Professional Affiliation

Why work with me

Family history is a collaboration—the more leads and stories, from more sources, the more likely you are to figure it out. So, if you’re going to add a professional to your family’s team, you want a seasoned collaborator, someone trained and experienced in asking questions, someone who can listen and then sort out what’s important, someone who can tap into and work with a network of colleagues, each of whom adds a piece to the puzzle.

Front Porch Genealogy enlarges your effort, edits out extraneous details and dead ends, and keeps you moving forward. That’s help worth having.

Front Porch Genealogy founder Bill Bernardy

Bill was trained as a teacher and counselor, before doing an MBA at Stanford. After building successful businesses in advertising and market research, he has turned his research and writing skills to a long-standing personal interest in family history.

Bill began work on his own family tree in a project for a high school history class. Some 8,000 ancestors and distant cousins later, he has traced his roots to families that settled along the shores of Lake Michigan in the 1840s, and back 5 generations in Europe.

Bill has been helping others build their family trees for several years. He has researched families in about 40 states, used most online resources, been to numerous cemeteries, family history centers, and the Family History Library, pored through biographies, local histories, obituaries, and city directories, and interviewed family members to capture their stories.

A sixth-generation Chicagoan, much of Bill's work has focused on the German and Irish settlers of that city and the surrounding Midwest. Like many branches of his family, he migrated west and his research followed earlier groups through the prairie states to the inter-mountain region, and on to the West Coast and the Northwest.