The Past Matters is a research and consulting services firm that assists individuals and organizations with researching, organizing and managing their genealogy, artifact, and photo history projects.
The Past Matters is co-owned by the husband and wife team of Robert Craig Wallace and Karen Wallace Steely. Craig and Karen have lived in the Pacific Northwest for more than 10 years, and currently reside in Vancouver, Washington.
Whether your project is large or small, The Past Matters can help you achieve your research objectives.
Karen Wallace Steely
Karen Wallace Steely is the principal researcher for The Past Matters and began researching her own family when she was a teenager. Karen’s experience in history, genealogy, computer and internet technology, historic clothing and photography, library science, and professional project management combine to make her uniquely qualified to assist others. She assists clients with:
Karen is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) . As a Professional Genealogist, Karen has pledged to abide by the Code of Ethics of this organization. She is also currently going through the application process required to achieve formal certification through the Board for Certification of Genealogists® (BCG ®).
Karen specializes in the following services:
Pacific Northwest Research
Karen has lived in the Pacific Northwest for more than 10 years, and has spent those years conducting genealogy and lineage research both for herself and for others.
Southern Midwest and Ozark Research
Karen’s own family has lived in Missouri and the Ozark region since the 1830’s, and she has been doing onsite research in the southern Midwest (Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma) and the Ozarks for more than 20 years.
Native American Ancestry
Karen has more than 10 years experience in researching Native American lineage, with particular emphasis on Cherokee ancestry and the Oklahoma Indian Territory.
Dating and Identification of Historic Photographs
Karen has studied the history of costume, collected vintage clothing and personally created scaled reproductions of antique hats, shoes and clothing for more than 30 years. She has enhanced her ability to date clothing with the study of photographic history and has more than 15 years of experience in dating and identifying old photographs.
Brick Wall and Research Plan Assistance
Karen has more than 17 years of consulting experience and can assist you by reviewing your progress and research problems and then working with you to develop a research plan that specifically targets your research problems.
Artifact and Research Organization
Karen has both formal education and more than 10 years experience in the organization and cataloging of small and large personal libraries and research collections, including archival storage products and methods.
Karen brings the following experience to her work at The Past Matters:
Karen Wallace Steely is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute (PMI ®). She received her PMP certification in 2001.
Karen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, with additional coursework in Library Science at Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri.
Below is a partial list of Craig and Karen’s genealogical and historical society memberships.
Charter member of the Mercer Girls Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) .
Barton County Historical Society
Delaware County Genealogical Society
Delaware County Historical Society
Union Cemetery Historical Society (Kansas City, Mo.)
Karen is webmaster for the Puget Sound Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.
Calendar of engagements:
October 15, 2008 Karen Wallace Steely will deliver a lecture on "Dating and Identifying Old Photographs" at the Fiske Genealogical Library.
October 15, 2008 Karen Wallace Steely will deliver a lecture on "The History of Fashion from the French Revolution" at the Seattle Genealogical Society.
Karen continues to research her own ancestry, in addition to doing research for others. The list of surnames and her policy for sharing information are provided below.
Barnett, Charlton, Daniel, Dodson, Glover, Goehner, Green, Hale, Hall, Harrison, Hogue, Holscher, Hoover, Jones (Carroll County, Arkansas family), Kirasic, Magdic, Moseley, Phillips, Querry, Ridge, Robertson/Robinson, Rose, Rupe, Shane, Shryock, Sidwell, Smart, Smith (Cherokee family in Oklahoma Indian Territory), Starling/Sterling, Steeley/Steely, Tackett, Thompson, Trabue, Uber, Vondemfange, Voshal/Voshell, Wheeler, Whitwell, Wilkerson, Wilkinson, Womack.
Policy on sharing family information
If you are researching one of the surnames I have listed above, please contact me. If we are researching the same line, I will gladly exchange information with you and provide you with copies of my research and all original source documentation that I have for free.
Karen can put the results of the research she performs in your choice of genealogy software programs from the list below, in addition to providing you with a GEDCOM file.
Robert Craig Wallace
Robert Craig Wallace provides on-location photographic services for The Past Matters. Craig has training and experience in traditional 35mm photography as well as digital photography. He is able to provide high-quality, on-location tombstone, house and building photos.
For tombstone photos, Craig uses a variety of tombstone-friendly techniques to improve the visibility of the information and images carved on the tombstone.
For house and building photos, special wide-angle lenses enable him to capture full images even when space is tight. Craig is then able to provide his photos to clients in paper form, digital form or both, and all photo printing is done on archival paper with archival inks to help ensure the longevity of your images.
Planned Research Trips
Craig and Karen make regular research trips back to the Ozarks region of Missouri and Arkansas, to the LDS Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City and to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. to do research for clients. Since the cost of these trips can be split between multiple clients, they are able to provide long-distance research to clients at a nominal cost.
May 2009 Karen will be on a research trip to the North Carolina State Archives.
September, 2009 Craig and Karen will take a research trip to Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.
Note: There are still available openings on both of these research trips for additional client research assignments.
About The Past Matters LLC
The Past Matters LLC is a limited liability company and is registered in the state of Washington.
Karen Wallace Steely is the Registered Agent for The Past Matters LLC.
Why Hire a Professional Genealogist
If this is the first time you have considered hiring a professional genealogist, you may be wondering what to look for and what to expect. You can find additional information about what to consider in selecting a professional genealogist and what to expect once you hire one on the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) website, where they have an article entitled, Why Hire a Professional Genealogist