Mixing business & family

My husband Rus was not interested in genealogy when we married. He wasn't simply uninterested - he HATED IT! He steered clear of all aspects of my work for years. When I had an accident a couple of years ago and was having problems maintaining my case load, he stepped up to help. The change started slowly. Now he can't stop talking about genealogy. Some times in the evenings I have to say to him, "Let's not talk about work." What a role reversal! We work together beautifully. I'm lucky to have him as my partner in life and in business.

For years, I've worried about what would happen to my personal genealogy and my business. Real genealogists will tell you that this pursuit is all-encompassing. I needed a succession plan, but the problem has always been that none of my 3 sons were very interested in pursuing genealogy. In 2014 while still in high school, my oldest granddaughter Em began to show a spark of interest. She helped me understand basic DNA concepts and inheritance patterns (yes, in many ways they are smarter than we are) and worked just a bit on one of her friend's ancestors, but she had life goals and genealogy was not one of them. During her last couple of years at Ga. Tech, we decided she'd help with the military repatriation cases. Her dual fields of study at Tech involved heavy analysis, and she is a natural genealogist with a good understanding of standards. Still, I knew she would graduate and begin her corporate job and leave genealogy behind.

She graduated from Tech in December and landed a great analyst job in Atlanta. One day a week or so ago she texted me and asked, "How would one go about getting Certified if one wanted to?" You know what I thought: YES! YES! Was she hooked? Maybe. She loves Genetic Genealogy. She admires CeCe Moore and her work. She listens to crime podcasts about unidentified Does and has a desire to help. I explained she didn't need to be Certified to help with Doe and similar projects. We discussed the process and she's committed to working toward Certification. If all goes well, I anticipate she'll move on to ProGen Study Group and be one step closer. Fingers crossed.

After Em landed her new job, I asked other grands if anyone wanted Em's job, and Emma Grace (EG) decided she might like genealogy. She has shadowed Em for months. We've begun slowly. She's become our Lucid Chart guru and she's learning basic genealogy concepts and methodology. She's bright. She's enthusiastic. She's eager to learn and do well. Unlike many of us who have had to try to break bad research habits, she's learning to research the correct way and learning early to adhere to standards.

It's interesting to have my family involved in genealogical pursuits. I love working with them. We laugh. We talk about our work at family dinners. We work on problems together, and we complain to each other about lack of record access. We've become really close, and I love it. Moving from no succession plan to this is Heaven. Both Rus and Em have enrolled in the NGS Genealogy Study courses. I anticipate EG will follow in the next couple of years.

Life can unfold in the most amazing ways when you least expect it.

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© 2021 • Yvonne Mashburn Schmidt, The Georgia Genealogist, Inc., Vidalia, GA •  Georgia Research • Genetic Genealogy *  Military Repatriation • DNA AnalysisPhoto on Home page by Debby Hudson on Unsplash. Family photo on Contact page by jesse orrico on Unsplash. Annie's photo used courtesy Lucy Hale, Annie's descendant.