Meet the Board: Karin Coppernoll

Do you know who’s running the show at the Washington State Genealogical Society? Did you know we have an Executive Committee, six standing committee chairs and three appointed non-elected officers? Who are all these people? In the coming months, we’ll introduce them to you, so you can say “hi” the next time you see them.

Karin Coppernoll

In today’s “Meet the Board” series, we’re introducing you to Karin Coppernoll. Karin lives in Monroe (Snohomish County) and is in her first term as WSGS’s Secretary. She is a professional genealogist, managing her own genealogical research firm “Brick By Brick Genealogy.” She has a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University and has attended the Salt Lake City Institute of Genealogy and completed a course in Advanced Research Tools: Land Records by Richard G. Sayre and Pamela Boyer Sayre. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.

Karin was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, the daughter of John Louis and Cynthia Eugenia (Chrzanowski) Pasteur. Think she’s related to Louis Pasteur? Nope — they’re not related. Karin’s Pasteur ancestors originally spelled their surname “Passtoor.”

Karin and her husband James “Jim” Coppernoll have been married 31 years. They have two children: son Clint (age 25) and daughter Camille (age 17). In addition to working as a professional genealogist, Karin is the bookkeeper for her husband’s environmental geology corporation. In her “former life,” Karin was a “jill-of-all-trades,” working for Jackson County (Oregon) Environmental Health Department, a water testing lab, a temporary job agency and an accounting firm. She’s also worked as a veterinary technician, children’s pastor and taught Latin at an alternative high school.

While having quite a varied work history over the years, one constant has been genealogy which she started at age 12 when she took a genealogy and heraldry class in middle school. After that, she was hooked! She is particularly proud of the deep New England ties of her four grandparents.

  • One has roots deep into Colonial America, settling in Westchester County, New York, for generations. Karin’s planning to visit Westchester County this year when she attends the New York State Family History Conference.
  • Two of them immigrated from Poland and settled in Connecticut before moving to New Jersey.
  • Karin’s remaining grandparent was the son of German immigrants who settled in Brooklyn. For many years, Karin’s father believed his father was an orphan. In actuality, he was born in Ostfriesland, Germany and was a crew member of a German ship. He deserted his ship in New York Harbor and become a U.S. citizen.

A few more interesting tidbits about Karin:

  • Favorite genealogy websites: Ancestry most often, with FamilySearch a close second
  • Favorite color: Royal purple
  • Favorite dessert: Cherry cheesecake
  • When she’s not doing genealogy, Karin loves to knit.
  • It’s easy to describe Karin in one word: organized. The ideal description of a genealogist!

Now you know a little more about another of the WSGS Board members. The next time you see Karin say hello and thank her for her service to WSGS.