Lori Jackson Black has a passion for history. And she’s turned that passion into her new business, LJB Professional Genealogy Services.
LJB Professional Genealogy Services offers everything from helping to compile a simple family tree to extensive family research projects, digitizing services and oral history interviews.
Black will hold an open house at her Mathews Court House office during Mathews Market Days, starting at 2 p.m. Friday. The office is located at 20 Church Street.
Like most genealogists, Black’s work began with an interest in her own family’s history, expanding that to helping others with their family searches.
But unlike the average hobbyist, Black also has an educational background in the field, studying under genealogist Karen Clifford in the family history program at Monterey (Calif.) Peninsula College.
Black, a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Columbia College and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in history with an emphasis on archives and manuscript management from American Public University.
She began her interest in genealogy as a stay-at-home mom in the late ’90s, helping to coax information out of an elderly relative who told family stories about burying silver in the yard to keep it hidden from the Union troops. From there, Black would research the family tree to prompt this relative with names and other information.
"And then the memories would come right back," Black said. "It’s kind of been an obsession."