About Nancy

Nancy’s Story

I was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, home of the Pony Express. When I was 10-years-old, my dad moved us to San Diego, where he had found a better job.  Except for a brief stint when I returned to Missouri for college, I’ve lived in San Diego most of my life.

reed cemeteryI have an absolute passion for the frontier west. Most of my travels are to the backroads of the west, poking my nose into the places where history happened. I think the place that stunned me the most was Pecos National Historical Park, near Santa Fe, New Mexico. That’s because I realized I was walking the same ground that Coronado walked 500 years earlier. It gave me chills.

But of course I love trips that involve finding family history and stories. See that photo of me wearing the red shirt? It was taken during a genealogy trip to Reed Cemetery near Harrisonville, Missouri. There, in an overgrown and untended cemetery I (with the help of Harrisonville genealogists) found the final resting place of my great-great-grandparents. That was a day I’ll never forget.

When I have time, I read a lot – primarily books about American history. I’m also an avid iPhoneographer and cemetery explorer.

10 Things You May Not Know About Me

  1. The branch of my family tree that gives me the biggest challenge is Hendrickson. Go figure
  2. My Civil War great-great-grandfather was wounded at Shiloh – this is the first family story I remember.
  3. I take at least one major genealogy/history trip every year with my sister.
  4. I am a minimalist.
  5. I have been interviewed about genealogy by the New York Times.
  6. I didn’t know either of my grandfathers.
  7. I have strong memories of my dad eating radish and butter sandwiches.
  8. I have found four Revolutionary War ancestors but have never joined the D.A.R.
  9. I was shocked that my DNA came back 14% Irish. Who’d a guessed?
  10. I wish I had the stamina to walk 50 miles of the Oregon Trail.

A Few of My Books

Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com

Unofficial Ancestry.com Workbook

Online Records Guidebook

Genealogist’s U.S. History Pocket Reference

Save Your Family Stories - 10 Easy Steps