Katharine Garstka

Expert Author

Katharine Garstka is a researcher, writer, and genealogist. She focuses on Southern families, though such research inevitably leads to other parts of the United States or overseas. She also specializes in research for lineage society applications.

Ms. Garstka holds a B.A. in English from U.C.L.A., and a Master's in Library Science from the University of Arizona. She has attended genealogical seminars at the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University in Birmingham, and after completing the National Genealogical Society's American Genealogy course, served as a grader for two lessons. She has also completed a Genealogy Consultant training program at the DAR Library in Washington, D.C.

She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, and the Alabama Genealogical Society. She is a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865.

Favorite Genealogy Quote

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What are your specific genealogical interests?

My interests lie principally in the southern United States, and in the groups that settled that area. I am also interested in lineage society research, as I enjoy the challenge of finding documentation and connecting the generations back to specific historical events.

What got you into genealogy?

My mother had been interested in genealogy all her life, and I was lucky enough to inherit all her notes. Once I saw what was missing in her research, I wanted to know more. And when I began finding relatives I didn't know about, I was hooked.

Most surprising genealogical find:

I've had a number of surprises, but one I found especially interesting was that one of my great-grandfathers in Arkansas served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

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

I can't think of anyone famous whose family history interests me, but I always want to know the story behind the facts about "ordinary" people. I want to understand what happened in their lives, not just that they lived and died.

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