Kathleen Brandt

Expert Author

Kathleen Brandt has over ten years of experience in genealogical research and is called on for nationwide documentation retrieval and research, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) analysis, as well as family and lineage research.

After twenty years of international corporate management and five years of teaching college Spanish, French and English, Kathleen retired and devoted her time to genealogy research and writing. In addition to being a translator of Spanish and French, she has experience in German and Swedish records. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), Heartland Chapter, the National Genealogical Society and also volunteers at the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Mo.

Favorite Genealogy Quote

Those who do not look upon themselves as a link, connecting the past with the future, do not perform their duty to the world. - Daniel Webster

What are your specific genealogical interests?

I am most fascinated by the political and war impact on family migrations, and social history. I'm not partial to any particular era or location, as long as it is before 1930.

What got you into genealogy?

I always doubted my family's oral history and I wanted to either debunk or validate it.

Most surprising genealogical find:

Although I was surprised at what I didn't know about free-coloreds and Melungeons, my biggest surprise was my family DNA results. At the Morris family reunion, everyone was excited to learn what they assumed would be our affiliation with a particular African tribe. However, the DNA results revealed R1b1, European, with no matches of African or American Indian.

If you could find the family history of any historical great, who would it be and why?

I'm not particularly interested in historical greats, though I would love to delve into the life of Ned griffin. Ned, a mulatto slave of William Kitchen, fought in the Revolutionary War, NC militia, in exchange for his freedom. Kitchen reneged on his promise and Ned took him to court and won the freedom of himself and all his heirs. Ned is linked to my "free-colored" ancestry.

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