About Me

Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands. –Linda Hogan

My ancestors’ stories have been told over the years at countless family gatherings, over email with distant cousins I’ve never met, and as bedtime stories for my boys. Each one is unique, but each one is part of how I got to be me.

As a teenager I was fascinated by the stories of the famous people we were supposedly related to, but life has made me more interested in the everyday people in my tree: one who was treated for breast cancer in 1822, an enterprising linen weaver from Ireland, a British loyalist convicted of treason by the Continental Congress, a southerner who fought for the North in the American Civil War, and a German immigrant who left fortune behind for opportunity in Missouri.

I love the hunt of a research question, the unexpected places it takes me, the discoveries along the way, and the story each piece tells. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, I earned a Master’s in Library Science and an undergraduate degree in English with an emphasis in non-fiction writing. I worked for 7 years as a researcher and research librarian. I have done genealogy research off-and-on for 20 years, becoming more focused on it over the last 5 years. Since 2018, I have written regularly about my ancestors, trying to tell their stories and preserve them for future generations.

With this background, I can search for your ancestors across the United States and throughout Western Europe, write narrative histories for your family, and help those wishing to visit places ancestors lived find locations of interest (this does not include travel arrangements). Contact me and we’ll chat about how to get started. I’d love to help tell your ancestors’ stories.

Where does the name Heart come from?

One of my first memories of feeling connected to an ancestor was when I was told I looked like my great-grandmother. I had never seen (or noticed) a picture of her before then. At the time I didn’t think I looked like anyone in my family and she was so beautiful, I latched onto her and began my first steps into family history. 

Over the years, my research (and perhaps obsession) has taken me all over branches of my family tree, but most often I find myself on the lines that leads back from her. It seemed fitting to name this after the ancestor that started it all for me, Martha “Heart” Carmichael