Donald Edwards is a published California writer and
professional genealogist. He has written genealogical articles
for the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly
and, Heritage Quest Magazine. Donald authored Making the Most
of Sonoma County, A California Guide and coauthored the
Insight Guides Northern California guidebook.
He is a member of the Association of Professional
Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, the California
Genealogical Society and the Bay Area Travel Writers. Donald teaches
writing classes at the California Genealogical Society.
What are your specific genealogical interests?
American families in the West and South. As a genealogist and writer,
I have assisted western and southern families seeking Revolutionary War,
Gold Rush, Civil War, California Wine Country, and 1906 San Francisco
earthquake records. I enjoy having relatives or clients learn more about their families.
What got you into genealogy?
When I was a teenager, Lillian Wright Bethea, my maternal grandmother, told me stories about her parent�s tribulations in the Civil War. Now, my 11 year old great nephew is interested his 10 Civil War ancestors.
Most surprising genealogical find:
I always ask my clients, �What makes your family unique.� This creates the teamwork
we need to discover their ancestors and their missing family members. The �unique� in my family are the biannual Bethea Family Reunions in Dillon County, South Carolina. At each reunion, 500 descendants of �English� John Bethea (ca 1680 - ca 1742) gather to visit ancestral homes, cemeteries and worship at a 200 year old family owned church. All American Betheas descend from the immigrant �English� John. The Betheas
have created a family website and published genealogies.
If you could find the family history of any historical great, who would it be and why?
President Andrew Jackson. His poor, immigrant parents left him a teenaged orphan,
who rose to greatness. Jackson�s Scots-Irish personality - forceful, determined, enterprising - fittingly made him America�s first populist president.