About The Author

Welcome Family Sleuthers!

Family Sleuther is the nom de plume of Michael Kirk, an avid family historian who – for more than a decade – has pestered relatives for family lore, sifted through old dusty records, and passed the spittoon for DNA samples - all to unearth his roots.

Michael’s interest in family history began in the summer of 2010 with research into his Italian immigrant great-grandparents. Although they lived into the mid-twentieth century, their descendants knew little about their lives. How was it possible that his direct ancestors – only a couple generations removed – were already unknowns and largely forgotten? It was disheartening. Surely something could be done to honor their memory and strengthen his family’s sense of identity. That triggered the genealogical detective work that continues today.

In June 2013, Michael donned his Sherlock garb and assumed the Family Sleuther persona. Delving into the past, he chips away at seemingly insurmountable genealogical brick walls to solve family mysteries and bring life back to those who are history. Through his blog and across social media, Family Sleuther shares research successes and blunders so other genealogists benefit from his lessons learned and best practices.

Learn more about Michael and the Family Sleuther blog in this Geneabloggers May I Introduce to You... interview (the interview follows Amy's interview, so scroll down).

Professional Development
I take my genealogy professional development and learning serious. I routinely work to advance my research skills in order to climb higher in my family tree. A great way for me to do that is through continued skills-building conferences, which have included:
In 2022, Michael published Thomas Kirk of Licking County, Ohio: A Genealogical Survey 1778-1846, a family history biography of his fifth great-grandfather. Through an exploration of surviving records, family lore, and DNA, this book chronicles his life, sheds light on his ancestral origins, and preserves his story for generations to come.

Be sure to follow Family Sleuther on social media, or email questions to: FamilySleuther@gmail.com