From Passion to Profession ~ Taking a Leap of Faith

The love, enjoyment and excitement of personal genealogy runs deep but how do we know when it is the right time to take the huge leap of faith into the business world to become a professional genealogist?

After about fifteen years of active researching I took a baby step by drafting a business plan and creating an LLC, but when my career took an unexpected turn I knew the time was just not right. Fast forward five years later, with excitement and renewed determination, off I go! Believing strongly in the value of good planning, my “off I go” moment meant getting a good running start toward the cliff to avoid plummeting over to a heartbreaking crash and burn ending. Now the passion has led to planning and the planning has led to a profession. Becoming a professional genealogist changes the direction from a carefree personal hobby to a focused business commitment to provide clients with an amazing opportunity to discover their family history.

The name Ancestors Cove is a personal inspiration from family history, sentimental places and a tribute to my Covell ancestors who I feel especially close to despite the 20-year brick wall they’ve built in front of me. Their story starts in upstate New York where they worked on the Erie Canal and as ship’s carpenters. They would later come to settle in a little town on the bay in New Jersey where I grew up with the lighthouse just about a mile off shore, an endearing site to this day each time I see it. Still living in that same small town, I often look across the bay to the lighthouse and walk the same streets as my ancestors did when they came here in the 1880s, believing they are watching over me as I record their lives and their stories.

One of those ancestors has led me on a zigzagging path that reminds me of the Winchester Mystery House in California with doors and stairs that go nowhere. That would be the elusive Jackson Covell who is beyond a brick wall, he is more like a fortress. Few people who know me have not heard about Jackson and my quest to find out who his parents were. Yes, we all have our brick walls and they can be challenging and frustrating, BUT…following a personal revelation recently, I have come away with a whole new perspective. If I had easily found his line twenty years ago I would never have the skills and expertise that I have today. He has taken me down rabbit holes that have provided me with extensive research experience in repositories, cemeteries, probate and vital records offices and most recently DNA testing. So, thank you Jackson for the immeasurable resilience I now have in an unwavering search for long lost ancestors and take note of the subliminal nod to you with the little J as the tree root in my logo.

I look forward to toasting the breaking down my brick wall with the bottle of local wine bought during the last of five upstate NY research excursions since that is about all I came home with this last time, but I’m still as determined as ever.

So, cheers and thank you for joining me on this wonderful journey to Ancestors Cove. I look forward to helping find YOUR elusive ancestors and adding more branches to your family tree and stories to your personal family history.


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