About Donna Bailey
- B.A. History, Bates College
- J.D. University of Maine School of Law
- York County (Maine) Probate Court Judge 2009-2011
- Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University, 2013
Genealogical Research Experience
Hi, I’m Donna Bailey and I’m a professional genealogical researcher. People often ask me how I became interested in genealogy and what qualifies me to be a genealogist and those are excellent questions. Since you may have those same questions, I’d like to share my answers here.
Even as a young child I had an insatiable curiosity about my family’s history, as well as the history of others, so it came as no surprise to anyone when I graduated from Bates College with a degree in history. Life is full of interesting opportunities and a degree in history is especially good at opening many doors and providing many career choices. In my case, the study of history led me to decide to become a lawyer. I studied law at the University of Maine School of Law, where I earned by J.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence).
I started my legal career as a title abstractor researching land titles in the registry of deeds and then became in-house counsel for a prominent title company in Portland, Maine. In short, this means I became something of an expert in real estate law. Eventually I opened my own law practice, expanding it to include probate and estate work. Additionally, I taught Trust and Estates at the local community college.
I was elected Probate Court Judge for York County, Maine, and it was my honor and privilege to serve in that capacity from 2009-2012. York County is the oldest county in Maine and its Probate Court has a treasure trove of records dating back to 1687. The opportunity to work with these historical records was a fascinating experience that gave me a special understanding about the many types of legal and historical records that can be found in county probate courts (wills, estate files, adoptions, name changes, guardianships, land titles, property deeds and other real estate records). As a Probate Court judge, I worked closely with the Register of Probate in order to help guarantee that these important records will always be preserved and protected, and available to the public forever.
My training in history and law, as well as my professional experiences as a practicing attorney and probate court judge, have given me very special skills to take my lifelong interest in genealogy to an entirely new level. After researching my own genealogy, as well as my husband’s, I began to conduct genealogical research for relatives and friends and it soon became obvious that there is a tremendous need for highly sophisticated genealogical researchers. In 2013 I successfully completed the prestigious Genealogical Research Certificate program at Boston University.
I’ve been a genealogical researcher for well over fifteen years and genealogy continues to be my great passion. Each new request for genealogical research is a fascinating and rewarding challenge that combines my education, experience, and love for history with the satisfaction of helping others.
Genealogical research is a wonderful way in which I can serve the needs and desires of others by helping them learn the truth about their own genealogical history.
It would be my privilege to help you.
- New England Historic Genealogical Society
- Maine Historical Society
- Association of Professional Genealogists
- Maine State Bar Association
- Real Estate and Title Section of the MSBA
- Trusts and Estates Section of the MSBA
- American-Canadian Genealogical Society