“Nobody’s Daughter: A Spotlight on the Neighbors”, a Luncheon with Helen F. M. Leary

Most seasoned genealogists know of Helen F. M. Leary, CG Emeritus, FASG, FNGS. Before I personally knew Helen Leary, I was in awe of her. When Helen came in to research at the State Archives of North Carolina, everything would get very quiet. There would be little whispers and some people would hold their breath. Helen’s hair was always pulled back with a big bow and she carried a yellow legal pad. Once, I gathered the courage to ask her if I should become certified or accredited. For a moment she gave me her full attention. “I think you should do both,” she responded concisely.

It was after my good friend, Ann Hilke, went on an Alaskan cruise with Helen that both of us got to know her for who she is. It was through APG chapter meetings, lunches, institutes, workshops, conferences, and trips to the Archives that we discovered how personable Helen is. She is smart and analytical but it is her sense of humor that I like the best. That sense of humor peeks through in her lectures. Like Carol Burnett, Helen also has a grandmother. Just ask her how her grandmother does jigsaw puzzles. She’ll tell you the same way some of us do family history research.

Helen was an art history major, so she often uses the masterpieces to illustrate family history topics. Her lectures are full of information on methodology, history, and case studies, all sprinkled with colorful humor. She may be the master of North Carolina research, but the techniques she teaches can be applied universally.

Helen is now retired. We only occasionally hear her lecture, usually on the North Carolina Genealogical Society’s webinars, and what an opportunity it is to hear her teach us again in person. Perhaps she’ll reveal her grandmother’s jigsaw problem solving techniques. Please join the North Carolina Genealogical Society at Helen’s luncheon presentation of “Nobody’s Daughter: A Spotlight on the Neighbors” on Friday, 12 May 2017. I think you will be in awe. I still am.

Sign up for this luncheon when you register for the NGS 2017 Family History Conference. Register for the conference now . If you’ve already registered, you can add workshops, luncheons, and events by returning to your registration on the registration page.