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The goal of GenTracer is to discover the personal history of our clients and their ancestors in the United States of America and back into their country (or countries) of origin.

For a 20th century immigrant, that can be done by following the trail of the US census (1900-1930) which gives the ages and places of birth of each member of the household and their year(s) of immigration and naturalization, to the naturalization record which usually states the name of the ship and the date of arrival and the port of entry, to the passenger manifest which frequently gives the hometown in the country of origin. Other approaches are through the marriage record of the immigrant in the US, or the church records here in the US, which might name the hometown. Once we know the town, we can go into those birth, death and marriage records to learn more about your family.

For other families, the trail of the US census can be followed back, supplemented by civil or church birth, marriage, and death records. Frequently land and tax records provide the required information to determine the origin of each successive generation of the family. Military records (see also provide a lot of information about a family. Sooner or later, we locate the immigrant ancestors and follow them back into the records of their countries of origin.

Here at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, we have access to the above records, plus the microfilmed birth, marriage, and death records of many European towns. We can frequently locate the birth of the immigrant in those records. We can work back from there locating the marriage, births, parents, siblings, etc. back in time to the earliest of those records.

If you send the dates and places of birth, marriage or death of your grandparents, we can send you a more specific research proposal.

We like to start around 1900 or 1930 and work back one generation at a time, locating source documents, to be sure of following your specific families through the records. Sometimes this means discovering that your family records don't fit the family legend you learned as a child. Frequently it means that you find new information about your family. Wherever your family trail leads geographically, ethnically, religiously, or racially - we believe that each branch is part of the great "brotherhood of man". I show my age as well as my inclinations in quoting that old folk song title. But I want to be sure that both the client and researcher are more interested in learning the facts than in maintaining an old family legend which may not be based in fact.

If you would like to join with us in such a "voyage of discovery", we would love to help you locate and prove your ancestry as far as the records allow.

We have colleagues who specialize in research in the US and in many different European records, so you'll be sure of the quality of research. We also like to work with four-hour projects so that we can maximize the communication between client and researcher. This time block also enables the client to change the direction of research to another branch of the family as directed by interest or new information.

A four-hour project ($250) in the records usually extends a line two or three generations and includes research log, pedigree chart, family group sheets, copies of documents, and translations as necessary.

Rates are payable in advance. Check or money order can be sent to Kathy Kirkpatrick, PO Box 11955, Salt Lake City, UT 84147.

Or, you can use this PayPal link:

If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to ask through the email link below. I look forward to hearing from you.

GenTracer Kathy Kirkpatrick

e-mail You can always reach me here!
© Kathy Kirkpatrick 1998-2015