Saturday, April 2, 2011

Amy Coffin

When I announced on my blog and Twitter that I was going to the Rootstech Conference in Salt Lake City a number of kind North Americans offered me advice and friendship. Amongst these was Amy Coffin, a genealogist from Houston, Texas.

After getting myself  lost I arrived late and flustered to the pre-conference media dinner  in Salt Lake City; I was pleased to see Amy's familiar face across the room so I made a beeline for her. At the dinner I had a fabulous evening with Amy and Joan Miller who took me under their wings and from that time I did not feel at all lonely or lost at the huge conference.

I am honoured that Amy has taken the time to submit her profile to GeniMates.

Date 30 March 2011
Name Amy Coffin
Hometown Houston, Texas

Are you a Hobbyist or Professional Genealogist? Professional

What, if any, formal or informal studies have you undertaken that are relevant to genealogical research? I have a Master of Library and Information Science degree. I took as many classes as I could about research (especially online searching), databases, archives and records management.

I also completed Pro Gen 3, the third class of the ProGen study group ( This process provided many lessons on maintaining a research business.

What is your day job? Genealogist

How did you get hooked on genealogy? I have ancestors who were original enrollees in the Chickasaw Nation. It was my grandparents' wish our family also apply to become Citizens in the present day. While looking at the paperwork, I noticed that my great-grandfather was born in Arkansas. I never knew we had any roots in Arkansas. That was enough to get me looking, and I haven't stopped since that day!

What are your areas of Expertise in Genealogy? U.S.-based genealogical research. I have direct access to and experience with most of the repositories in SE Texas and SW Louisiana.

The skills I learned in library school transfer well into genealogy. I can gather and evaluate information quickly and also determine what's missing from the picture. I enjoy using different search strategies and search engines to find information, even that which isn't online.

I also love to write about family history and do so extensively for clients and my own family.

Please outline your involvement in Genealogy Societies and Groups
Acadia Parish Genealogical and Historical Society (Louisiana)
Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP)
Association of Professional Genealogists
California Genealogical Society
Southern California Genealogical Society
Texas State Genealogical Society

What are the lands of your ancestors? United States (AR, CA, LA, MN, NC, OK, TN, TX, WI), France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg

What Family Names are you Researching? LENERTZ (this name is also present in Australia. Though I haven't found a connection, I would love to talk with Aussies who have Lenertz in their tree). MENOU, BOURGAUX, COLBERT (Chickasaw), BAERECKE, BOURLAND, WILLIAMSON (AR, TN), JOST (Austria).

Who is your favourite ancestor? Why? I can't pick just one! I love them all for different reasons. However, the ancestor who was shot for stealing the neighbor's wife AND horse makes the best story.

What ancestral city or town would you like to visit? Why? I would like to visit my great-grandmother's hometown of Inzenhof, Austria. I've been told the JOST name is still there.

What is your favourite resource for genealogy? Everyone seems to say "the Internet" but I am going to say other people are my favorite resource. I just use the Internet to get to them! Really though, there is nothing better than talking face-to-face with other genealogists, learning from them, meeting new cousins and sharing photos and facts. People are the best resource in my book.

Do you keep your genealogy files on paper? Yes

Do you keep your genealogy files on a computer? Yes

What genealogy software do you use to record your family tree?  Roots Magic

Do you have your tree posted on the internet? No

What Social Networking Sites do you use for genealogy? Ancestry, Facebook, Geni, LinkedIn, Twitter

Do you have a blog? Yes

What are your blogs' URLs?

What are your Other Hobbies, Activities, Interests? Family, travel, bar trivia, writing, attending sporting events and occasionally stopping to smell the roses.

What is your favourite lesiure time activity apart from genealogy? People do stuff other than genealogy?

What is your personal philosophy in a few  words ? If family history is boring, then you're doing it wrong.

If you have anything else to share please add it below You've got a genealogy friend in Texas!

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