Daniel M. Lynch
Dan Lynch authored the award-winning genealogy book "Google Your Family Tree". A popular International presenter at genealogy conferences and workshops, his articles have appeared in many leading family history publications. A fourth-generation American of Irish and Italian descent, Dan has enjoyed the many challenges of researching his family history since the late 1970s. He is a Life Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, as well as a Life Member and former vice president of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists. Dan is widely recognized for his passion and knowledge of family history and has made numerous television appearances, including ABCs "Good Morning America."
As a marketing consultant based in Connecticut, Dan is one of few professionals focused on the International market for genealogy products and services. His career in the technology sector began at Cullinet Software in 1984. This early involvement in the personal computer industry was further strengthened by online commerce roles in the mid-1990s and serves as a strong foundation for Dan's unique understanding of creating and marketing products in this age of the Internet. After fifteen years in the computer industry, Dan focused his skills on the emerging online market for genealogy and in 1998 joined Ancestry, Inc. as vice president of business development. Following three years at Ancestry, Dan worked for the A&E Television Network during their brief ownership of Genealogy.com and the Family Tree Maker software franchise. Since establishing Mattatuck Consulting in 2003, Dan has worked closely with The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation (New York), FindMyPast (London), and other clients inside and outside the genealogy sector.
Favorite Genealogy Quote
"No, I'm sorry — you have to be at least 18 years old to see the vital records. Maybe you could come back sometime with your mom or dad." — Town Clerk (1977, Waterbury CT)
What are your specific genealogical interests?
Genealogical interests? Isn't that a bit redundant? Sorry, I couldn't resist. While I enjoy nearly every aspect of genealogy and learning more about the areas I'm least familiar with, I do have a few favorites. I really enjoy Italian genealogy and looking through original, hand-written, Italian records — the older the better. Old cemeteries intrigue me too . . . I can't drive by one without stopping for a look. My other favorite is the use of technology for many different aspects of family history. I'm always impressed to learn of innovative ways others are using technology to develop cutting edge applications for our use as family historians.
What got you into genealogy?
I didn't realize it at the time, but in looking back now, I can clearly recall a few events that had an impact on my interest in family and local history.
Alex Haley's ROOTS aired as an eight-night miniseries on U.S. television in January 1977. I can remember watching this with my parents, brothers and sisters, and my maternal grandmother who also lived with us. The timing or ROOTS, just six months after the American Bi-Centennial celebration in July 1976, kept the theme of 'looking back' fresh in my mind. My hometown of Waterbury, CT had also celebrated its' 300th birthday in 1974 and the parade and other celebrations are still clear in my mind — I was 12 at the time.
One last thing comes to mind — a project in grade school. I researched (at a real library, no less), the life of Thomas Lynch, signer of the Declaration of Independence. I had forgotten about this until a few years ago when I found the original report saved among my papers. I have no known family connection, but as a sixth-grader . . . anything was possible.
Most surprising genealogical find:
My next one! I'm more surprised by the things that seem to have eluded me after years of searching. Each and every find is interesting — no matter how small, but I'm truly obsessed with the things I've not yet found because I know the clues are out there somewhere. That's the very thing that keeps me going.
If you could find the family history of any historical great, who would it be and why?
Any one of my tenth great grandparents! Even though historical figures are interesting, I'd be far more interested in uncovering details for my own family from 200, 300 or 400 years ago. Where exactly did they live? What was their daily life like? What did they envision for their children, grandchildren, and beyond? That would be an amazing discovery for me.