Deborah A. Abbott, PhD
Deborah A. Abbott, PhD, is a professional genealogist specializing in genealogical methodology, manuscript collections, and African American family research. She is a member of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Archives Commission, the Lakeview Cemetery Community Outreach Committee, an affiliate with the Kentucky-Tennessee Associates, past president of the African American Genealogical Society, Cleveland, Ohio, and a retired professor of Counseling from Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. She holds an AA degree from Cuyahoga Community College, both the BS and MEd degrees from Tuskegee University in Alabama and the PhD degree from Kent State University in Ohio.
Dr. Abbott is coordinator of the African American Track at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) in Athens, Georgia, and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). She teaches at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research (TIGR) in Dallas. Dr. Abbott presents lectures and workshops for national, state, and local genealogy conferences, colleges, and libraries.
She has articles published in the Ohio Genealogy News and FamilyTree magazines. Dr. Abbott can be found teaching African American genealogy in a segment entitled “Needles & Threads” on Ancestry Academy, an educational video course for Ancestry.com. She teaches monthly classes entitled “Using Ancestry.com in Genealogy Research” at the Lakewood (Ohio) Public Library and coordinates the “Genealogy and Family History Clinic” for the Cleveland Public Library.
Dr. Abbott is a member of the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Association of Professional Genealogist (APG) and the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG).
A Cleveland, Ohio native, she is a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Tuskegee University National Alumni Association, and Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland.
John K. Alexander, MA, MLIS
John K. Alexander, MA, MLIS, has a Master of Arts in History from the University of Utah and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington. He is a Product Manager at FamilySearch with 12 years’ experience on the FamilySearch Cataloging, Indexing, and Collection Management teams.
Clint Alley, a native Tennessean, is the author of Lawrence County History Trivia. His adventures in genealogy can be read at https://www.thetalkingleaf.com. His roots and research interests are southern; primarily Middle Tennessee and North Alabama, where his family has lived for more than two centuries. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and three daughters.
Lisa Alzo, MFA
Lisa A. Alzo, MFA, is a freelance writer, instructor, and internationally recognized lecturer, specializing in Eastern European genealogical research and creative nonfiction writing. She grew up in Duquesne, Pennsylvania, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Lisa is the author of eleven books, including The Family Tree Polish, Czech and Slovak Genealogy Guide, and the award-winning Three Slovak Women, and hundreds of magazine articles. Lisa is a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine, a regular columnist for Reunions Magazine, and works as an online educator and writing coach through her websites Research, Write, Connect at https://www.researchwriteconnect.com and Alzo Creative Writing. She also developed the Eastern European Research Certificate Program for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Lisa is a frequently invited speaker for national conferences, genealogical and historical societies, and webinars. An avid genealogist for more than 30 years, Lisa also chronicles her family history adventures on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist, https://www.theaccidentalgenealogist.com. Visit https://www.lisaalzo.com for more information.
Julia A. Anderson, MA, AG*
Julia Anderson, MA, AG, has a master’s degree in history with an emphasis in post-secondary education and is an Accredited Genealogist with a credential in the United States Gulf South region. She is a United States and Canada Research Specialist at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City and teaches research and accreditation classes for Salt Lake Community College in their Genealogy Certificate program. Julia is the owner and managing member of Anderson Genealogical Research, LLC, and gives freely of her time with much volunteer service. She is currently the conference chair for Utah Genealogical Association's annual virtual Summit of Excellence Conference. Julia resides in Orem, Utah. She and her husband, Scott, have nine children and seven grandchildren.
Daniel Atwell, MLIS
Daniel Atwell, MLIS, manages the newly constructed Family History Library Scanning Center. He plays a key role in the digitization efforts of the Family History Library and its partners. Daniel received his MLIS from San Jose State University. He supported SJSU’s MLIS program accreditation renewal process in 2022 and served as vice-chair on his local public library board from 2019–2021.
Brandon Baird, AG, MEd
Brandon Baird, AG, MEd, attended and graduated from BYU with a BA in Family History and Genealogy. He started working at the Family History Library in the summer of 2013 as a part-time Latin America Research Specialist. In March of 2014, he was hired full time and has continued as a Latin America Research Specialist. As a Latin America Research Specialist, he assists individuals in researching their Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and French ancestors. He has become an Accredited Genealogist through ICAPGen in the Spain, France, Mexico, Portugal, Italy, Peru, Chile, Colombia-Panama, Argentina-Uruguay, and Venezuela regions. In 2017, he graduated from the University of Utah with a Master of Education in Instructional Design and Educational Technology. He teaches at conferences both nationally and internationally on a variety of genealogical topics, as well as at the Family History Library.
Donna Cox Baker, PhD
Donna Cox Baker (PhD, history), retired early from her career in historical magazine and book publishing at the University of Alabama to expand her side business, Golden Channel Publishing (GCP). She develops publications, tools, training, and methods to facilitate what she calls “genohistory”—the cross-disciplinary study of interconnected people, often families, in their own historical time and place. GCP’s premier site, Genohistory.com, encourages researchers to establish themselves at the crossroads “where genealogy and history converge.” Baker has written many articles and authored three books, coediting a fourth, representing both research disciplines. She is best-known for her book Zotero for Genealogy: Harnessing the Power of Your Research (2019), which teaches genealogists how to use this free software to gather, organize, cite, and analyze the research that precedes and expands beyond family tree fact-gathering.
Baker served as a committee cochair for the Alabama Bicentennial Commission’s three-year state and territorial commemoration activities, incorporating genealogy projects, including the digitization of state and local genealogical and historical society publications. She served as Vice President, then President, of the Alabama Genealogical Society. With Frazine Taylor, she also cofounded the Beyond Kin Project, an initiative that encourages the descendants of slaveholders to document the enslaved populations held by their ancestors. Supported by GCP, the Beyond Kin Project Facebook Forum now has over 3,000 members. She considers it to be one of the best examples of how genohistory expands the concept of interconnectedness beyond legal and biological kinship to present the more nuanced picture of ancestral worlds.
Jenifer Kahn Bakkala
Jenifer Kahn Bakkala is a professional genealogist, writer, and author, based in Massachusetts. She is passionate about finding and telling the stories of our ancestors and allowing them to emerge beyond the names and dates. She enjoys working in a narrative biography format with an emphasis on social history.
Jenifer is the author of An American Family, Four Centuries of Labor, Love, and Reward: A Story of the Davis Family, 2018, and The Maynard, North, and DeForest Families: A Story of Immigration, Industry, and Community, 2021. She is also a reviewer for NEHGS’s quarterly journal, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Jenifer sits on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists and is chair of its Professional Development and Publications Advisory committees.
Gary Ball-Kilbourne, MDiv, PhD, CG**
Gary Ball-Kilbourne, MDiv, PhD, CG, served almost forty years as a United Methodist pastor in North Dakota and as an executive editor at The United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville.
