Welcome to Ancestor Introductions
My name is Mark A. Wentling, and I am the owner of Ancestor Introductions. I am a Boston-based professional genealogist 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 at College Park.
I am available to hire for several kinds of projects, and the pages on this site will tell you more about them, including:
- Family history research
- Forensic genealogy– including heir searches and military repatriation
- DNA, adoption, and missing family
- Lighthouse & lighthouse keeper research
To hire me for your research project, to lecture, to write for your publication, or for media inquiries, please contact me.
I look forward to helping you discover your unique story!
Experience & Education
- Vice President, New England Chapter, Association of Professional Genealogists (NEAPG), 2018-present.
- Course Facilitator, Genealogy Principles, Boston University, Fall 2018.
- Co-Group Leader, ProGen Study Group (18-month program, Group 33), 2017-2018.
- Delegate (NEAPG), New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC) Conference planning committee, 2017-present.
- Citation of Merit, New York State Assembly (2013) — For lead volunteer role in multi-year project to preserve and interpret Rock Island Lighthouse at Fisher’s Landing, New York, by researching biographies of its fourteen keepers and the station’s history.
- New York State Historic Preservation Award, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation (2013) — For volunteer role in “an outstanding collaborative effort to rehabilitate, interpret and revitalize” Rock Island Lighthouse.
Selected Recent Continuing Education:
- Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy. Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. La Roche College, Pittsburgh. 22-27 July 2018.
- ProGen Study Group (18-month program, Group 33 participant and Co-Group Leader), completed July 2018
- Massachusetts Genealogical Council Annual Seminar. Massachusetts Genealogical Council. Marlborough, MA. 7-8 April 2018.
- Professional Management Conference. Association of Professional Genealogists. Arlington, VA. 29 September 2017-1 October 2017.
- New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC) Conference, Springfield, MA, 26-29 April 2017.
- Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University, Center for Professional Education, 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.
Selected Recent Presentations & Appearances:
- “New York Genealogy Brick Wall Busters: Strategies For Finding Your Elusive Early Ancestors.” Jefferson County, New York, History & Genealogy Fair. Watertown, New York. 23 September 2017.
- “Identifying Early Family Photographs.” Cape Cod Genealogical Society Annual Luncheon. Old Yarmouth Inn, Yarmouth Port, MA. 20 June 2017.
- “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.
To learn more about my professional experience, please visit my LinkedIn profile.
My Genealogy Journey….
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 appreciation of 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.
I was honored with election as Vice President of the New England Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists for 2018.
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 many more.