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Premium Member of the Week: Larry Kenyon

Thanks for joining us today, Larry. Can You tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Larry Kenyon. I was born Lawrence Austin Kenyon, Jr., but my family always called me Joe – some future genealogist descendant is going to be pretty confused about that. 😉 Four hundred years ago my ancestors lived in England, Switzerland, Sweden, but mostly from areas in present-day Germany and Poland

How did you get started with genealogy?

My parents both shared stories about ancestors with me and my siblings growing up, but I didn’t get started until after attending a family reunion 15 years ago, where one of my aunts shared some old photos from the 1890’s of some Swedish ancestors. No one else knew who they were, and I decided it was time to start scanning some of those old photos to preserve them.

That’s great that you took that initiative on behalf of your family! Are there any websites that have been most helpful for you on your genealogy journey?

It all depends on which area I’m researching; right now it’s the Canton Bern Archives since it has all the church books online, available as PDF downloads – I love original documents. 🙂 Ancestry and My Heritage are probably where I meet the most relatives though!

Those are all great resources. do you have any tips you’d like to share with our readers?

Get help from local genealogists; they will know sources you’d probably never find yourself, local history, etc. I like traveling to ancestral towns, and my most rewarding experiences have come as a result.

Wonderful tip! Nothing beats seeing these places in person. Do you have a favorite family story or anecdote that’s resulted from your research?

This changes every year or two; for 2020, it was discovering that one of my 9th great-grandfathers was my wife’s 11th great. I think this man has about 3 million living descendants. 😉 But I like the weird coincidences that you occasionally come across in genealogy!

Wow, that is a crazy coincidence! lastly, can you share how the premium membership has helped you the most?

Instead of ignoring words I’m having trouble deciphering, the weekly Facebook sessions have encouraged me to tackle them, opening up more clues and making my research more complete.

That’s wonderful to hear, Larry. Thank you for sharing!

Check out our other Premium Member Highlights and their fascinating genealogy stories. And be sure to give them a comment if what they have to share has helped you, or if you like their family stories!