Since he retired from active ministry in 2013, he has been a genealogical researcher, teacher, and writer. He is a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists and serves as the editor of BCG’s publication, OnBoard. He has written articles for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Maryland Genealogical Society Journal, and Minnesota Genealogist.
His research interests range from his current location in the Northern Plains; to colonial Connecticut, Maryland, and New Sweden; to the District of Columbia and Baltimore; and to England, Germany, and Hungary. He is on the faculty for the genealogical courses offered online by Boston University, mentors GenProof study groups, and volunteers as wordsmith on the SLIG Committee. He holds a PhD in religion from Vanderbilt University. Gary lives in Fargo, North Dakota.
Danielle Batson, AG
Danielle Batson is an Accredited Genealogist in the U.S. Midwest States. She received a BA in Family History from BYU Provo in 1997 and a Masters in Library Science from the University of North Texas in 2007. Danielle has worked for FamilySearch since 2000. She worked as a US/Canada Specialist until 2013. Her current responsibilities include being the FamilySearch Research Wiki Content Manager.
Amberly Beck, AG
Amberly Beck, AG, is an Accredited Genealogist professional specializing in French research. She is the former director of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Her love for genealogy began as a child poring over family photos with her grandmother and became a serious research endeavor over twenty years ago. Amberly lives in Utah with her family.
F. Warren Bittner, MS
F. Warren Bittner, MS (History), is a genealogical researcher, educator, and author. He is former owner of an independent research firm, and previously worked for the Family History Library as the German Collection Manager.
Warren has coordinated German research courses at various levels for national institutes, including the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). He has lectured widely at national conferences and society events, and is published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.
Dan Bouk, PhD
Dan Bouk, PhD, is the author of Democracy's Data: The Hidden Stories in the US Census and How to Read Them. He researches the history of bureaucracies, quantification, and other modern things shrouded in cloaks of boringness. He is Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at Colgate University.
Michael Brophy, MBA
Michael Brophy, MBA, is a nationally known, professional genealogical researcher, heir search specialist, and lecturer from the Boston area. He is currently the President of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) and the first Treasurer of the New England chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Mike earned an MBA degree from Suffolk University and a BBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Mike was featured on the TV series Who Do You Think You Are? and the Irish TV series Dead Money, a genealogy show about heir searchers. Mr. Brophy was hired to conduct research for Ancestry and several historical authors.
He has lectured on a wide variety of genealogy subjects at the National Genealogy Society’s Annual Conference in 2023, 2021, 2019, 2014, 2012, and 2011 and at The Institute of Genealogy and Historic Research (IGHR). He specializes in New England and Irish genealogy subjects. His genealogy education includes eight certificates from the Institute of Genealogy and Historic Research (IGHR) and certificates in Private Investigation and Advanced Forensic Genealogy from Boston University. He is a licensed private investigator in Massachusetts.
Angie Bush, MS
Angie Bush, MS (Biotechnology), BS (Molecular Biology), is the Director of Region 1 for the National Genealogical Society. She is a professional genetic genealogist and has been researching her own family since she was 8 years old. She regularly provides advice regarding genetic genealogy to other genealogists in the Salt Lake City area. Prior to her involvement with genetic genealogy, she pursued a career in molecular and clinical genetics. Between obtaining her bachelor's and master's degrees, she spent several years working in the biotech industry where she gained an in-depth, working knowledge of the technologies used in DNA testing. Angie has helped many adoptees to find their biological family through autosomal DNA testing, and is particularly focused on using DNA as a genealogical record to reconstruct relationships and break down brick walls – whether they are recent or several hundred years old.
Angie is a member of the Association for Professional Genealogists, International Society of Genetic Genealogists and Utah Genealogical Association.
Charlotte Noelle Champenois, AG
Charlotte Noelle Champenois is an Accredited Genealogist in Germany Northwest, Denmark, Sweden, and Austria and has a BA in Family History–Genealogy. She works as a German and Nordic Research Specialist for the FamilySearch Library, an Associate Records Analyst for the German Immigrants in American Church Records (GIACR) project, and a transcription and translation assistant for Germanology Unlocked and is a freelance genealogist and translator. Charlotte has presented at IGGC, SGGS, FGS, NGS, RootsTech, SDGS GIG, FEEFHS, the GFO Open House, and the FamilySearch Library. She has co-published a book and two articles and has collaborated on twelve GIACR volumes. A native Danish speaker and an advanced German paleographer, she also periodically works with genealogical records in Latin, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, and French.
Tim Cross has worked as a Product Manager for FamilySearch for over 19 years. Prior to working for FamilySearch, Tim worked in the computer industry for PriceWaterhouse, Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and Novell. While at FamilySearch, Tim has managed the definition and release of FamilySearch’s Photos and Stories (Memories) as well as FamilySearch Notifications. Tim is currently investigating how we can increase awareness of those we remember on headstones, monuments, memorials, and historic sites.
Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG
Certified Genealogist Catherine Becker Wiest Desmarais is the owner of Stone House Historical Research, where she leads a team of researchers specializing in forensic genealogical research for probate, real estate, and military repatriation cases. Her firm completes more than 6,000 hours of forensic genealogy research annually and has assisted the Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency to locate families for more than one thousand missing service members. A professional genealogist since 2006 and board-certified since 2011, Catherine has a broad range of genealogical experience in the U.S. and internationally, with particular expertise in Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Ireland.
Catherine is a past Vice-President of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). She is a founding member of APG’s Forensic Genealogy Special Interest Group (ForGen SIG). After a long tenure on the program committee of APG’s New England chapter, she now serves in the same capacity for APG’s ForGen SIG. She has a master’s degree in Education from the University of Vermont and has taught at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh, the Forensic Genealogy Institute, and the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference, as well as local and regional venues. Her research and writing has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Crossroads, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.
Grant Din is a genealogist and nonprofit consultant based in Oakland, CA. His ancestors include a Chinese immigrant merchant and a paper son, and he has researched hundreds of immigrants from across the Pacific. Grant has presented to groups including the National Genealogical Society, NYG&B, and many other genealogical societies, universities, and libraries, and his articles have appeared in publications of NGS and the California Genealogical Society, where he is now a board member. He was a part of the research team for the film The Six, about the six Chinese seamen who survived the wreck of the Titanic, and co-curated an exhibit at the Angel Island Immigration Station.
Nicole Dyer is a professional genealogist specializing in Southern United States research and genetic genealogy. She is the creator of FamilyLocket.com and the Research Like a Pro Genealogy Podcast. She co-authored the books Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist's Guide and Research Like a Pro with DNA and is an instructor for the study groups of the same name. She lectures at local and national conferences and previously served as the secretary and publicity chair of the Pima County Genealogy Society. Nicole holds a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University in History Teaching. At Family Locket Genealogists, Nicole is a project manager, editor, genetic genealogy specialist, and Southern States researcher.
