Laura H. Congleton

Expert Author

Laura is a NYC-based professional genealogist with more than 20 years experience in family history research. Over the years, she has helped clients with research on a number of topics, but specializes in Civil War research and the preparation of lineage society applications. Her work has involved the use of a variety of original records, including immigration & naturalization papers, vital records, divorce papers, wills, deeds, city directories, state census returns, military records, and cemetery records, to name but a few. In 2005, Laura received a Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Award for Civil War research she has been conducting at the NY State Archives in Albany. Laura is compiling details on all of the men from Owego (Tioga County, NY) who enlisted to fight for the Union.

Laura is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG), the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (NYGBS), the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), and Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865 (DUVCW). Laura was New York Department President of the latter in 2007-2008.

Favorite Genealogy Quote

"Shh! Be very, very quiet.... I'm hunting forebears."

What are your specific genealogical interests?

Laura specializes in Union veterans of the Civil War, New York City research (mostly 19th and 20th century), and lineage society applications.

What got you into genealogy?

A box of old letters given to Laura's mother was what kindled Laura's desire to do genealogical research.

Most surprising genealogical find:

Many genealogical discoveries are surprising, so it is hard to single one out. However, one of Laura's earliest genealogical surprises wasn't really research-related. One of those old letters her mother received was written to a genealogy bookstore established in Boston, MA in 1898. When Laura was in college, she visited Boston and discovered the bookstore was still there! It had quite a treasure trove of family history books, and she bought one that had her mother listed in it! Laura loves that one of her ancestors had also shopped there. She's sorry to say that Goodspeed's Book Shop has since gone out of business. Laura always enjoyed wandering through the stacks and wishes there were more genealogy book stores around today.

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

Most historical greats have already had their genealogies researched and published. Laura would be far more interested in tracing a random person whose name she stumbled across.

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