Michael Pollock has been a professional genealogist since 1974 when he joined the staff of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Since leaving the DAR in 1977 he has freelanced both directly for individuals, businesses and even a non-profit, and well as through networks such as AskAPro at the now-defunct Everton Publishing Company as a "professional consultant", with Expert Connect at Ancestry.com, likewise defunct, as an "expert provider" completing in the nearly 2 years it operated 85 projects with rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars, and most recently, also as an "expert provider", with GenealogyFreeLancers.com.
While his specific geographic areas of specialization are Southern research in general and Virginia/West Virginia in particular, at the DAR he processed applications from every region of the United States and even from the Lafayette chapter in Paris, France (being the only one on staff at the time able to read and write French), and his maternal ancestry is from what is now the Slovak Republic.
He has had articles published in a number of magazines, including Heritage Quest (for which he also wrote a brief-lived column called "So You Thought Your Research Was Done"), Virginia Magazine of Genealogy, Southside Virginian, National Genealogical Society Quarterly, and Adams Addenda. He was editor/ publisher of Frederick Findings, Pollock Potpourri, and Morgan Migrations. His books include a Genealogy of President Ronald Wilson Reagan, The Morton Family of Southside Virginia, Marriages of Henrico County, Virginia and Methodist Church Records of Gloucester County, Virginia.
Projects that he still hopes to complete include a comprehensive gazetteer of place names in Virginia and definitive study of Virginian participation in the American Revolution modeled on both Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors and a series of articles he published in Frederick Findings that some attribute as the basis for his recognition in Marquis' Who's Who in the South & Southwest, 1997-1998.
He works frequently in the area of forensic genealogist where his clients have included Walmart, Lawyer's Title Insurance Company, AT&T and Dominion Resources.
Articles by this author
- The Tax Man Cometh...Never Overlook Tax Records In Virginia Or Elsewhere
- Take Me Back To Olde Virginie: No Fee, On-Line Resources for Genealogical Research
- You Don't Know What You May Be Missing: Using Order Books & Chancery Papers
- Where Do I Find...? Identifying Place Names and Their Possible Significance
- Howell To Reed Difficult Handrighting
- Digging Up Bones: Locating Cemeteries And Identifying People In Them
- The Importance Of Using Original Records
Favorite genealogy quote:
My favorite quote is actually one I believe I was the first to use-"Genealogy is the world's only legal pyramid scheme!"What are your specific genealogical interests?
In addition to those already stated, my genealogical interests include court order books, migrations routes into and out of Virginia, locating and publishing records for localities that have suffered significant loss of records.What got you into genealogy?
I got involved with genealogy when I took a job one the genealogical staff of the DAR to help cover expenses while working on my PhD in Russian Areas Studies.Most surprising genealogical find:
That is a tough call between 3 different cases: a)discovering in King George, Virginia, Court Order Book 1728-1750 evidence that Thomas Cresap, widely acknowledged as the founder, ca. 1735, of Cumberland, MD, was likely living in the area of Cumberland as early as 1728; b)discovering in that same record book containing a will of 1748 from James City County that was published by the late, great George Harrison Sanford King, the complete text of a 1668 Stafford County, Virginia, will and 1693 deed from James City County, neither of which exist any longer in their original county of record, that King missed because neither was acknowledged in the index to the book, being "testimony" in a lawsuit over the ownership of a tract of land lying in both Stafford and King George; and c)discovering in the manuscript collection of Swem Library of the College of William & Mary a collection of Methodist Church records for Gloucester County the years 1840 to 1910 containing numerous references to marriages, and deaths for which there are no corresponding civil records, then being approached by an used book dealer with another manuscript that proved to be an earlier "companion" to the records at Swem.If you could find the family history of any historical great, who would it be and why?
As Polk is a variant spelling of my own surname, I would like to do a definitive genealogy of the Pollock family that would identify how everyone of the surname is related to each other, i.e., differentiate between those who descend for Fulbert, commonly cited as the "founder" of the Pollock "family" by virtue of a grant of the "Barony" of Pollok in Ayrshire, Scotland, for his support of the claim of Henry Plantaganet in a "civil war" between Henry's mother Matilda, daughter of King Henry I and a granddaughter of William the Conqueror, and Stephen de Blois.
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