Diana Elder, AG
Diana Elder, AG, is a professional genealogist accredited in the Gulf South region of the United States. She serves as an ICAPGen Commissioner, heading the Presentation Committee. Diana and her team teach about the accreditation process and produce the ICAPGen YouTube video content. Diana authored Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide and co-authored the companion volume, Research Like a Pro with DNA: A Genealogist’s Guide to Finding and Confirming Ancestors with DNA Evidence. Diana and her daughter, Nicole Dyer, are the co-owners of Family Locket Genealogists and host the Research Like a Pro Genealogy Podcast. They share research tips on their website, FamilyLocket.com, and provide educational experiences with their online courses and study groups.
Diana has lectured at the National Genealogy Society Conference, RootsTech, the APG Professional Management Conference, and the Brigham Young University Conference on Family History and Genealogy. She regularly presents lectures and seminars for genealogy societies and has completed courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Georgia Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research. Diana is a graduate and past mentor of the ProGen Study Group, an online peer-led study program based on the book Professional Genealogy by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
J. H. "Jay" Fonkert, CG
J. H. “Jay” Fonkert, CG, is a Minnesota-based genealogical researcher, writer and educator. His favorite research topics are the Tidballs of Southwest England and the Fawkners of early Kentucky and Indiana. As time permits, his research extends to Swedish and Norwegian genealogy and Midwest Dutch immigrants. A self-described "Geo-Genealogist," he enjoys teaching about historical geography, migration, and the use of maps in family history research.
He has lectured at NGS and FGS conferences, and has presented lectures, webinars, and workshops for genealogy societies and libraries in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin. Jay taught in the Advanced Practicum course at the Salt Lake Genealogy Institute in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
He is co-managing editor of Minnesota Genealogist, and has published more than 80 research and teaching articles, including four in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. His other articles have appeared in Minnesota Genealogist, Family Chronicle, APG Quarterly, The Septs, The Swedish American Genealogist, Crossroads, and NGS Magazine.
He has studied at the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research, the Salt Lake Genealogy Institute, the National Institute for Genealogical Research, and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh.
Jay served as a Director of the Association of Professional Genealogists for six years and as a Trustee of the BCG Education Fund. He is a two-time former president of the Minnesota Genealogical Society.
Paul K. Graham, AG, CG
Paul K. Graham, AG, CG, is a research manager at AncestryProGenealogists where he conducts unknown parentage and complex brick-wall research. In that role he has led research for nine episodes of the television show Who Do You Think You Are?. Paul is BCG-certified and an ICAPGen Accredited Genealogist professional; he holds a master’s degree in public history and a professional certificate in geographic information systems. He has authored or co-authored numerous books and articles, including Georgia Courthouse Disasters and Georgia Land Lottery Research. His publications have earned him the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Award for Excellence and the American Society of Genealogists (ASG) Scholar Award, and he is a winner of the NGS Family History Writing Contest. Paul resides in San Diego.
Shannon Green, CG
Shannon Green, CG, is a genealogy researcher and writer. She earned the Certified Genealogist credential in 2017 and renewed her credential in 2022. Shannon has published articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ), the NYG&B Record, the NEHGS Register, and NGS Magazine, as well as several other publications. Her research focuses on the lives of women, which too often are not well documented. She has an undergraduate degree from Duke University and an MBA from Vanderbilt University. Shannon lives in Greenwood Village, Colorado with her husband and three children.
Rebekah Grow has worked for FamilySearch since 2019 as the Operations Manager supporting FamilySearch Centers. Before coming to FamilySearch, she worked at the University of Utah for 23 years training faculty and graduate students in online education. She currently supports directors of the FamilySearch Centers offering training, operational, and website assistance. She graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in Russian and a Minor in English.
Debbie Gurtler, AG
Debbie Gurtler, AG, is the Assistant Director of the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City. With a BA in Family History from Brigham Young University, she holds five Accredited Genealogist credentials for the United States Mid-South, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, and Chile. Fluent in Spanish from living over five years in South America. A frequent speaker on Hispanic research topics at local and national conferences. She is the mother of three and the grandmother of five.
Forrest R. Hansen, JD
Forrest Hansen, JD, has expertise in French genealogy and law. He frequently delivers lectures at local and national genealogy societies and institutes, including the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and the Southern California Genealogical Society. The topics of his lectures include civil law, French genealogy, notary records, and the U.S. Constitution. He also speaks on comparative constitutional law, legal ethics, and attorney mental health.
Forrest graduated from American University Washington College of Law and attended Brigham Young University for his undergraduate education, majoring in French and International Politics. He has practiced law as an attorney at international law firms, as an in-house corporate counsel, and as a law clerk in a United States District Court. He is fluent in French and Spanish and has practiced law in France. He is a native of Louisiana, the only civil law jurisdiction in the United States, and has French ancestry.
For the past ten years Forrest has taught law students at the Université of Paris Cité and American University. This is Forrest’s second year teaching at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.
Tammy A. Hepps
Tammy A. Hepps uses genealogical research techniques to examine less-studied topics within American Jewish history. Creator of Treelines.com and past winner of the RootsTech Developer Challenge, Tammy draws heavily upon her technology expertise to create research approaches that break new ground in data gathering and interpretation. She is best known for her community reconstitution project focusing on the Jewish community of Homestead, PA, available online at HomesteadHebrews.com. She received her AB in Computer Science from Harvard College.
Debra A. Hoffman, PLCGS
Debra A. Hoffman, PLCGS, is a professional genealogist specializing in Maryland and German research and the owner of Hoffman Genealogical Services. She is a genealogical author, lecturer, and researcher. She has presented at the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR), the International German Genealogy Conference, and coordinated the Maryland course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in 2020 and Course 2-Intermediate Genealogy and Historical Studies in 2021 at IGHR. She is the co-author of NGS’ Research in the States Series: Maryland and has authored articles in the Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin, the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, Der Kurier, Bluegrass Roots, and the Carrolltonian. She has a certificate in Family History from Brigham Young University and a Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies (PLCGS)–German Records from the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. Active in the genealogical community, Debra is the past co-director of Gen-Fed and is a graduate and former mentor of the ProGen Study Group. She currently serves as an At-Large Board Member of the Maryland Genealogical Society, is the Recording Secretary for the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.
Melissa A. Johnson, CG
Melissa Johnson, CG, is a professional genealogist, writer and editor. She has expertise in researching families with origins in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and England, and works on forensic cases, dual citizenship matters, and using DNA to break through ancestral brick walls. Melissa is President of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey and Vice President of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History. Her work has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, NGS Magazine, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, and numerous other publications. Melissa is currently the Program Director for Boston University’s genealogy studies programs, and teaches at various genealogy institutes nationwide.
Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, FUGA
Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, FUGA, of Ithaca, New York, is an editor, author, lecturer, and professional genealogist. She served as editor of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record from 2011 until her retirement at the end of 2017. She was named a fellow of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society in November 2012, and has served on the NYG&B Family History Advisory Committee (formerly the Education Committee) since 2011. Karen was made a fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association in 2019. She has lectured at national, state, regional, and local conferences, and coordinates institute courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research. She holds an MA from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in History Museum Studies (State University of New York, Oneonta). She has served on the boards of APG (as Regional Vice President and Director) and FGS (as Director; Vice President of Administration; National Conference Chair of the 1997 FGS conference in Dallas, Texas; and Chair of the FGS Public Relations Committee, 1992-1998).
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, FASG, FUGA, FNGS, is an award-winning genealogical researcher, author, and educator. He co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly in 2003–18. He is a former trustee and past president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, past board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and recipient of its Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award of Merit and its Professional Achievement Award. He also has received the Utah Genealogical Association’s Silver Tray Award and its Award of Merit. Retired from a thirty-year career in higher education and professor emeritus at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., Tom coordinates courses at the Institute on Genealogy and Historical Research and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, teaches classes at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and its Academy for Professionals, and speaks frequently at national, state, and local genealogical society seminars. He has written more than twenty-five articles in scholarly genealogy journals, the textbooks Mastering Genealogical Proof and Mastering Genealogical Documentation, and chapters in Professional Genealogy and Advanced Genetic Genealogy. He specializes in skillfully using genealogical evidence and writing genealogical articles.
Gretchen Jorgensen is a professional genealogist with Legacy Tree Genealogists, specializing in DNA analysis for unknown parentage, as well as use of DNA to solve genealogical brick walls. She holds a BS in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Colorado State University. After graduation, she spent more than a decade as a Software Engineer for a Fortune 100 company, followed by 17 years as a stay-at-home mom. Past genealogy courses include the SLIG DNA Boot Camp, APG Professional Management Conference, and the i4GG International Genetic Genealogy Conference.
Gretchen has spent thousands of hours researching her own family, with a focus on US and Danish records. A query from an adopted 3rdcousin DNA match had the unexpected side effect of developing a passion for solving unknown parentage cases. She participates in a local DNA Special Interest Group, and is an administrator for the DNA Detectives Facebook group.
Sandra Joseph has worked for FamilySearch since 1989 in a variety of positions including as an instructor of staff and patron classes, as a presenter at regional conferences, as a consultant at the Family History Library, working in data management, and as a coordinator of outreach for tourism. She has been a board member of the Utah Chapter of the African American Historical and Genealogical Society and the Utah Tour Guide Association. She currently is involved in outreach for FamilySearch Centers.
Jan M. Joyce, DBA, CG, CGL, AG
Jan M. Joyce, DBA, CG, CGL, AG, is a genealogy researcher whose personal work has focused on her Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania & Wisconsin ancestors who immigrated from England, Germany, Ireland, and Norway. Beginning in 1998, as Vice President of Marketing, she managed the marketing initiatives at Genealogy.com which prompted researching her own family. She has been hooked ever since then but more recently accelerated her genealogical education which has resulted in credentialing.
Her genealogy career is focused on teaching research methodology, writing, and researching her own family. She enjoys speaking and teaching at local societies, regional conferences, and national venues and is known for her interactive and engaging presentation style.
Before beginning her genealogy career, Jan earned a BS in Business, Marketing from Miami University; an MBA, Marketing from The Ohio State University and a Doctor of Business Administration from Golden Gate University. She worked in marketing for many years and also taught a variety of marketing courses as an adjunct professor of marketing.
Jacqueline Kanyuck, AG
Jacqueline Kanyuck, AG, holds a bachelor’s degree in Family History from Brigham Young University and is an Accredited Genealogist with a credential in the Canada Quebec region. Jacqueline works as a United States and Canada Research Specialist at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jacqueline has given presentations for the FamilySearch Library, RootsTech, and the Utah Genealogical Association. Jacqueline specializes in Canada with an emphasis on the Atlantic Provinces and the United States South Central region.
Debra Koehler has been a writer and creator of factual content for more than 35 years, first as a writer and producer of news and other programming for local TV stations and major cable networks; and now as a forensic genealogist who specializes in probate cases.
Debra began applying her skills from her television career to genealogy after her dad passed away in 2010. Her areas of focus include her family’s roots in Germany and in the Prussian and Russian partitions of Poland. She also enjoys researching and writing about early pioneers to the Oregon Territory, dissecting NGSQ articles, and learning about forensic genealogy.
Debra holds a BA in Speech Communication with a Broadcasting Emphasis from Colorado State University and an AAS in Paralegal Studies from Umpqua Community College in Oregon. She earned her certificate of Genealogical Research from Boston University in 2018 and is a graduate of ProGen 45 and GenProof 59. She serves as the Secretary for the Association for Professional Genealogists Writers SIG.
Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL
Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL, holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Lecturer. Her focuses are Maryland and military records at the National Archives, especially those of the War of 1812. Rebecca has been taking clients and lecturing since 2004. She has spoken for the National Genealogical Society Conference (NGS), Association of Professional Genealogists Conference (APG), RootsTech, webinars for Legacy, Maryland State Archives, and the Virginia State Archives. She has published articles in the NGS Magazine, APG Magazine, SAR Magazine, Maryland Genealogical Society Journal, and is co-author of the recently released NGS Research in the States series book on Maryland. Rebecca is returning instructor for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), and has also taught at The Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). She is a graduate and former mentor of the ProGen Study Group, an online peer-led study program based on the book Professional Genealogy; and served as the ProGen Administrator from 2015–2020. Rebecca currently works as Executive Director of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and as Director of the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed) held annually at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Leah Larkin, PhD
Leah Larkin earned her PhD in biology from the University of Texas at Austin, where she used DNA to study species relationships. She previously worked in both academia and scientific publishing and now applies those research skills to solving genealogicalquestions using DNA. She has contributed to the field of genetic genealogy as a blogger, lecturer, and co-creator of the What Are the Odds? tool. In addition to taking private clients, she is currently working on strategies and tools for dealing with endogamy.
Amber Larsen, AG
Amber Larsen, AG, is an Accredited Genealogist in the Denmark region. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Family History – Genealogy. Amber currently works for FamilySearch on the Research Wiki and is the product manager of the Guided Research tool. She is also a family history instructor at Brigham Young University.
Savannah Larson has a bachelor’s degree in Family History and Genealogy from Brigham Young University and has accumulated over 10 years of family history experience. She has researched families in the United States, Mexico, and the Nordic countries. Savannah works at the Family History Library as a Nordic Research Specialist. Savannah has a passion for genealogy and is constantly seeking ways to share that passion with those around her.
