Glen Covert

Glen Covert

Glen W. Covert, M.A., a social scientist, has researched genealogy and family history for over 20 years. His genealogical research and writing are informed by his multidisciplinary interests in US and Central European cultural history, international relations, and theatre.

Glen interned at the Genealogy Department of the Seattle Central Library, has a BA in History and German from Willamette University, is an alumnus of Portland Actors Conservatory, earned a master�s in the Social Sciences (focus: 19th century Austrian cultural history) from The University of Chicago, and received a postgraduate certificate in International Studies from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.

As an international cultural relations expert, Glen has published extensively on historical, humanitarian, and international relations topics as Newark History Examiner, Refugee & Immigration Issues Examiner, US contributor to the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna�s News Review, and as contributor and editorial writer for European Weekly. He covered the Beatification Ceremony of Austria-Hungary�s last emperor-king, Karl I, as a freelance press correspondent for the Embassy of Austria at Washington.

Glen has three publications on genealogy-related themes:

Since December 2010, as owner of Glen W. Covert Professional Genealogist, Glen channels his multidisciplinary expertise into his passion for genealogy and helps others find their family histories. His website is and he can be reached via email at

Glen is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Articles by this author

Favorite genealogy quote:

�Those who do not look upon themselves as a link, connecting the past with the future, do not perform their duty to the world.� - Daniel Webster

What are your specific genealogical interests?

My current specific genealogical expertise include US, German, and Austrian genealogy, noble lineages, and heraldry.

What got you into genealogy?

I got my start in genealogy when in the 7th Grade. For my history class, we were all required to do a Reach Project. Out of three possible projects topics (history of your hometown, story of your immediate family, your family�s genealogy), I decided to research my genealogy because I knew nothing about it. In other words, my start in genealogy was by complete chance.

Over the course of the three-month project, I discovered I was not the first in my family to research our family history. Four specific things caught my attention and curiosity as I was learning about my history and plotting out my family tree, though. I learned that:

  • I had colonial ancestry, including perhaps a Mayflower line of descent, via my paternal grandmother
  • I descended from Austrian nobility via my maternal grandfather�s paternal grandmother
  • Many female lines on my paternal grandmother�s side were unfortunately not yet traced
  • Nearly nothing was known about my paternal grandfather�s family

These points planted in me a seed, gave me the incentive to continue researching beyond the school project. I set out to learn more about all four.

Most surprising genealogical find:

I would say I have one case surprise and one topic surprise.


When in college, I did some research for a friend of mine who knew nothing about his father, not even his name. I managed to obtain my friend�s full birth certificate. It blew my away, to say nothing for my friend. At 55 or so, he learned that he was named after his father. My friend was a �Junior�. He had �known� his father�s name all his life.


There is an assumption that noble genealogies are easier to trace since the records of the nobility were often (better) kept. While this is true that nobles usually did keep (better) records of their family histories, I have come to discover that genealogies of the nobility can be as difficult or even more difficult to trace than commoner genealogies.

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

Honestly, my passion lies in tracing genealogies, learning about family histories, and discovering family cultural heritages. The stature, wealth, or social class of a particular person makes no difference for me.

I would be very interested, however, to discover the genealogy or genealogies that link Western Antiquity to modern day Europe. Such a discovery would speak volumes about historical and cultural continuity and discontinuity in European history. And by this, no, I am not talking about proving any conspiracy theories, per se.

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