Searching for who we are by discovering who came before us.


Curious to know your family’s roots? Did you or someone else in your family start to trace your tree and then stopped due to a lack of time or not knowing where to go next? If so, then a professional can be a great alternative. Leaves & Branches genealogist, Michael D. Smith can assist your quest utilizing high evidential standards and proven historical research methods. Based in the Kansas City area, he is available to help with projects ranging from simply locating a great-grandparent to compiling a multi-generational family history.


* Tracing ancestry with thorough research methodology.

* Detailing factual family histories.

* Locating long-lost relatives and descendants.

* Assisting with “brick walls.”


After spending time researching his family heritage to locate long-lost relatives in Virginia, Michael next successfully built trees for a couple of adopted people searching for their roots. Realizing this had become a genuine passion, he decided to pursue genealogy professionally. His extensive educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts from College of the Ozarks and a Master of Arts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Both degrees are in American history with an emphasis on the Civil War and pre-1865 America, including the colonial period. He has also had courses on European history and graduate-level studies in research methodology as well as having experience in journalism. He is currently a member of the Missouri State Genealogical Association and the Cass County Historical Society of Harrisonville, Missouri.




Following a free, 60-minute initial interview (in-person, telephone, Facetime or email) to ascertain what you specifically would like to find out and what information you already possess, any ensuing project will be billed at a $20 hourly rate at six, 10 or 15-hour segments, dependent upon the size and length of the task requested. A 50% retainer fee of the initial, authorized research hours is required before work begins. As the project moves forward, the client will receive regular progress updates. Any out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of photocopies, ordering documents, postage, etc., will be billed separately and due upon receipt. Expenses over $50 will require the client’s consent. Payments will be accepted via Venmo or cash.


Before any work begins, a research agreement will be signed by the client and Michael D. Smith. Upon completion of your ancestral project, you will be provided with a detailed report containing all of the information requested plus photocopies of relevant documents. Please send a message using the form below if you would like to set up an interview and we can get our journey started!

“To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.” – Chinese proverb



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