding families in the coastal town of Rowley, Massachusetts, just north of Boston. "Everyone in my family is very excited about this find," Wendy said enthusiastically. This family consisted of two brothers. Wendy was able to track one brother back to his family in England. She has not been able to find anything on the other brother, so she is going to continue working on this brick wall.

One resource Wendy particularly enjoys using are the city directories here at the Midwest Genealogy Center. "City directories can tell so many stories as you trace buildings, families, even streets back through time. Buildings changed ownership, thus changing even the business occupying that building. Families moved, even street names were changed." Wendy has fun just browsing through the ads included in these directories. Along those same lines, one of Wendy’s favorite MCPL's databases is the Digital Sanborn Maps. These maps can answer so many questions about the history of a city, its businesses, and buildings as you trace the building from map to map to map. They can also help in your genealogy.

Wendy uses the website Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records. She likes the fact that the website is constantly being updated. "Not only can you search for your ancestors’ graves, but it is fun just poking around this website. You can look for famous people and find a little bit of everything and everyone."

Charlotte M. & Wendy S.
Midwest Genealogy Center

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