Joe Everett is a genealogist at FamilySearch working to help people discover their family history. He recently returned to FamilySearch, after spending 7 1/2 years at, working to put new databases online. Joe is currently managing an international team of research consultants who assist people at the Family History Library and worldwide through Internet learning tools. Joe was previously the head of International Reference at the Family History Library, and also worked for several years there as a technical services librarian, cataloging Slavic and Germanic records. Joe earned a B.A. in Russian Language and in Family History/Genealogy (Germanic emphasis) from Brigham Young University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (Kansas). He has been a member of various library and genealogical associations and has lectured and published articles on Germanic & Slavic family history and Central & East European historical geography and migration.

29 July 2011

Discovering a New Cousin

I was attending one of several lectures by D. Joshua Taylor this week at the BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy when up flashed the name of one of my ancestors on the screen.  I spoke to Josh afterward and, lo and behold, we share the same 3rd great-grandfather.  Josh's name has been familiar to me, but I didn't realize that it wasn't just because he is well-known in genealogy circles. In fact, Josh has been a member of the family association that I started, and also a member of my online family tree, for quite some time now.  I just didn't connect before now that it was the same person.  What's more, he has sent me some of the best stuff that has been shared on the family site.  I have several documents about the family that he mailed to me, including early 19th century land grants signed by President Andrew Jackson as well pension files and other records.  He was finding these and sending them to share on our family site more than 11 years ago--when he was only 14 or 15 years old!  Josh got hooked on genealogy when he was only about 10 and soon after was to be seen frequenting genealogy conferences.  He was presenting lectures while still in his teens, and is now at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, with two masters degrees under his belt, still in his twenties.  As a professional genealogist nearing 40, I was impressed with how much I learned this week from Josh, who has been at this nearly as long as I have, though he is a dozen years my junior.  And here I thought, having started this at age 19, that I was one of the representatives of the young generation of genealogists! It doesn't depress me, though, or make me feel old.  I am just happy to see that this wonderful pursuit of family history is capturing the energy and the passion of each succeeding generation.