On most Mondays, I publish brief e-mail interviews with some of our lookup providers. This week Kathy Zavada was nice enough to respond to my interview invitation.
From Kathy Zavada‘s Profile
Kathy specializes in Will County, Illinois research, especially for Irish ancestry. She has experience with probate records, estate and guardianship extracts, cemetery transcriptions, newspaper article lookups and more.
Nine Questions with Kathy
1) How did you get started doing genealogy lookups/research?
Always interested since high school. I am adopted. Once I had children, I started looking for natural parents for health records. Made a promise to myself to help others if I was able to find info which I did.
2) Do you have a genealogy “superpower”? If so, what is it?
Civil records of all sorts because I worked as a bureaucrat for many years. Able to assimilate records out of order, put them together in order due to mnemonic memory. My daughter says I have an unofficial degree in paper pushing.
3) Describe a tricky research problem you’re particularly proud of having solved?
Locating my natural birth record. Adopted in one county, natural birth record in another. Got court record of adoption
in one county, then able to locate natural birth record in another.
4) What are the ideal elements you like to see in a well-formulated lookup request?
Specific location I work in, names, and general time frame.
5) What’s the most interesting record source or repository you’ve utilized in your area?
Will County probate/estate and guardianship records since they begin in 1838 and predate birth & death records by at least 40 years. Records contain listings of heirs, exact dates of death, listing of household items, and other interesting items found nowhere else.
6) What technical tools do you use to produce the digital images you provide to clients?
Digital camera and Microsoft Picture It!
7) Any new lookups you’re considering offering?
8) What advice would you give to someone who wants to get started as a lookup provider?
Start out small, don’t bite of more than you can
9) What other passions do you pursue when you’re not at the archives doing lookups/research?
Granddaughters, knitting, science fiction movies, and history
Lookups Kathy Offers
- Joliet, Will County, Illinois High School Alumnae Directories, 1985-1992
- The First Catholic Church in Joliet,Will County, Illinois, 1838-1851
- History of Will County, Illinois , 1837-1878
- Grundy-Will-LaSalle-Kendall Counties,Illinois-Published Births,Marriages & Death notices, 1840-1889
- Will County, Illinois 1878-1915 Death Index compiled by Will Grundy Genealogy Society, 1878-1915
- Obituary lookups Wilmington,Will County, Illinois Library only, 1865-current