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My Extreme Ancestry with Karen Batchelor

  • Broadcast in History



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Karen Batchelor will share the many unexpected twists and turns on her 40-year family history journey and how what she has learned from the past has changed her life.

Karen started doing genealogy because of a New Year’s resolution in 1976 - before the Internet and computers. By 1977, she became the first known Black woman to be admitted for membership in Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Since then, Karen has discovered ancestors who were slaves and slaveowners, patriots and Puritans and even a colonial witch or two. Her family history in America goes back to the year 1630. 

With a background in the practice of law and over 40 years of experience as a genealogist, Karen founded Story Mountain LLC, where she helps others with family research. She specializes in colonial New England and the Revolutionary War era; preparation of lineage applications; and analysis of historic legal documents. In addition to her client work, Karen serves as a National Vice Chair of Lineage Research for DAR and is a certified instructor of guided autobiography.  

Karen continues to research her own family history, making discoveries that have recently led to membership in five other hereditary societies. When not "hot on the trail" of the long-dead but not forgotten, Karen enjoys spending time with family and friends, knitting and has been known to dress up in 18th century clothing on occasion. She lives in a historic 1898 building in Midtown Detroit.