Bruce has been intensively investigating individual and family history matters since 1984, writing personal and family histories and crafting family trees charts – both for his own interest, and to satisfy the desires of others. This work, he says, is his life. His formal educational background is one of historical geography, and he constantly upgrades his broad skills and knowledge bases. His first family history questions and tree charts were developed when he was 14 years old!
In many cases, working for clients from across North America, Europe and Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, Africa, and the Middle East, particular ancestries have been successfully discovered and documented back to the early 1500s, whenever surviving records permit. Migration pathways and means have also been discovered for many families and individuals over many time periods.
He strives to be diligent in his work, and prides himself on being recognized internationally as a competent and proficient GENEALOGIST and FAMILY HISTORIAN with the ability to solve seemingly impossible problems, wherever surviving records permit this. His approach is fundamentally one of ‘forensic genealogy’, where all possible pieces of evidence about the life, times, relations, and acquaintances of a subject individual are assembled, so that detailed and intricate personal and family histories can be compiled. Following this approach, initially insurmountable problems differentiating two, three, or more individuals with the same name, of about the same age, who lived in the same general area, at about the same time, have been successfully resolved with supporting documentation. Increasingly, DNA evidence is playing a roll, both in establishing bona-fide relationships to support documentary evidence, and to highlight relationships where distinctive documentation fails. To gain better understanding of the concepts and issues involved, he co-ordinates the Y-DNA based "Murdock (and variations) Family Tree & DNA Linkage Project" at FamilyTreeDNA, which is supported by the Guild of One Name Studies. He is also interested in autosomal dna patterns.
Successfully concluded direct personal ‘on-the-ground’ research has been initiated at private and public libraries and archives in England (including the Channel Islands); Scotland; Ireland; most of the western states of the United States; many of the eastern US states; all of the provinces of Canada; in some of the historical provinces of old France; and in some of the pre-unification jurisdictions of modern day Germany. He is personally intimate with a vast array of original and derivative documents and sources covering generally the period from about 1100 to the present. And, of course, he makes increasing use of internet resources for finding and filtering pertinent information.
Bruce maintains professional affiliation with historical and with genealogical and family history societies on two continents, and family history journals published in England, Ireland, the United States, and Canada, have accepted research papers for publication. He also maintains a vibrant internet presence at www.family-historian.com.
At different times in the past, for varying lengths of time, Bruce has served in the following capacities:
- Chair, Kingston Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society (now Ontario Ancestors)
- Branch Genealogist, Kingston and District Branch, United Empire Loyalists' Society of Canada
- Initiator and Co-ordinator, Frontenac County, Ontario Gen Web (now dormant)
- Initiator and Co-ordinator, Leeds and Grenville County, Ontario Gen Web (now dormant)
- Initiator and Co-ordinator, Lennox and Addington County, Ontario Gen Web (now dormant)
- Developer and Owner, EONTGEN-L (a mailing list devoted to topics relevant to Eastern Ontario (now dormant)
- Developer and Owner, surname interest mailing lists - Bradbury, Lamont, Maddock, Murdock and Murduck (all now dormant).
His rates are reasonable. His schedule is flexible.