Welcome! My name is Mark A. Wentling, and I am the owner of Ancestor Introductions. I am a Boston-Providence metropolitan area-based professional genealogist with more than 25 years of experience connecting people with their unique family stories. In addition, I’ve offered forensic services to attorneys and government agencies since 2017.
I am an active member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and have signed its Code of Ethics. I work according to the Genealogical Proof Standard and the genealogy standards published by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
Select a service from the list below to learn more about how I can help you:
- Forensic genealogy (including heir searching and military repatriation)
- DNA, adoption, and missing family
- Family history research
- Mayflower ancestry research
- Lighthouse & lighthouse keeper research
To hire me for your research project, to write for your publication, or for media inquiries, please contact me.
I look forward to helping you discover your family story!
Experience & Education
- Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy. Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. La Roche College, Pittsburgh. 22-27 July 2018.
- ProGen Study Group (18-month mentored study program, participant and Co-Group Leader), Feb 2017-Jul 2018
- Certificate, Genealogical Research, Boston University, 2016
- Master, Library Science, with archives concentration, University of Maryland at College Park, 2002
- “Who Was Grace Holcom, Wife of Daniel Manley?,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 174 (Fall 2020): 324-327.
- Vice President & Program Chair, Forensic Genealogy Special Interest Group, Association of Professional Genealogists, 2020-2021.
- Vice President, New England Chapter, Association of Professional Genealogists (NEAPG), 2018-2020.
- Mentoring Program Coordinator, New England Chapter, Association of Professional Genealogists, 2019-present
- Course Facilitator, Genealogy Principles, Boston University, Fall 2018.
- Co-Group Leader, ProGen Study Group (18-month program), 2017-2018.
- Delegate (NEAPG), New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC) Conference planning committee, 2017-2019.
- 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:
- “Forensic Genetic Genealogy & Familial DNA Searching,” webinar, 4 December 2020, Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, University of New Haven.
- New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC) Conference, Manchester, NH, 3-6 April 2019.
- 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.
- 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.
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. In 2018, I completed the 18-month mentored professional study program, ProGen, as well as the Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy course at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. I served as a course facilitator in the first offering of Boston University’s “Genealogy Principles” course in the Fall 2018 term.
My work has been published The New England Historical & Genealogical Register, the flagship peer-reviewed journal of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. I also worked as a researcher for the Society’s Newbury Street Press publishing imprint on a contract basis from 2017 to 2019. I have served as a consultant and researcher to national-level reporters and biographers, as well as genealogical television program developers. Additionally, my research 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 profiled in the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times newspaper. I am the author and publisher of several original genealogy indexes for New York researchers.
I was honored with election as Vice President of the New England Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) for 2018, a position I held through 2020. Since 2019, I’ve served as Coordinator of the chapter’s Mentoring Program, of which I led development. I was elected Vice President of APG’s new Forensic Genealogy Special Interest Group in 2019, for a two-year term through 2021, for which I also serve as the Program Chair.
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 Council for Advancement of Forensic Genealogy, the National Genealogical Society, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society, and several state and local historical and genealogical societies.