Nicole Gilkison LaRue, CG
Nicole Gilkison LaRue, CG, is a board-certified, full-time professional genealogist with a special interest in researching women and other “brick-wall” obstacles. She has a degree in history and work experience in archives and museums around the country. Her published articles appear in the National Genealogical Society’s NGS Magazine and National Genealogical Society Quarterly. She served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists from 2017–2020.
Dana Leeds worked with DNA as an undergraduate at the University of Oklahoma’s Health Sciences Center in the early 1990s and later taught middle school science following completion of her BS in Biology Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. She became interested in genealogy in 1998 working with her own families. In recent years, she has combined her passions for science, genealogy, and education as a process innovator, blogger, and speaker focusing on genetic genealogy and its value in working with traditional genealogy brick walls as well as unknown parentage cases.
She is internationally known for her pioneering genetic genealogy process, the Leeds Method, which visually organizes DNA matches into clusters often showing four grandparent lines. This process allows the researcher to focus on a specific section of their family tree. She has shared this method and its benefits at i4GG’s International Genetic Genealogy Conference, RootsTech, and the Association of Professional Genealogists’ annual conference, as well as with local, regional, and online organizations. Dana enjoys taking the mystery out of DNA by putting powerful, user-friendly tools into the hands of genealogists of all skill levels.
Janice Lovelace, PhD
Janice Lovelace, PhD, is a genealogical researcher, author and lecturer, with over thirty years of experience. Dr. Lovelace is a frequent speaker at national and regional genealogy conferences on health and genetics, ethnic minority genealogy, and research methodology. She authored the National Genealogical Society's continuing education course African American Roots: A Historical Perspective and is an instructor at the Midwest African American Genealogical Institute (MAAGI). She is a national board member of Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and serves on her local society's board. She belongs to the Ohio Genealogical Society, AAHGS, and the National Genealogical Society (NGS).
J. Mark Lowe, FUGA
J. Mark Lowe, FUGA, describes himself as a lifelong genealogist. He is a full-time professional genealogist, author, and lecturer who specializes in original records and manuscripts throughout the South. Mark lives in Robertson County, Tennessee just north of Nashville near the Kentucky border.
Mark enjoys opportunities to share what he has learned over the years. He serves as the Course Coordinator for Research in the South at IGHR (Georgia Genealogical Society) and also directs Southern courses for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). Mark has worked on several genealogical television series including Finding Your Past, African American Lives 2, Who Do You Think You Are? and UnXplained Events, and provided content for podcasts on Gimlet Media, including Twice Removed.
Mark has published in the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly (APGQ), National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ), the Genealogical Speakers’ Guild SPEAK!, The Longhunter (So. Ky. Genealogical Society), The Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society Quarterly and other local society publications. He formerly was President of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), President for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and President of the Southern Kentucky Genealogical Society. Mark is a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Society, and was awarded the Graham T. Smallwood award by the Association of Professional Genealogists.
Annette Burke Lyttle, MA
Annette Burke Lyttle, MA, a professional genealogist since 2014, is a researcher, writer, and educator. She was co-coordinator, along with Steven W. Morrison, for the 2020 Exploring American Quaker Records course at GRIP, faculty member for Virtual Quaker Institute sponsored by the British Institute, and coordinator for From Sea to Shining Sea: Researching Our Ancestors’ Migrations in America for SLIG in 2021. She has also been a faculty member for Guide to Treasures in Federal Records at GRIP and for SLIG’s Bridging the Gap: New England to the Midwest, 1780–1850. She has coordinated Intermediate Foundations for SLIG since 2021.
Her articles have been published in the Illinois Genealogical Society Quarterly, NGS Magazine, FGS FORUM, and The Florida Genealogist. She is the editor of The Florida Genealogist, the semi-annual journal of the Florida State Genealogical Society. From 2017 through 2019 she coordinated the annual conference for the Association of Professional Genealogists, and she currently serves as president of APG.
Her genealogical education includes multiple courses at SLIG, GRIP, and the British Institute. She is a graduate of ProGen 27 and a member of the NGSQ Study Group. She is a former vice president of the APG Writers Special Interest Group. Annette has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in English and has taught writing and literature at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Annette is active in the genealogical community. She serves as an editorial assistant for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. She president of her local society, The Villages Genealogical Society. Along with C. Ann Staley, CG, she hosts the Florida State Genealogical Society’s monthly webinar series, Poolside Chats.
Aimee Marie was born and raised in Idaho. She graduated from BYU with a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities and received a certificate for family history specialized in France from the Family History Department. She married Renaud Marie in 2001 and has since lived in France. In 2006, she opened her professional genealogy practice and has worked on a variety of cases requiring the use of a vast range of documents.
Renaud Marie, AG
Renaud Marie, AG, originally from France, has a wide knowledge and understanding of the history and culture. His father was a president of a local French genealogical society; as a result, Renaud has been immersed with methodology, the capacity to read old French handwriting, and an understanding of several onsite resources. His own passion for genealogy came from finding missing documents for his great-grandmother, who was an orphan. He has been an Accredited Genealogist with ICAPGen since 2006.
Karen Matheson, AG
Karen Matheson, AG, enjoys researching, mentoring, teaching, presenting, and sharing her enthusiasm for family history with others! She has been doing genealogical and family history research for more than 20 years and currently works as a Research Manager for Ancestry ProGenealogists in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Karen has volunteered in various capacities and has spent many hours serving the genealogical community. Karen served five years as the Director of the Round Rock (Texas) Family History Center. She is a Past-President of the Williamson County (Texas) Genealogical Society. She served as Chapter Rep for the Lone Star Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, as Secretary of the Texas State Genealogical Society, and as the 2013 Conference Chair for the Texas State Genealogical Society conference. Karen was a presenter at the Federation of Genealogical Society’s 2014 Conference in San Antonio, Texas, as well as being a member of the planning committee. Most recently, Karen presented a case study for students of the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in January 2018.
Angela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGA
Angela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGA, has a passion for teaching genealogy. She is the Education Director for the National Genealogical Society and a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Angela enjoys coordinating courses for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and she teaches at several other genealogy institutes. She served as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program for six years and is now on the board of directors.
Angela speaks at national conferences and has published articles in Crossroads, the APG Quarterly, and the NGS Magazine. She is a past president of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and currently serves as a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists Education Fund.
Gail Jackson Miller, CG
Gail Jackson Miller, CG, is professional genealogist, teacher, writer, and lecturer specializing in Kentucky, Tennessee, and surrounding states with more than 40 years of genealogical experience. She became certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogist in 1999 and has more than 20 years working with clients on their families. She has spoken and taught nationally at NGS, FGS, IGHR, and in the SLIG Academy in addition to her work regionally and locally as a speaker, as an editor, in society leadership, and as a FamilySearch Center director. In her prior life, she was a nationally recognized biology teacher working with high school and college students.
