My name is Marie Palmer. Except that it isn’t, not really. While researching my family’s history, I unexpectedly discovered that, as hard as he had tried to hide this from us, my late grandfather’s surname was actually Page and not Palmer. I also found that he’d had a son who we’d never known about. An uncle! And cousins! Having never had aunts or uncles or cousins, this felt life-altering. And though I’d always been interested in genealogy, this event crystallized the passion to research not just my own family, but to help others with their own searches.

Genealogy isn’t just a matter of collecting names and birth dates and the building of family trees. While certainly gratifying, I view this information as the skeleton onto which we can add more context and colour. It’s the stories of our ancestors that give meaning to their lives and circumstances, and which give me a better understanding and appreciation of who I am and where I come from.

I’ve worked as a computer engineer, educator and librarian: three paths that have converged into and support my present career as a genealogist, writer, and speaker. Evidence-based research, problem-solving, effective organization, and the sharing of stories and information all fuel my passion for genealogy. I have worked for Legacy Tree Genealogists and taught at the Applied Genealogy Institute. I also currently help solve law enforcement cases using Investigative Genetic Genealogy.

Me in a nutshell:

  • Winner, Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies Diamond Jubilee Essay Competition (2021): “This was a very moving account of poverty in Liverpool – gritty, raw and powerful. The story was very well researched and written with layers of social history and context that drew the reader in, allowing them to empathise with the struggles and adversity that Mary and James faced throughout their lives. The poverty and tragedy were brought to life by the quotes and extracts, making this an absorbing and compelling piece of story telling as well as showcasing the research methodology that underpinned it. I was particularly impressed by the honesty of this account, with Mary’s difficulties laid bare by recollections from later generations. Too many family histories turn into a hagiography; this story revealed the lengths people would go to in their struggle to survive.” – Dr. Nick Barratt
  • Completed the All-DNA Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum through the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), October 2020. Taught by Paul Woodbury, Thomas W. Jones, Melissa A. Johnson, Karen Stanbary.
  • Completed the Advanced DNA Evidence course at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), June 2019. Taught by Blaine Bettinger, Angie Bush, Karen Stanbary.
  • ProGen 40 Study Group, Co-Leader (2019 – 2020).
  • Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University’s Center for Professional Education, May 2018.
  • Master of Science, Information Science and Library Management, University of Northumbria, UK.
  • Bachelor of Education, University of British Columbia, Canada.
  • Bachelor of Applied Science, University of Waterloo, Canada.

In the past twenty odd years, I’ve worked in large telecommunications companies, small web development firms, schools, colleges, public and academic libraries, and as an online educator and consultant for a non-profit library cooperative. I’ve taken courses with the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), National Institute for Genealogical Studies and completed the Certificate Program in Genealogical Research through Boston University. Most recently, I was co-chair for my ProGen Study Group. I am a member of the National Genealogical Society, the British Columbia Genealogical Society, and the Association of Professional Genealogists. My own roots are primarily in Québec, Canada, Ireland, England and Wales and I’m married to a Canadian of Irish-German descent. We live on the West Coast of Canada and rock climb as much as possible with our two children.