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As a child I sat on my parents’ living room floor and listened to the family recollections of my father and his brothers and sisters. I was always fascinated. Most of those stories only seemed old from a child’s perspective but others were much, much older. Thanks to those stories and two of my father’s sisters who were family historians, I started in genealogy at the age of 11. I never looked back and now I’ve been researching family history for over 30 years.

My ancestors began arriving in North America nearly 400 years ago. They were English, Scots-Irish, German, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, French and probably Dutch. Though I was born and raised in the United States, looking back upon my 8 great-grandparents, 3 were born and raised in Canada, 1 was part French-Canadian and the mother of a fifth may have passed through New Brunswick on her way to the United States.

Like it has for most people, life has led me in many directions. A lifelong obsession for science and research resulted in eight years of living in France while working at CERN just over the border in Switzerland during which I earned a Ph.D. in high energy physics from the University of Michigan and had a postdoctoral position with Harvard. There I met my wife and we eventually moved to her native land of Sweden. I worked first as a software designer, documentation editor, software systems architect and later as a strategic product manager in the telecommunications industry.

After eleven years in Sweden, it was time for another change. My family and I have moved into the house in which I grew up, a house that my grandfather, a carpenter and contractor, built himself toward the end of his life. It is the only home he ever owned. I didn’t return to this place. I don’t think that is really possible. I’ve simply moved on to a familiar place. I’m sitting now in the office that my grandfather and father once used and it seems like the proper place from which to write about genealogy and time.

Research and contemplation will always be my passions. It has been many decades since an individual could perform their own cutting edge experiments in particle physics but genealogy and local history and their related fields, what I call The Personal Past are different. There are as many problems to solve as there are branches and twigs on our family trees. Then there are also the little subtle things hinted at by newspaper clippings, old family stories, odd sequences of records and the simple details of daily lives that can only be assembled from the remaining bits of the lives of many, many people.

If you need help exploring your Personal Past I can help, whether you know very little, are stuck on a tricky detail or would like what you know transformed from documents and data into the story of your personal past.

-Dr. Daniel Hubbard       Contact Me

Currently serving as President of the Lake County Illinois Genealogical Society, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Nordic Family Genealogy Center at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago. I also help out occasionally as a graphic designer and editor for my wife’s business, glimling.com.

 

 

 

 

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