Julie Miller, CG, CGL, FNGS
Julie Miller, CG, CGL, FNGS, holds Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer credentials and is a fellow of the National Genealogical Society. She is a full-time professional researcher, speaker, and writer who lives in Colorado. Julie speaks on a wide variety of genealogy subjects both locally and nationally. Her articles have appeared in the NGSQ, NYG&B Record, and the NGS Magazine. Julie was the NGS interim Education Manager (2018), was a member of the NGS conference committee for twelve years, and a volunteer at NARA-Denver for twenty-one years.
Steven Waltz Morrison, MPA
Steven Waltz Morrison, MPA, is the past-president of the Puget Sound Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Olympia Genealogical Society. He attained a Master’s degree from The Evergreen State College where he taught for seven years as an adjunct faculty. In 2018 Steven coordinated Exploring Quaker Records – At Home and Abroad at SLIG, in 2020 co-coordinated Exploring American Quaker Records at GRIP, and in 2021 coordinated Quaker Records of North America, Ireland, and the British Isles for ISBGFH. He’s addressed international audiences on Quaker topics at the Ulster American Heritage Symposium in Omagh, Ireland & Toronto, Canada, and the Yearly Meeting of Friends in Ireland. In 2016, the American Society of Genealogists awarded him their Scholar Award.
Ariel Munyer, BA, CG
Ariel Munyer, BA, CG, is a professional genealogist with a bachelor's degree in Family History–Genealogy from Brigham Young University where she specialized in French research. She wrote an article for Crossroads about the history of UGA in 2021. She is employed by Lauth Investigations International on their Heir Search Team locating and documenting missing heirs for probate cases.
Stephanie O'Connell, CG
Stephanie O’Connell, CG, is a professional genealogist who began researching her own family as a teenager and has been discovering their true stories ever since. She spent a decade working in corporate real estate for the largest savings and loan association in the United States before becoming a stay-at-home mom. Stephanie has expertise in researching families with origins in Ireland, England, and New York. She is also proficient in using DNA test results to break through ancestral brick walls.
Stephanie is a ProGen mentor and lectures frequently on various genealogical topics at conferences across the country.
Caleigh McGraw Oldroyd
Caileigh McGraw Oldroyd is a professional genealogist specializing in Latin American and Southern European research. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Family History and Genealogy from Brigham Young University. She currently is a Research Coordinator for the FamilySearch Research Wiki and an Online Adjunct Instructor for Brigham Young University-Idaho teaching Introduction to Genetic Genealogy. She has created multiple finding aids for the FamilySearch Research Wiki including the Costa Rica Catholic Church Parish Finding Aid and has continued the research for this project for Nicaragua, Uruguay, and Brazil. Her primary genealogical research focuses on enslaved families in Brazil during the time of the Lei do Ventre Livre (The Free Womb Law) and Italian emigrants to Santa Catarina, Brazil.
Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL
Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL, is a full-time professional genealogist and former coeditor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (2019–22). Board-certified since 2011, she served as a trustee and officer of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) and edited its newsletter, OnBoard. She conducts in-depth genealogical research to solve complex problems of identity and kinship for clients. Her personal and client research focuses primarily on the southeastern United States, New York, England, and Germany. Nancy lectures at national and local conferences and has instructed on skill-building topics and genealogy standards at BCG Education Fund workshops, SLIG, SLIG Academy, and GRIP. Her articles have appeared in the NGS Quarterly and other genealogical journals. She authored the “Research Reports” chapter in the Writing, Editing & Publishing section of Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice, & Standards (2018). Nancy holds postgraduate degrees from University of Arizona and London School of Economics in London, England.
Whitney Peterson has a BA in History from Brigham Young University. For the last 10 years she has worked as a Content Strategist for FamilySearch, managing the British Isles and Nordic countries. She has presented multiple times at family history conferences, including the Nordic Family History Conference, FHF Really Useful Family History Show, RootsTech, and RootsTech London. She is passionate about family history, especially in helping others by sharing the behind-the-scenes information she has learned from over 13 years of working in the industry.
Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR
Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, researcher, and instructor whose focus is genealogy, social and women's history. She holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women's Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. Her published works include three books, numerous articles published in magazines and online, two volumes of Tracing Female Ancestors (Moorshead Publishing), Tracing Your Ancestors: Hispanic Research (Moorshead Publishing) and a QuickGuide from Legacy Family Tree. She is the editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s magazine, Crossroads. Her writings can be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera as well as the GenealogyBank and Legacy Family Tree blogs. She is a course instructor for The National Institute for Genealogical Studies and has written courses on topics involving websites, social media, and ethics. She has presented to diverse groups worldwide including the National Genealogical Society Conference, the Alberta Genealogical Society Conference, the Geo-Literary Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Legacy Family Tree Webinar series. Her research projects include Sowerby’s British Mineralogy: Its Influence on Martha Proby and Others in the Scientific Community during the 19th Century for the Gemological Institute of America, as well as genealogical research for the first season of PBS’s Genealogy Roadshow and the Travel Channel’s Follow Your Past. Her current research includes women's repatriation and citizenship in the 20th century, foodways and community in fundraising cookbooks, and women's material culture.
Kimberly T. Powell
Kimberly served as the Genealogy Expert for About.com for sixteen years and is the author of several books, including most recently “The Challenge of Endogamy and Pedigree Collapse” in Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies and The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd edition. She has also contributed to several popular genealogy magazines, including BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?, Family Tree Magazine, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.
Kimberly is on the faculty at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), as well as for the online genealogy programs offered through Boston University. Her personal and professional research focus is families with roots in the southeastern US and southwestern PA. You can find her online at Level Up Genealogy, https://www.levelupgenealogy.com.
Lyn Rasmussen, CG
Lyn Rasmussen, CG, is a Certified Genealogist and a holds a bachelor’s degree in Family History from Brigham Young University. Lyn works as a United States and Canada Research Specialist at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Lyn has given presentations for the FamilySearch Library, the National Genealogical Society, and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, among others. Lyn specializes in African American research, Native American research, and Southern United States research.
