|The Genealogy Dames
Peeling Back the Layers
Sheila has had the opportunity to use and improve her research skills while working for a large institute of higher learning, as well as in her own family history research. After many years, she decided to combine her work and personal abilities and help others find their ancestors. “Peeling back the layers” are more than words – I want to find the stories and make ancestors into real people.
The pursuit of family history tends to be shaped by several motivations, including the desire to carve out a place for one’s family in the larger historical picture, a sense of responsibility to preserve the past for future generations, and a sense of self-satisfaction in accurate storytelling.
My quest began back in the 1980’s when I decided to search for my biological parents. Knowing I was adopted at a young age, I always wondered who I looked like and made up stories as to why they had to give me up. As an adult, I still wondered ‘who I came from’.
I was new to genealogy at a time when there was no quick and easy internet search. I started by gathering information, searching for more documentation and following thin lines of hope. It took about 5 years before I stumbled on a possible birth mother. I had my first victory when we met face to face. With that discovery came half siblings.
I was excited and motivated! I jumped feet first into finding all the ancestors I could.
Fast forward to today. I have found both biological parents, hundreds of ‘cousins’ an even made a trip to Scotland to visit my maternal grandfather’s home.
In-between looking for my cousins I started helping out others who were new to genealogy. I found it was just as exhilarated finding their ancestors as I was finding mine.
And so, the Genealogy Dames was born.
|Sheila Thayer has over 15 years experience working as a research strategist for a large higher education institute. She holds a Library Technician degree from the Highline Community College, studied Information Management for 2 years at the University of Washington and previously co-owned a small business in Washington State. She has been doing genealogy research for 25 years and looks forward to solving the puzzles.
APG (Association of Professional Genealogists)