Martin Fischer Genealogy and Editing Services

 Martin Fischer

Are you curious to know more about your family history but are too busy to research it yourself? Would you like to discover relatives you don't even know exist? Is there an intriguing family history story you would like to have checked out but don't quite know how to pursue it? Are you looking for an unusual gift for a friend or relative who has everything? Is there a part of your family that you have lost contact with over the years, perhaps due to a long-ago rift or disagreement, and you now would like to mend fences or just re-establish contact? If any of these are the case, then let Martin Fischer help you.

Martin Fischer worked for more than 30 years as a journalist at the Chicago Tribune. Now, he is using his experience as a longtime enthusiastic amateur genealogist by working as a part-time professional freelance genealogist, researcher, editor, and writer. He is available to conduct family history projects including but not limited to searching online databases; corresponding with government archives of birth, marriage and death records; building family trees; editing memoirs; and writing family history narratives.

 He has been conducting family history research in his free time since the 1970s. His genealogical areas of specialization include but are not limited to the St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., and Chicago and Cook County, Ill., areas; the Midwestern U.S.; emigration and immigration; finding heirs and other relatives; federal records and naturalization; the Holocaust and other Jewish topics.

Martin Fischer is a tech savvy baby boomer with experience using Family Tree Maker genealogical software as well as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher and FrontPage; and Adobe InCopy.

As a long-time copy editor at the Chicago Tribune, he became known as a defender of correct grammar, punctuation and spelling and an advocate of accuracy, clarity and readability. He applies the same diligence to genealogical projects and freelance editing.

For much of his career, he edited local news stories on the metro copy desk, but also had experience editing national/foreign, features and business news copy. The job required writing informative headlines and interesting photo captions and respectfully trimming stories to fit space needs. He is experienced with both print and online publication. Early in 2012, he worked temporarily as a copy editor for the American Medical Association.

Previously, as a graphics coordinator in the Tribune's editorial art department, Martin Fischer reported, researched and wrote text for informational newspaper graphics on a wide range of subject matter -- some of it technical, medical or scientific -- for the Tribune's metro, national/foreign, business, sports and features sections.

Earlier in his career, he was responsible for generating story ideas and assigning stories to other reporters for a weekly community newspaper in Chicago, where he also wrote and copy edited news and feature articles and editorials.  He also wrote two copy preparation guides for the newspaper's reporting staff.

Although his professional life has been in newspaper journalism, his master's degree from the University of Chicago is in sociology and his bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis is in political science.

Martin Fischer is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, the St. Louis Genealogical Society, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois, the American Copy Editors Society and the Editorial Freelancers Association. He is vice president-publicity of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. He attended the IAJGS International Conferences on Jewish Genealogy in Seattle in 2016, Salt Lake City in 2014, Boston in 2013, Washington, D.C., in 2011, and Chicago in 2008; the Professional Management Conference of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Sept. 2, 2009, in Little Rock, Ark.; the JGSI Midwest Jewish Genealogical Conferences in 2015 and 2010; and the Federation of Genealogical Societies 35th Annual Conference, Sept. 7-10, 2011, in Springfield, Ill.

He has the talent, skills and temperament to successfully edit book-length manuscripts as well as shorter forms of publication, such as magazine, newspaper and scholarly journal articles, brochures, press releases, advertising copy and Web sites. He is accustomed to a fast-paced environment where deadlines are a priority and handling multiple jobs with excellent attention to detail and accuracy are required.

To see examples of Martin Fischer's genealogical research and writing, click the Home button below. To hire him to work for you on a family history or other project, please contact him by clicking here. To read Martin's professional career resume, click on the LinkedIn button below.

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Selected writings by Martin Fischer

"U.S. Bureau of Investigation Files Yield Genealogical Gems." Article describes federal investigative documents that contain useful genealogical details. Published in Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy, Spring 2012 edition. pdf file

Online Newspaper and Book Sites for Genealogical Research." Handout prepared for Martin Fischer's March 25, 2012, presentation of a genealogical research case study, "The Most Famous Man in America You Never Heard Of," at a meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois.

"Multimedia Resources for Researching and Writing Family History." Handout prepared for the Feb. 26, 2012, "Ask the Experts" panel discussion at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois meeting.

"Pointers for Editing a Genealogy Website. Published in the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, March 2011 edition. pdf file

"Reversing Gears: How To Find Living Relatives." Genealogy how-to article on the GenealogyArchives web site, posted Dec. 23, 2009.

"How to Use Genetics in Family History Research." Genetic genealogy how-to article on eHow web site, posted Sept. 25, 2009.

"Trial by Poverty: A post-Depression environmentalist." Chicago Tribune Perspective section, Jan. 20, 2008.

"How One JGS-St. Louis Member Created His Personal Family History Web Site." Generations, newsletter published by the Jewish Genealogical Society of St. Louis. Part 1, May 2004, page 7: ; Part 2, June 2004, page 7: ; Part 3, July 2004, page 7:

"Altered States." Co-author. Chicago Tribune full-page graphic project, Dec 29, 1992.

"Bon Voyagers." Co-author. Chicago Tribune full-page graphic project, Aug 27, 1989.

"The Destruction of Hiroshima: First Atomic Bomb Hastens the End of World War II." Researcher. Chicago Tribune full-page graphic project, Aug 6, 1985.

"For Food Lovers, All Roads Lead to France...But We've Found a Few Dandy Detours." Chicago Tribune restaurant review, May 22, 1982.

"Ethnic dining/Greek." Chicago Tribune restaurant review, May 17, 1980.

"Coming to Terms with Midwestern English." Chicago Tribune Tempo section, March 20, 1979.

"Cover Teas and Pews." (original unpublished title: "Minding Your Teas and Pews.") Grassroots Editor, quarterly journal of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors. Winter 1977. pdf file

Selection of news and features articles and editorials. Austin News, Northwest Journal, Northwest World, weekly community newspapers doing business in Chicago as News-Journal-World, a division of the Southtown Economist newspaper chain. 1975-1977. pdf file

"Land Availability Data Bank." Chapter 4 co-research director, co-author. In Freedom of Choice in Housing: An Examination of the Problem and Some Resources Toward its Solution in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area, an urban planning grant project, August 1971, by Washington University law professor Daniel R. Mandelker.

"Carole Remick States Reasons for Resigning." Washington University Student Life student newspaper, Nov. 4, 1969, page 1.

"Freaky SF Fans Invade Chase Hotel." Washington University Student Life student newspaper, Sept. 19, 1969, page 6.

"Pagan Church of All Worlds Comes to WU." Washington University Student Life student newspaper, Oct. 25, 1968, page 3.

"Symington Details his Position in Special Interview." Co-author. Washington University Student Life student newspaper, Oct. 4, 1968, page 6.

"Students Quiz Nixon at Kiel Opera House." Washington University Student Life student newspaper, Oct. 1, 1968, page 1.

"Black Republican Speaks Out." Washington University Student Life student newspaper, Sept. 24, 1968, page 6.

"Professors Predict Nixon Victory." Washington University Student Life student newspaper, Sept. 20, 1968, page 3.

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Experienced amateur genealogist Martin Fischer is available to conduct freelance family history projects including searching online databases, building family trees, editing memoirs and creating genealogical Web sites. For more information, go to, click on find a freelancer, and type Martin Fischer in the search box, or go to, click on search by name, and type Fischer and Martin in the search boxes. He also has a professional expert genealogist's profile at