In 1980 a friend asked me to help his cousin with his genealogy. I agreed and found myself immersed in a hobby that has stood the test of time. My local librarian was the top genealogist in the state at that time and took me under her wing. Through multiple jobs, many moves, surgeries and other trying times, my research has provided me challenges, a wonderful 'cousin' network, and solace in an often stressful life.
In 1981 I purchased a TI-994A computer. I had the first hard drive on my block and knew that all the paper clutter genealogy creates could be held on that hard drive. I also wanted reports and searches I could not do easily on paper. I taught myself the Pascal programming language and several months later Genealogy Workshop, the first database for genealogy research, was born. Workshop was marketed for 7 years, an eternity in the computer software world.
Fast forward to today. I have moved from hobbyist to Professional Genealogist. I am settled in one location, active in my local Genealogical Society, teaching genealogy 16 weeks a year, conducting private research, holding workshops, and working with DNA matches. I "Do Genealogy" fulltime. My own continuing education is a weekly activity.
DNA testing reopened a world familiar to me. I learned a lot about genetics when breeding Appaloosa horses. Genetic Genealogy is the reverse. When breeding horses, I was creating a 'product', I am now using DNA to try to find clues to the origins of the 'product' (the person whom DNA tested).
I love genealogy for the challenge of the research and the stories that make history real. DNA has given me cousins I would not have found with traditional research alone. I have busted brick walls, some that have stood for over 20 years, and opened previously unknown lines of research for my clients and myself.