David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS
David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS, is employed as the Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch. A professional genealogist since 1977, he is one of the rare few who have earned both credentials: Accredited Genealogist with ICAPGen in Ireland research (1981) and Certified Genealogist with the Board for Certification of Genealogists (2006). He is the Irish course coordinator and instructor for the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research in Athens, Georgia, and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1980 with a BA in Family and Local History. He is a past-president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 1997-2000, a past-president of the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) 1993-1995 and a Fellow of that organization. He is a fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, London. He is the past chair of the joint National Genealogical Society and International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies committee for the Record Preservation and Access Coalition; he serves as a director on the board of the National Genealogical Society and as a counselor for the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
Cynthia Richardson began gendeavoring—endeavoring to develop professional-level genealogical research and writing skills—in 2015 after almost four decades of gathering records. She graduated from ProGen 33 in 2018 and completed the National Genealogical Society’s American Genealogical Studies course in 2019. Cynthia holds a master’s degree in Language, Reading & Culture (reading instruction) from the University of Arizona and has served as a family history center director, a ProGen coordinator, and a transcription project volunteer. Her current research focuses on Central New York ancestors, but she is also knowledgeable about Chicago records. Her favorite pastimes include playing banjo, fiddle, and koto, writing letters, doodling mandalas, sewing zipper bags, and capturing day-to-day experiences in photographs to post on Instagram.
Kim Richardson, professional genealogist, founded the research and consulting firm Southern Heritage Genealogy to assist clients in their pursuit of their deep-south ancestors. Her personal family research coincides with that same geographical area and she enjoys finding ways to overcome the challenges presented by researching in the South.
Kim's favorite genealogy activity is serving the family history community by coaching and empowering others to break through barriers to achieve their goals. To that end, Kim created and developed the "Brick Wall Buster Cards" to show others her secret to solving tough genealogy problems and family mysteries. She regularly teaches and presents to groups across the country. She also writes for local and state genealogy publications and wrote the “Mississippi Research Guide” for Family Tree Magazine.
Kim earned a BA in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations from Mississippi State University. She retired from service to the State of Mississippi after 25 years as an advocate for victims of violent crime and working in highway traffic safety programs.
Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
Judy G. Russell, "The Legal Genealogist," is a genealogist with a law degree. She writes, teaches, and lectures on a wide variety of genealogical topics, ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. A Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother’s side and entirely in Germany on her father’s side, she is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, and numerous state and regional genealogical societies. She has written for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and National Genealogical Society Magazine, among other publications.
Judy is a recipient of the Silver Tray Award from the Utah Genealogical Association and the 2017 Award of Excellence from the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, and she now serves as a member of the NGSQ editorial board. An internationally-known lecturer and course coordinator and faculty member at numerous genealogical institutes, she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Her award-winning blog appears at The Legal Genealogist website, https://www.legalgenealogist.com.
Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, is a long-time genealogical researcher and instructor. He coordinated and taught in advanced methodology, land, military, and beginning courses at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research from 2003-2017. Rick co-coordinates advanced land courses with Pam Sayre and legal courses with Judy Russell at Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. He is an instructor at the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records. He also lectures at national conferences and presents nationwide seminars. Rick’s areas of expertise include the records of the National Archives, Irish research, land records, government documents, federal land law, military records, and urban research.
Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG, FUGA
Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG, FUGA, is the President and CEO of Heritage Books, Inc., a genealogical publishing firm with over 5,300 titles in print. A professional genealogical and historical researcher for more than thirty years, he specializes in the records of the National Archives, especially those that relate to the military. He is the former Coordinator of the Military tracks at IGHR, SLIG and GRIP.
Gerald H. "Jerry" Smith, CG
Gerald H. “Jerry” Smith, CG, is a full-time professional Certified Genealogist specializing in Pennsylvania research. He has been a course coordinator for IGHR (Land Platting) and a faculty member for other courses at IGHR, SLIG, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Researching Family in Pennsylvania. He is the author of a number of books and journal articles. He researches extensively on projects requiring in-depth knowledge of proprietor and commonwealth land records, mapping, and land placement. Regular research venues include the Pennsylvania Archives, State Library of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State Law Library, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, military repositories (including David Library of the American Revolution and US Army Military History Institute), National Archives, religious & denominational repositories, county courthouses, and county and local historical and genealogical societies. Southern Pennsylvania border county research includes frequent on-site research at repositories in Annapolis, Baltimore, Maryland counties, West Virginia, and Virginia.
Marian L. Smith
Marian L. Smith led the History Program within the Records Division of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security, in Washington, DC from 1988 to 2018. She is an expert on that agency’s historical records and research. Her most recent work focused on digitization and data integrity in relation to USCIS’ old records, documenting old record location and retrieval processes, and mentoring junior staff. She has lectured nationally on immigration, naturalization, and related topics. She has previously taught courses in the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (formerly National Institute on Genealogical Research), and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.
Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG
Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG, BCG Trustee, is an author and national lecturer focusing on topics related to using genetic evidence correlated with documentary evidence to solve genealogical brick walls. A Chicago local, she holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago and has completed advanced graduate study in Social Anthropology at the Colegio de Michoacán, Mexico. Her genealogical practice specializes in Midwestern U.S., Chicago, and Mexican research as well as complex problem-solving, unknown parentage, and DNA analysis. She is a coordinator and faculty member at IGHR, and SLIG. She is a faculty member at GRIP. She received the NGSQ Award for Excellence for her complex evidence case study incorporating traditional documentary research and autosomal DNA analysis in the June 2016 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Most recently, she published “Drowning in DNA? The Genealogical Proof Standard Tosses a Lifeline” in Debbie Parker Wayne’s book Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies. She holds the credential Certified Genealogist from the Board for Certification of Genealogists where she serves as a Trustee and is chair of the standing DNA Committee.
Michael L. Strauss, AG
Michael L. Strauss, AG, is a professional Accredited Genealogist and a nationally recognized genealogical speaker. He has been employed as a forensic genealogist for 25 years, has a BA in history, and is a United States Coast Guard veteran. Michael is also a qualified expert witness in the courts in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and an approved genealogist with the United States Army to locate DNA qualified persons MIA from Korea, Vietnam, and World War II. Strauss has been a faculty member of IGHR, SLIG, and GRIP, has been involved in Civil War reenacting for more than 25 years, and also reenacts the Mormon Battalion with the Utah Living History Association.
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, works full time in the area of genealogical and historical research, lecturing, consulting, and writing. She has been a Board-certified genealogist since 1988. Her specialties include unusual records, analysis, research planning, problem-solving, manuscript and archival repositories, railroads, and Native American genealogy. She is a course coordinator and instructor at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and a former board member of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and MGS. She was awarded the Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service to Professional Genealogy in 2019. Among her other awards and honors are the Grahame T. Smallwood, Jr. Award of Merit from the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Loretto D. Szucs Service Award from the Federation of Genealogical Societies. She is a fellow of the Minnesota Genealogical Society and the Utah Genealogical Association. Paula has written articles for American Ancestors, Ancestry Magazine, Minnesota Genealogist, Digital Genealogist, Family Tree Magazine, FGS Forum, FGS Voice, NGS Magazine, National Genealogical Society Quarterly and NewEnglandAncestors.org. She authored Minnesota Genealogical Reference Guide. She co-authored the best-selling Your Guide to the Family History Library: How to Access the World’s Largest Genealogy Resource.
