My name is Andrew Martin Kolstee. I have personally been involved in historical and genealogical for the past 13 years. My interest in history began in my freshman year of high school and also sometime during these years I began working on my family history. I am extremely passionate about genealogy and history and I have been more than rewarded with discovering my family history. I have spent countless hours utilizing various resources on the Internet and at offline repositories. I have built an array of knowledge and fact-finding skills that continue to help me get better results in my research. I have found more than what I ever expected to find. I feel I am connected to the past more than ever before.
My knowledge and background of history has been a contributing factor into my current studies. I had a teacher who once said that that history is merely a story. Indeed it is, and it is a story I want to discover and share with others. As fascinating as the so-called “great men” of history are, the common people are another fascinating people to study. It’s not just the generals and the kings and the Presidents, as interesting as they may be, but it is also about the farmers, the coal miners, the factory workers, and their families, among others.
I graduated from Jamestown High School in 2009 with an Academic Advanced Diploma with a major in history and from Jamestown Community College in the Class of 2011 with an Associate’s in Arts degree in Social Sciences. I am a volunteer at the Fenton Historical Society in Jamestown, New York, in which I was elected Trustee in 2015 and Secretary of the Board of Trustees in 2016. I serve on the Society’s Research Center Committee and speak at the Genealogy Support Group meetings on a variety of topics. I have also taught various workshops and I am a co-organizer of the Chautauqua Regional Genealogical Conference. In 2018, I was elected as a Trustee of the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society. I have also spoken at their meetings. Additionally, I have also spoken at Family History Fest Jamestown and Erie.
I have found that independent research has helped me grow as a historian, as it had since high school. I enjoy reading family histories compiled by others, learning about the way people used to lived, enjoying documentaries on the history channel, and visiting historical sites and museums. I am the kind of person who stops and reads the historical information at tourist destinations. I would rather spend a day in a museum or archive than at a beach.
I look forward to helping others discovering their roots. We all came from somewhere, but where did we all come from? Who were our ancestors? Where did they live? What did they do for a living? What historical events did they experience? So many questions, and I love finding the answers.