Heather Kramer, MLIS, CA, is a librarian and certified archivist who has been researching and writing about her family's history since she was a youngster! Even at an early age, Heather grew to value the connections between records, kinship, and heritage. Now as an informational professional, she provides education and services to others in their search for personal connections. Her professional philosophy includes assisting in the discovery of knowledge to enhance goals and personal efficacy.
During the past two years of living in Texas, Heather has organized and planned several genealogy workshops and seminars. As an advocate for the advancement of her field, she presented "From Hobby to Methodology: Understanding Genealogy to Provide Reference in Libraries and Archives," a research paper, at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference in April 2011. She has also presented on numerous topics to groups such as Texas Library Association, Louisiana Archives and Manuscripts Association, classroom students of all ages, the Boy and Girl Scouts, and various lineage societies.
Heather is an avid reader of social history resources and periodically reviews them through social media websites, most notably her Facebook page. Her research areas of interest include cemeteries and cemetery art, colonial America, Episcopal Church history in colonial America, early Scotch-Irish communities, archive collections, research methods, preservation, and web 2.0 concepts.
When not researching or helping others, Heather can be found at the beach with her family and her surfboard!
Favorite Genealogy Quote
"Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
What are your specific genealogical interests?
Although my interests vary, I find that I am drawn to cemeteries and cemetery art. Tombstones can be viewed as expressive of the traits of the individual it represents and is an important clue in understanding an ancestor. Among my other interests are the use of archives and special collections for genealogy research methods, colonial migrations west, the Scotch-Irish, and the use of technology in documenting and preserving the content of genealogy research.
What got you into genealogy?
My great-grandmother was English so I grew up with stories about our family in the Old Country including a first-hand account of what it was like living through the Great War. These were fascinating stories that relayed a part of what I consider my genealogical inheritance. As I heard more I developed a desire to learn more about the people in them, to develop a more personal connection through records, and to learn more about myself. Also, my great-aunt is an accomplished genealogist on east Texas, Louisiana, and lumber history. She continues to be my inspiration and partner in crime.
Most surprising genealogical find:
Although I enjoy learning about all my ancestors, I find that I really appreciate those of notorious actions. Horse thieves, tavern wenches, murderers, drunkards, religious upstarts, and bigamists all make the court records an interesting read.
If you could find the family history of any historical great, who would it be and why?
The great ones are those individuals and families that founded a new land, forged a nation, built cities and communities, and expanded civilization. Although the majority of them were not considered historical greats, their stories are the backbone of present society. The great benefit of family history is uncovering their stories one record at a time.
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