About me


Pam Vestal

Genealogical Researcher and Writer

National Speaker



My research clients typically want to know the facts of genealogy, their ancestors' names, dates, and places, but most of them are hoping for more.  They want the stories.  They hope to get a sense of who these people were and what their lives were like.  Because I entered the field of genealogy after a twenty-year career as a professional writer, this is the kind of work I am especially qualified to provide.


Each client's journey into the past is personal. Some come to me out of curiosity, or because they need documentation for a project or application, or because they want to give a gift; others come for something more personal. Whatever the reason may be, I always consider it a great privilege to be invited to participate.  


My interest in family history began when my daughter grew curious about her father's side of the family. With little information to go on, I set off to discover what I could. Before long, I was hooked. 


What started as a hobby became more serious when a woman who was recovering from a devastating family tragedy asked for my help. She hoped that learning more about her ancestors would be healing, and thankfully, it did turn out to be helpful.


Since embarking upon this career years ago, my ongoing genealogical training has taken me all over the United States for conferences, intensive classes and workshops, and for research.  I am a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and belong to many genealogical and historical organizations which enhance the quality of my work.  I became a professional speaker in 2016, and since that time, I've given presentations to local genealogical societies, public libraries, and at regional and national conferences.   


Although I live in Portland, Oregon, I conduct research and lecture all over the United States.  My articles have been published in the National Genealogical Society Magazine, The Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, and FGS' Forum.