Shelley Bishop’s interest in genealogy started when she was 14 and her grandmother shared a book on their family history. She poured over the book, drawing up a simple lineage chart going back six generations. But she set aside her interest for many years as she went to college, married, worked at The Columbus Dispatch, and started a family. She picked up her family history again in 2001—this time with the help of a computer. A few years later, she began working toward her goal of becoming a professional genealogist.
Today, as the owner of Buckeye Family Trees, Shelley specializes in helping clients find and document their Ohio ancestors. Her services include record searches, consultations and research plans, complete genealogical research and evidence analysis, and lineage society applications.
Shelley shares her personal genealogy discoveries as well as tips, resources, and experiences on her blog, A Sense of Family. She enjoys tracing her and her husbands’ ancestors through Ohio and back to their origins in other states, uncovering the stories of their past in the process. Her interest in genealogy institutes, courses, conferences, webinars, and other educational opportunities makes the “Gen Ed” column a natural fit for her. She has completed the NGS Home Study Course and the ProGen Study Group program, and has attended institute courses at IGHR, SLIG, and GRIP.
Shelley and her husband live in Columbus, Ohio, and have three college-age children. When she can tear herself away from genealogy, she enjoys reading, traveling, and relaxing with friends and family. She welcomes comments and questions from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shelley Bishop is the author of IDG’s monthly genealogy education column, Gen Ed.
Go In-Depth with Shelley:
What is one tip you would give a newbie genealogist?
If you’re just starting the search for your family history—or even if you’ve been at it for a while—I suggest interviewing older family members. Ask your grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives about what their life was like growing up, and what they can tell you about their parents and grandparents. This will give you a leg up on your research and a “feel” for your family history that no database can provide. If you record the conversation on an inexpensive digital tape recorder, you can transfer it to your computer for safekeeping.
What is your favorite blog post from your personal website?
One of my favorite posts is “Social History Resources for Genealogists”. For me, social history—the way ordinary people lived, moved, coped with hardship, and raised their families—is the heart and soul of genealogy. Another favorite is “You Never Know Unless You Ask”. It tells the story of how I came into my all-time best family history find—just by asking a simple question!
What is the most creative way you have shared your ancestor stories?
Starting a blog was the best thing I’ve done to get my stories and discoveries out into the world. It enables me to tell the stories in small pieces, which is easier than tackling a whole book. And it allows other people—including “cousins” I’ve never met—to find those stories and connect with me. Many members of my extended family now read my blog, and I’ve made a number of new friends, too. I’ve found blogging to be a fun and effective way to share the stories of my ancestors.
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© Copyright 2013 Shelley Bishop
Shelley Bishop is a genealogy researcher and family history writer who finds tracing and telling the stories of ancestors a fascinating pursuit. She offers a variety of professional services at Buckeye Family Trees, http://www.buckeyefamilytrees.com, specializing in researching ancestors in Ohio. Shelley shares her family history tips, discoveries, resources, and experiences on her blog, A Sense of Family, http://www.asenseoffamily.com. She writes on genealogy topics for several publications. Shelley contributes the Gen Ed column, covering all types of genealogy education and learning, for The In-Depth Genealogist, http://www.theindepthgenealogist.com.
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