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Robert Pfaff

Chasing the Past Genealogical Services

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The best experiences in life come when you love something you're good at. That worked well for me in my first career. I earned my Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Oklahoma in 1980 and, after a year's post-doctoral fellowship, I enjoyed a 36-year college teaching career, which ended when my institution closed in May 2017. Nevertheless, as a college professor with research experience, my research and teaching skills relate well to genealogy. Doing what you love and are good at sums up my approach to genealogy, my chosen second career. Many genealogists will relate a similar story: A little over 30 years ago, my mother handed me a box of family records, correspondence, photos, DAR record copies, and old family trees. It was a treasure trove, including my grandfather's baptismal certificate, in German even though he was born in northern Iowa. There were photos of my 2nd great grandparents taken in the early 1860s. One record suggested we were descendants of the Plantagenet royal family of England. Needless to say, I was hooked and wanted to know more of the stories that made my family. Every family has its fair share of oddballs, successful people, and maybe even a criminal or two. Our history can't be changed, so embrace the oddities! My personal journey into genealogy began with taking that box and preparing my first society application, to the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), as a descendant of Timothy Taylor of Merrimac, New Hampshire. All along the way, chance discoveries keep a genealogist going. They fill in the family legacy. For example, I found my great grandfather's autograph book. And I have two letters written home by my 2nd great grandfather from the Civil War. Over time, I started researching and completing lineage society applications for friends and family and for prospective SAR members. I have gained a lot of expertise in doing it and so now is the time to offer my services publicly.

Service Description:
I provide research utilizing online and on-site techniques, generally to determine a client's lineage. However, simpler requests, such as finding military records of ancestors, are also welcomed. Due to expense of travel, I concentrate on the Midwest states for my on-site research I am also active in the Jasper County (Indiana) Historical Society and Find-a-Grave, as well as a number of lineage societies.

Academic Degrees:
B.A. (Chemistry) ; B.A. (Psychology) ; M.S. (Chemistry) ; Ph.D. (Chemistry)

Professional Learning
BU Certificate in Gen Research

Continuing Education:
RootsTech Virtual 2019

Research Specialty:
Civil War ; Colonial ; Federal Records ; House Historian ; Land Records ; Lineage Societies ; Mayflower ; Migration ; Military ; German American ; Court Records

Time Period Specialty:
17th Century ; 18th Century ; 19th Century

Geographic Specialty:
IL ; IN ; IA ; KY ; MA ; MI ; NH ; OH ; PA ; New England ; Midwest ; Indianapolis

Research Counties:
Delaware County, IA ; Dutchess County, NY ; Hillsborough County, NH ; Huron County, OH ; Jasper County, IN ; Seneca County, OH ; Tippecanoe County, IN ; White County, IN

Service Categories:
Brochure Design ; Technology ; Instructor ; Lecturer/Seminars ; Photography ; Web Designer

American English

Accepts Clients:

555 West Emmet Ave
Postal Code:
Day Phone:
(219) 866-8297
Web Site:

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