Stone House Historical Research

Catherine Becker Wiest Desmarais, CG, owner and founder of Stone House Historical Research, manages the company’s home base in Vermont’s beautiful Champlain Valley. Researching professionally since 2007 and Board-certified since 2011, she loves challenging genealogy research projects. She’s gained broad experience across the US and internationally, with a particular focus on Vermont and Ireland. Forensic genealogy research, including military repatriation research, probate, and real estate title cases, is her specialty. A US Department of Defense qualified genealogist since 2012, Catherine has managed more than 150 cases to locate family members and DNA donors to assist the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency with their efforts to fully account for service members from WWII and the Korean War. She has well over 1000 billed hours in forensic and family history genealogy research.

Catherine has a Master’s Degree in Education, graduating summa cum laude from the University of Vermont. She is a national level genealogical educator and is active in the genealogical community. She served from 2014-2017 as the vice president of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and has volunteered for APG’s New England chapter for more than a decade. She served as a board member of the Logo Board for Certification of GenealogistsCouncil for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) from 2012 to 2015 and coordinated their mentor and volunteer initiative programs. She instructed at CAFG’s Forensic Genealogy Institute from 2012 to 2015. She also taught at the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and at the 2013, 2014, and 2016 Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). She avidly participates in continuing education opportunities for continued professional growth. Most recently this has included attending an advanced course in using DNA to solve genealogical problems taught by CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, APG’s annual Professional Management Conferences, multiple other genealogical institute courses, regional and national conferences, and online webinars. For more detail, please download her resume.


1850s stone houseThe stone house that inspired the company’s name was built in the 1850s by William Bair, a Pennsylvania stonemason and the great-great grandfather of Catherine Becker Wiest Desmarais. The search for William Bair (1812-1893) and his stone house reignited Catherine’s earlier passion for genealogy research, and taught her to build lineage connections as carefully and sturdily as her grandfather constructed his stone houses. In this way, both live on in service of future generations.