We have a reputation of being the firm that is able to find Italian records that other firms cannot locate.
Michele Jeglum is one of our Italian Research Specialists and is a professional genealogist with experience in Italian, U.K., and U.S. research. She has conducted extensive research in northern Italy, especially in the Piemonte region. Her first interest in genealogy began as a school project, sparking a life-long passion. Michele is an educator, holding both a master’s degree in education and a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. She also completed ProGen, an intensive 18-month course in professional genealogy and actively continues her genealogical education through institutes, online classes, and webinars.
Recently, we asked Michele to share a little bit about who she is and insights into her love of all things Italian!
1. How long have you been doing this work?
I have dabbled in genealogy since I was young. I became serious about it in 2018 when I took a course on genealogy at Boston University. I have been working professionally since that time.
2. What motivated you to pursue this career?
Genealogical research has always been incredibly interesting to me as it is a combination of science and detective work. I believe that discovering family history leads to a broader view of ourselves, our family, and our society and I enjoy helping people in their discovery.
3. What was one of the most surprising things you discovered in your work?
Recently I set out to discover more information on the two known husbands of my great-aunt and found that she had actually been married ten times!
4. What is one thing people get wrong when it comes to doing research?
One of the biggest errors that I made when I began researching was not recording where I found each source. I then had to relocate the source and make note of it, which is very time consuming. Be a good note taker and write up your research when you find it. Keep a research log with the location of the source and the information that it contains. While it takes a little more time on the front end, it will save you considerable time in the long run.
5. What are the top 3 tips you can share?
Stay on track. Clearly establish your research goal and stick to it. It is so easy to get sucked down the research rabbit hole.
Pursue an education. There is so much education available in the genealogy field that is easily accessible through reading, study groups, and webinars. I would encourage anyone who has an interest to pursue some of these avenues.
Be persistent. Do not give up just because you can’t find what you are looking for, stop, think about it and try another avenue.
6. What is your favorite place/thing about Italy?
I love everything about Italy! I have spent the most time in northern Italy in Torino and the surrounding towns. Torino is a beautiful and graceful city and has such a rich history. My grandmother’s family is from the area just north of the city and I have been lucky enough to spend time exploring and researching in these small villages.
7. What is your favorite Italian expression?
My favorite Italian expression is “tutto fa brodo.” The literal translation is “everything makes broth” however in Italian the expression means that every little bit helps, and that small things can add up to help you achieve your goal. I love this expression because it reminds us that all of our positive daily actions can lead to something really wonderful.