About Me

I have always been interested in my family history – I was the kid taking pictures of headstones when my family visited the cemetery (my siblings thought I was weird). But with the wealth of material on the internet I became seriously interested in research around 2001 (shortly after 9/11 – something about that experience awakened my need to document my family history). I quickly discovered that there was both good and bad information on the internet – there was a lot to wade through, and a lot of baloney! I joined Ancestry.com, went to libraries and repositories, looked at a LOT of microfilm, sent for certificates and talked to small town clerks. I dragged my husband, camera in hand, through cemetery after cemetery. I’ve taken a lot of classes, gone to a lot of lectures and in 2010 I got my Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. The course was life changing for me – hours and hours and hours of heaven (and homework!). I met some fabulous people and was taught by the best – I am honored to have been taught by Dr. Thomas Jones and Melinde Lutz Byrne among others. As well as being a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, I am a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and I am currently the president of the Middlesex Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists. I specialize in New England research with a special interest in military records. My philosophy is that family histories should not be just a collection of names and dates on the leaves of a family tree. We should also learn the stories of our ancestors – the stories between the leaves. I am passionate about my work and I love researching for others. Contact me for a quote – let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll be happy to put a package together for you.
One of my passions is to rescue orphaned vintage photos and other ephemera from antique shops and flea markets, with the goal of getting them returned to a family member who will treasure them. I research the subject and try to contact family members. If I am unsuccessful, they end up here on my blog with the hope that the family will find me!
Some photos are available for sale, for what I paid for them plus postage. If you are a family member and would like to own the original, please contact me at deborahleestewart@gmail.com.

8 responses to “About Me”

  1. Linda M. Fusco says :

    I have been trying to research my paternal grandfather’s family who came over from Scotland – but have not had any luck. I have his name and date of birth and where he was born. Also have a marital record to my grandmother. May I have a quote.

  2. Bonnie Davies says :

    I am a direct descendent of George and Helen Gilman (great granddaughter). Do you have an album?

    • Deborah Lee Stewart says :

      Hi Bonnie – I have the tintype of George and Helen and a baby photo of Edgar. The album has a lot of families in it – a lot of the people worked for the railroad. There are no other Gilmans in the album. I have also had an email that I have responded to from Linda Sieh. Are you related? I would like to see the two photos returned to the family.

      • Bonnie Davies says :

        Thanks so much Deborah,
        My cousin Linda and I are so excited about your discovery. She has kept me in touch about your correspondence with her.
        Bonnie

  3. Deborah Lee Stewart says :

    It was my pleasure Bonnie. Glad the photos are going home.
    Deborah

  4. wendy english says :

    Hi Deborah, It was so exciting to find your blog and read about your interest in New England families and their histories. I’ve done a lot of searching via Ancestry.com, written letters and contacted various libraries and town records in search of my ancestors and have uncovered some great information. But I’ve hit a wall with some key people I would still love to find. It would be wonderful to have your help. Would you contact me please?
    Many thanks. Wendy English

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