James Mitchell BrownMy introduction to the fascinating realm of genealogy began three decades ago. The insatiable quest to discover my southern heritage first began with an initial “curiosity trip” to the local courthouse. The stunning revelations learned about my Virginia ancestors that day left an indelible impression. The impact serves as the driving passion behind all genealogical research I now undertake.

The transition from personal family historian to professional genealogist has been a fascinating journey. That journey has led me down many educational paths and to numerous research repositories over the years. The fundamental knowledge gained along that journey as an academician and courthouse researcher prepared me for a rewarding career I never envisioned.

I absolutely love what I do. To me, there’s simply no greater gratification than to overcome a stubborn research barrier and finally unlock the gateway to the hidden past. It’s a feeling I cherish—one I hope endures forever!


Research & Speaking Experience:

  • Conducted genealogical research since 1985
  • Serviced clients as a professional genealogist since 1992
  • Established my business, SoutheasternRoots, in 2005
  • Seasoned lecturer on an array of genealogical topics
  • Organized and conducted seminars and workshops
  • Land title abstractor (FL) as an independent contractor
  • Adjunct college instructor (History)

Academic Education:

Genealogical Education:

  • Courthouse researcher since 1985; have conducted on-site research at many courthouses from Virginia to Alabama
  • Attendee of National Genealogical Society Annual Conferences (Jacksonville; Richmond; Charleston)
  • Attendee of seminars held in Florida and conducted by colleagues Elizabeth Shown Mills, Thomas W. Jones, Christine Rose, and Judy G. Russell
  • Attendee of the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (2006)
  • Ongoing subscriber to various society and organizational publications


  • Past president of the AlaBenton Genealogical Society of Calhoun County, Alabama


Professional Affiliation:

Association of Professional Genealogists membership logo