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Genealogist

Becca (Rothman) McCoy

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North Carolina, USA

Becca has been interested in genealogy as far back as she can remember. Even as a child, she helped her mother conduct genealogical research during summers spent on her grandparents’ farm outside Cottonwood, Minnesota. Becca’s Icelandic heritage comes from her mother’s side, with both of her maternal grandparents having Icelandic and Norwegian ancestors.

One of those ancestors, Becca’s great-great-grandmother, came to southwestern Minnesota from Iceland with her mother in 1879 at the tender age of six. As a young girl, she took off for parts unknown and returned to her mother’s home years later with an infant daughter, claiming she was married, though there was no husband by her side. Where exactly she had gone and what happened to her after she left her child with family was a mystery for well over 100 years, but Becca was able to use her genealogical research skills to finally determine what happened to her great-great-grandmother, hunting down information on a subsequent marriage, the date, location, and cause of death, and even photographs of the gravestone.
 
In addition to working on her own family history, Becca occasionally volunteers with a forensic genealogy group called Unclaimed Persons, which strives to use publicly accessible information to identify John and Jane Does, thereby allowing families to bring their loved ones back home and lay them to rest.
 
Professionally, Becca has been active in many industries and fields, including IT. However, besides her time in the U.S. Army, most of her professional life has been spent in vocational rehabilitation and disability services, providing career services to individuals with disabilities across the United States. She has also worked in technical fields ranging from television (studio camera operator and sound engineer), visual (professional/freelance photographer), and audio (sound technician supervisor and audiobook technical editor).

Becca is a published author and photographer and is currently nearing completion of her Ph.D. in General Psychology. Her doctoral research focuses on how adult Americans react to the shock of discovering through ancestral DNA testing that one or both parents are not who they thought they were. She plans to combine her genealogical expertise with her counseling background and do consulting work in this area as well as provide training and education to genealogists and mental health professionals who may treat clients experiencing difficulties after such a discovery.

Becca lives in Beulaville, North Carolina with her husband, Patrick. They have a son who is currently in college.