About Twisted Twigs
I began researching my family tree at the inquisitive age of 11 after discovering an error on my Grandma Jayne's framed Mayflower family tree that she received as a gift. While researching my 10th great-grandfather Edward Winslow as a punishment (a story for another time), I discovered that Edward, who was on the Mayflower, was actually a great-granduncle. His brother, Kenelm Winslow, was my 10th great-grandfather. That's where a mild interest in my family tree became the full-on obsession it is today.
Don't let my beautiful blue eyes or youthful glow fool you! I'm a well-seasoned genealogist who has worked with clients since 2005, and who specializes in Michigan & Ontario/Quebec, Canada research. Don't get me wrong. I adore researching all over the US, Canada, and Europe but my stomping ground receives the most attention since my family has called the Motor City home for seven generations, each generation with a family historian... or two. Both of my maternal grandparents were lifelong Detroiters and came from prominent Michigan & Canadian families. I spent summers, like most of my cousins, at the family cottage in Ontario with Grandma Jayne. It has been a tradition that has lasted more than 90 years. Grandma Jayne was six weeks old (1921) when she came to the family cottage for the first time with her parents and maternal grandparents.
In December 2014, a lovely client requested a file that would literally change my world: a Civil War pension. Like many genealogists, we don't like to wait for records and the turnaround time for record requests at NARA was over 6 months. I hopped on a Greyhound bus later that week and my client had her 2nd great grandfather's pension file the next day. I spent the rest of the week browsing record collections and retrieving all the pensions and service records for my ancestors. Twisted Twigs started offering NARA record retrieval services in the summer of 2015 after 4-trips back to the National Archives (Archive I) for my clients. Record retrieval services at The National Personnel Records Center in Saint Louis (WWI & later military records/ Personnel Files) were added June 2016.
After spending most of the summer commuting from Detroit, Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches Genealogy relocated to Washington DC on Labor Day Weekend 2016 to provide the genealogy community with a reasonably priced on-site alternative to steep NARA fees and inflated retrieval fees from research firms. As of Feb 2017, Twisted Twigs has retrieved over 835 military pensions and 2000+ service records in twenty-six months.
When I meet other family historians/genealogists during events and mention "I'm Twisted Twigs", I usually see their face light up and hear "I love your page! Your memes make my day!" or I receive a big ole bear hug. Who doesn't like hugs!?! Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches Genealogy on Facebook started one afternoon in February 2012 while frustrated with an English brick wall (Clarks from England = Smiths in US). 5000 genealogy memes later, we've laughed while sharing our obsession across walls of our friends, family, and far flung cousins. Hopefully, we might have hooked one more future genealogist into our tribe with each funny meme shared.
It is hard to believe that I have been researching genealogy for twenty-six out of my thirty-seven years. I guess time does fly by when you're having fun!!