Family Archeologies is the project and passion of Oakland-based and New York-native Eva Goodwin, a queer-identified hyper-organized intellectual type with a nostalgic soul and a deeply political bent. Eva has a BA in philosophy and German from Mount Holyoke College and over eight years of formal genealogical research experience. She also has a lifetime of fascination with history, memory, old stuff, libraries, and inherited family stories. She is the self-appointed Family Archivist for her own family and can tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the French Huguenots who settled in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and the secondary wave of white migration to the San Francisco Bay Area in the late nineteenth century, though she is still trying to track down several elusive ancestors who evidently have something to hide. Her goal with Family Archeologies is to help her clients excavate their own complicated and rich histories and legacies and identify how those histories show up for them in the living
world today. Beyond the bloodlines, Eva is interested in what individuals and communities outside of biological “family” have imprinted on us and how to unbury and piece together those legacies as well. Family Archeologies can help you discover who your ancestors were and where they came from, but it can also go beyond that to help you understand your ancestors’ layered and often forgotten histories of struggle, loss, oppression, assimilation, and also achievement, success, strength, and resistance.
……In conducting her research, Eva relies on a wide range of repositories (including: online databases, indexes, and image collections, libraries and museums, historical and genealogical societies, courthouses, public archives, churches, and other various archives and collections both online and off) and records (including, but not limited to: census, vital records, court and legal records, tax lists, voter registers, religious records, directories, newspapers, photographs, manuscripts, immigration
and passenger records, business records, land and property records, estate and probate records, maps, military records), as well as oral histories and family memorabilia. She will thoroughly document all of her searches and cite all sources in her client research notes and reports, and will include fully cited digital scans or copies of all original records she locates in her research. For local research in the San Francisco Bay Area, she conducts research on-site at courthouses, libraries, and archives, and for local research outside of the Bay Area she obtains records via email and phone correspondence and on-site research aides. She has particular research expertise in the American New England and Mid-Atlantic states and Canadian maritime provinces, as well as California, the UK, and Germany, but she willingly takes on research projects outside of these areas and does not bill clients for time spent becoming familiar with local records. If she feels unsuited for any project, she will provide referrals to other professionals.
“ This report is wonderful! I had no idea so much could be uncovered. I can’t believe you could even tell me where my great-grandfather worked in 1880. It’s quite fun to see the original marriage records and whatnot. I’m very impressed, lots of questions answered.”
“Who knew our ancestors left such a thick paper trail. I knew literally nothing about my family and within a few hours you told me more than I thought I would *ever* know. I told my grandmother that you found Freddie Mack and she turned white as a sheet! No wonder I never knew anything. I can’t wait to see what else you dig up.”
“Wow, this is so fascinating. Just unbelievable. I wonder what [the family's] relationship to race was at the time. Like, I know Italians were not considered white, but they must have struggled with [my great-grandfather's] marriage anyway. Was interracial marriage even legal in 1914? It’s strange how my family totally covered it up. Even my dad says he never knew that his grandmother was actually Puerto Rican!! What else can you tell me? Are you SURE??” [Yes, I'm sure!]”
“Thank you for your very detailed, very prompt report. Amazing to see all the original documents and your research is very easy to follow and understand, and very thorough. I’m very satisfied. It was a true pleasure working with you.”