Betty Lou Malesky's working career was spent in accounting but her heart was always in genealogy. Vacations and weekends since 1963 were often spent doing family research. After retiring for the third time in 1999, she's devoted most of her time to genealogy, her own and clients. Her favorite research subjects are women, so long forgotten by genealogists who only wrote about the male line.
Betty�s goal to become Board Certified was achieved it in April 2008 when she became Certified Genealogist number 977. She is a graduate of the IGHR Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama courses in "Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis" and "Writing and Publishing for Genealogists." She has also attended the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy as well as too many conferences and workshops to mention. Betty is a native of Cleveland, Ohio but has lived in Tucson and Green Valley, Arizona since 1984.
Betty has written a bi-weekly newspaper column "Genealogy Today" for the Green Valley News since 2005. She also had an article published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly in December 2009. She plans to publish a genealogy about one of her ancestors, Dr. Gaius Smith and descendants of his five daughters through 1930.
What are your specific genealogical interests?
Pre 1900s research, particularly colonial New England, New York and New Jersey is my passion. I enjoy problem solving, my own and those of other people. I also like teaching and writing about genealogical methodology as good research habits make good researchers.
What got you into genealogy?
When I was 14 years old I met my paternal great grandfather, Meredith Allen Jenkins for the first and only time. He was then 90 years old and died within a few months. He was very interesting to listen to and had an excellent memory. While we were with him, he told me many stories of when he was a young man in the 1870s and 1880s. In his 70s, he compiled a history of the descendants of his grandparents that fascinated me. As my father and I drove home, I thought about all the other grandparents I had that I would never meet. And thus another genealogist was born!
Most surprising genealogical find:
Just three years ago I made the most exciting discovery in nearly 50 years of genealogical research. I finally succeeded in finding the identity of a 4th great grandmother, Mary Champlin. Tracking her ancestry back led to Anne Marbury Hutchinson, a woman I had read about and admired when I was a teenager. She was tried for heresy in Massachusetts and banished to Rhode Island in 1638 where she was responsible for founding what is now the city of Portsmouth. There is a life- size bronze statue commemorating her in front of the State House in Boston.
If you could find the family history of any historical great, who would it be and why?
My choice is Mary Cassatt. As a female artist in a man's world, she overcame her family's objections and continued to study and paint, eventually being able to support herself through her art. As an impressionist painter she developed her own style. Her paintings are vibrant with her use of color to portray images. She was one of the first to join the woman�s suffrage movement in the early 1900s.
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