Welcome to Ancestor Introductions!
My name is Mark A. Wentling, and I am the owner of Ancestor Introductions. I am a professional genealogist, indexer and lighthouse expert with more than 20 years of experience connecting people with their unique ancestral stories.
I hold a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University, and a Master of Library Science degree with archives concentration from the University of Maryland.
I am available to hire for several kinds of projects, and the pages on this site will tell you more about them, including:
- Genealogical research
- Lighthouse & lighthouse keeper research
- Publication indexing
- Old photo identification
To hire me for your project, to write for your publication or for media inquiries, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about my experience, please keep reading below.
Be sure to check out my blog for compelling stories from my own research that illustrate the exciting ways a professional genealogist can surprise, inform and bring deeper meaning to your and your loved ones’ lives by “introducing” you to the relatives you’ve always had questions about—and some you didn’t even know you had!
I look forward to helping you discover YOUR unique story!
I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your writing about the questions and problems you pursue – each blog is a terrific class in research and inquiry, including what questions to ask.
— Linda L. Eastman, Independent Historian
I am a native of historic Sackets Harbor in Jefferson County, New York. I was bitten by the genealogy bug there at age 10 when my mother showed me a pile of old family papers describing the origins of my middle name, Avery. Genealogy has been my constant passion ever since.
In 1996, I moved to Washington, D.C., where I performed genealogical research for clients at the National Archives, Library of Congress and National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Library.
While in D.C., I also worked as a professional indexer on the staff of the National Geographic Society, indexing more than 30 trade books and writing monthly and annual cumulative indexes to their magazines. It was there that I developed a love of indexing and publishing.
In 2002, I earned a Master of Library Science degree with a concentration in Archives from the University of Maryland at College Park.
In 2003, I moved to the Boston area, where I now perform research for hire in New England and New York State. Here I also spent twelve years leading the team responsible for designing how millions of people search and see the world’s published knowledge for EBSCO Information Services, the largest provider of scholarly research databases worldwide.
In 2013, my genealogical and historical research was used by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation to create the permanent exhibits at the historic Rock Island Lighthouse State Park in Fisher’s Landing, New York, earning a New York State Historic Preservation Award and a citation from the New York State Assembly.
In the fall of 2016, I earned a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University, a program focused on modern methods, standards and ethics for genealogical research.
My work has been published in Thousand Islands Life magazine, The Beacon, and featured in Lighthouse Digest, The Informer: The Journal of the Jefferson County, New York, Genealogical Society and the Watertown Daily Times. I am the author and publisher of several original indexes for New York researchers.
I am the creator of the Jefferson County, New York, Pioneer Portraits Project, the Rock Island Lighthouse Historical & Memorial Association, and the Hounsfield History project.
I am a current member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society, the Jefferson County, New York, historical and genealogical societies and the American Society for Indexing.
Selected Recent Presentations & Appearances:
- “Identifying Early Family Photographs.” Jefferson County New York History & Genealogy Fair. Jefferson County Historical Society, Watertown, NY. 8 October 2016.
- “We Are New York: Rock Island Lighthouse” [video]. New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Presevation. 16 May 2016.
- “Guardians of the River: The Keepers of Rock Island Lighthouse.” Rock Island Lighthouse, Fisher’s Landing, NY. On invitation from Thousand Islands Region, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. 29 August 2015.
- Guest Speaker. Grand re-opening of Rock Island Lighthouse State Park. Rock Island Lighthouse, Fisher’s Landing, NY. On invitation from New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. 4 June 2013.
Selected Recent Continuing Education:
- ProGen Study Group 33, participant and Co-Group Leader, current
- New England Regional Genealogical Conference, Springfield, MA, 26-29 April 2017.
- Boston University, Center for Professional Education, Certificate in Genealogical Research, fall 2016.
- Professional Management Conference. Association of Professional Genealogists. Allen County Public Library, Ft. Wayne, IN. 22-24 September 2016.
- New York State Family History Research Conference. Central New York Genealogical Society/New York Genealogical & Biographical Society. Liverpool, NY. 15-17 September 2016.
- History Camp Boston. The History List. Boston, MA. 26 March 2016.
To learn more about my professional experience, please visit my LinkedIn profile.