Jeff Svare, AG
Jeff Svare, AG, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and raised in Fargo, North Dakota in a household filled with immigrants and the children of immigrants. He moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1976, and currently resides in West Bountiful, Utah. He has a BA in History and is an Accredited Genealogist with ICAPGen in Norway research. He began working for FamilySearch in 1987, and has been involved in records acquisitions in Asia, the Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Europe. Jeff has taught classes at the FamilySearch Library, served as instructor and course coordinator four times for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and twice presented at RootsTech. He has performed extensive research in the Nordic countries using printed, microfilmed, and online records as well as in-person research in national, regional, and local archives. Currently he is a Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch and Historical Records Content Manager for the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
Beth Taylor, CG
Beth Taylor, CG, is a Certified Genealogist and holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Brigham Young University. Beth is a United States and Canada Research Specialist at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah where she has worked for more than fifteen years. Beth has given presentations for the FamilySearch Library, RootsTech, the National Genealogical Society, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and the BYU Conference on Genealogy and Family History, among others. Beth specializes in the United States Midwest, DNA, Quakers, and organizing genealogical research.
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, FUGA
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, FUGA, is a nationally known genealogical researcher and speaker. Passionate about family history, Joshua is the President of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (NYG&B). He is a frequent speaker at family history events across the globe and is a course coordinator at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). Recognized for his work in the field, Joshua is the recipient of the Rubincam Youth Award from the National Genealogical Society, the Award of Merit from the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and was named one of Library Journal's Movers and Shakers. In 2022 he was named a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association. Joshua formerly served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). He holds an MLS (Archival Management) and an MA (History) from Simmons College and has been a featured genealogist on Who Do You Think You Are? as a host on the popular PBS series Genealogy Roadshow.
Tanner Tolman, AG
Tanner Tolman, AG, has worked as a professional genealogist for 11 years. He currently works full-time for FamilySearch where he regularly helps guests with Nordic and DNA research. He has a bachelor’s degree in Family History and Genealogy from BYU and is accredited for Danish research through ICAPGen. He currently serves as the 2nd Vice President of the Utah Genealogical Association and is a co-administrator for the Youmans Y-DNA surname project.
Lynn Turner, AG
Lynn Turner, AG, graduated with a BA in Family History and Genealogy from Brigham Young University with an emphasis in Spain and Latin America. He has been accredited in Spanish research since 2006. Lynn has worked at FamilySearch for more than 17 years in various roles and is currently the Director of the Family History Library. If he’s not researching, Lynn is spending time with his family, golfing, or mountain biking.
Rich Venezia is a New Jersey native who now calls Philadelphia home. He founded Rich Roots Genealogy in 2013. He was a member of the research team of Genealogy Roadshow (PBS) for two seasons, and also consulted on Follow Your Past (Travel Channel). He is an expert in the research of 20th-century immigrant ancestors, especially underutilized record sources and federal records. He also specializes in Italian and Irish research. Additionally, he assists clients with dual citizenship applications for Ireland and Italy and is a proud Italian dual citizen. Rich holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. He lectures nationwide and spoke at TEDx Pittsburgh 2017. He has coordinated the #RecordsNotRevenue campaign since 2019 against several proposed fee hikes for records held by the USCIS Genealogy Program. This campaign has received international press and garnered him the Shirley M. Barnes Records Access Award from the Massachusetts Genealogical Council. He continues to fight for fairer access to these records.
Lauren Wake, AG
Lauren Wake, AG, is a research specialist at the Family History Library, specializing in romance-language research. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Family History and Genealogy. She has conducted on-site research across the United States and Spain and has lectured at local, regional, and national conferences.
Scott Wilds, CG
Scott Wilds, CG, has been an avid genealogist for fifty years. A part-time professional, he is currently genealogical consultant to the Penn and Slavery Project at the University of Pennsylvania. His lineage of three generations of an African American family, from West Africa to the Great Migration, is on the Board for Certification of Genealogists’ Learning Center website, and he has published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. Board-certified since 2017, Scott is a BCG trustee and treasurer. For the last twenty years, much of his research has focused on Darlington County, SC. His website, https://scottwilds.com/, contains abstracts of slave-related deeds and other documents from the Darlington County deed books, indexes to ration books and medical records from the Freedmen’s Bureau field office in Darlington, and other resources. He has spoken at South Carolina Genealogical Society Summer Workshops on using estate and equity records in African American research, records of the Freedmen’s Bureau, and other topics. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, he has a master’s degree in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania and was an associate editor of the Papers of William Penn.
Ari Wilkins has been actively researching family history for over twenty years. Ms. Wilkins has spoken nationally at the National Genealogical Society, the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, RootsTech, and a multitude of state and local societies. She is also the coordinator of the African American course for the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research. Ari speaks on a variety of genealogical subjects and specializes in African American research.
Darris G. Williams
Darris G. Williams began discovering his family history while stationed at RAF Alconbury in 1983. He has a bachelor’s degree in Family & Community History. He worked as a British reference consultant at the FamilySearch Library. Darris was a co-founder of the FamilySearch wiki and presently manages the FamilySearch Wiki team and Community Trees team. He is a freelance genealogist, and family history instructor. Darris is on the Board of Trustees of the Society of Genealogists. A special area of interest has been Welsh family history.
Paul Woodbury, MEd, AG
Paul Woodbury, MEd, AG, is a graduate of Brigham Young University where he studied Genetics and Family History. Paul fell in love with genealogy when he was eight years old. Since he was sixteen he knew he wanted to be a genetic genealogist, so he is particularly pleased to work in the field full-time. He currently works as a senior researcher and DNA specialist for Legacy Tree Genealogists. He is also actively pursuing a graduate degree in Instructional Design and Educational Technology. In addition to genetic genealogy, Paul specializes in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Scandinavian research and regularly presents on research topics related to these fields.
Jennifer Armstrong Zinck, CG
Jennifer Armstrong Zinck, CG, is a New England-based professional genealogist who enjoys researching, writing, teaching, and consulting. Her educational background includes an MBA with a concentration in Project Management. Jennifer serves as the President of the Connecticut Professional Genealogists Council, Inc., and on the Board of Governors of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists. She teaches Forensic Research as an Academic Professional in the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate Program. Jennifer's client work has spanned the United States and beyond and her personal areas of research interest are New England and northeast England. She developed a passion for using DNA evidence for genealogical research in 2011 and has spent the last decade integrating genetic evidence with documentary evidence to solve challenging genealogical research problems, including unknown and misattributed parentage and ancestral brick walls.
* The words Accredited Genealogist and its acronym, AG, are a registered accreditation mark of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists℠, used under license by accredited genealogists after periodic evaluation.
** The words Certified Genealogist and its acronym, CG, are a registered certification mark, and the designations Certified Genealogical Lecturer and its acronym, CGL, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.