Finding and Documenting African-American Families: Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D. and J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA
Becoming an Online Expert: Mastering Search Engines and Digital Archives: D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA and Debra Mieszala, CG
Law School for Genealogists: Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL and Richard “Rick” G. Sayre, CG, CGL, Marian L. Smith
Practical Genetic Genealogy: Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, CeCe Moore, and Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.
Determining Kinship Reliably with the Genealogical Proof Standard: Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, Karen Mauer Green, CG, Cathi Desmarais, CG, and Noreen Manzella.
Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper: Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, and Debra Mieszala, CG
Advancing Your Polish Genealogy: 300 Years of Records including Prussian, Russian, and Austrian Poland: Ceil Wendt Jensen, MA, CG; Genia Gorecki, Genealogy Roadshow; PARI Co-Director Dr. Hal Learman; visiting Polish archivist Paweł Pietrzyk, from Łódź, Poland; along with Robert Sliwinski, M.S.; and Patricia Yocum, MLS.
Bridging the 1780-1840 Gap: New England to the Midwest: D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA and Debra Mieszala, CG
Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D., is an adjunct faculty member at the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama and currently serves as the Cleveland District Trustee on the Ohio Genealogical Society Board. She is past-president of the African-American Genealogical Society, Cleveland, Ohio (AAGS) and a retired professor of Counseling from Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. She holds the Bachelor of Science and Masters of Education degrees from Tuskegee University (ALA) and the Ph.D. degree from Kent State University (OH). Dr. Abbott is an associate with Kentucky-Tennessee Associates based in Springfield, TN.
Dr. Abbott specializes in African American research and genealogical methodology. She has presented lectures at national conferences and a variety of state, genealogical conferences, as well as local societies & libraries. During the 2011 FGS Conference held in Springfield, Illinois, she delivered the James Dent Walker Memorial Lecture entitled “Slave Research: A Closer Look at Freedom”. Dr. Abbott has attended advance courses in several genealogical institutes. In addition to IGHR, she has taught at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) in Salt Lake City.
In addition to OGS & AAGS, Dr. Abbott is a member of NGS, FGS, the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG), as well as other state and local genealogical societies. She teaches a monthly class entitled “Using Ancestry.com inGenealogy Research” to patrons at the Lakewood Public Library in Lakewood, OH. Through her own genealogical society (AAGS), she coordinates the “Genealogy Clinic” for the Cleveland Public Library, coordinates and lectures in the Spring “Genealogy Series” for the Shaker Heights Public Library in Cleveland.
Ceil Wendt Jensen, CG, is an author and lecturer who presents practical examples and suggestions on how to use records, databases and archives to start or advance your genealogy research. She dispels the myth that records were destroyed during the World Wars and that language barriers make European research difficult. Ceil highlights traditional and electronic research methods. She is the Director of the Polonica American Research Institute (PARI). Ceil is the author of Detroit’s Polonia Detroit’s Mt. Elliott Cemetery, Detroit’s Mt. Olivet Cemetery. and Sto Lat: A Modern Guide to Polish Genealogy.
Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS. Tom has edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002. A trustee and a past president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, he is a professor emeritus at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C, who works full time as a genealogical researcher, writer, editor, and educator. He coordinates courses at Samford University’s Institute on Genealogy and Historical Research, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and the British Institute and he teaches in Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate program. With over forty years of research and teaching experience, he frequently lectures, teaches, and writes about genealogical methodology. His interests include “blocked” lineages and genealogical problem solving. His latest publication is Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2013).
J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, is a full-time professional genealogist, author, and lecturer. While sharing personal experiences that help beginning and experienced researchers gain new skills and insights for research, he specializes in original records and manuscripts throughout the South. Mark lives in Robertson County, Tennessee that lies in northern Middle Tennessee along the Kentucky border.
Lowe also serves as the Course Coordinator for ‘Research in the South’ at IGHR (Samford University), for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and is Director of the Regional In-depth Genealogical Studies Alliance (RIGS Alliance), learning sessions and hands-on research focusing on original documents and manuscripts at regional archives. Mark has worked on several genealogical television series including African American Lives 2, Who Do You Think You Are? and UnXplained Events.
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. His own publications include Robertson County Tennessee Marriage Book 2 1859-1873. He formerly was the President of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), President for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and Vice President of the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG). He is the former President of the Southern Kentucky Genealogical Society. Mark is a Certified Genealogist and a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Society, and was awarded the Graham T. Smallwood award by the Association of Professional Genealogists.
Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL, is a genealogist with a law degree who specializes in providing expert guidance through the murky territory where the law, genealogy and history intersect. She has spent the last decade learning her trade as a genealogist and has completed courses at the National Institute for Genealogical Research (NIGR) at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), and at the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University where she was a Walter Lee Sheppard Jr. prizewinner in Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis. She holds the credentials Certified GenealogistSM and Certified Genealogical LecturerSM from the Board for Certification of Genealogists® where she currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees.
A long-time member of the adjunct faculty at Rutgers Law School in New Jersey, she now also teaches at IGHR and SLIG, lectures at national, regional and state conferences, and has written for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the National Genealogical Society Magazine, among others. Her daily blog, “The Legal Genealogist,” is widely popular and thought-provoking.
Richard G. “Rick” Sayre, CG, CGL, is a longtime genealogical researcher, lecturer and writer. His areas of research interest include urban research methodology, technology and mapping tools for genealogists, military records, immigration, the Ohio River Valley, and Western Pennsylvania. Rick is the coordinator for the Land Records: Using Maps course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University. He has also lectured at IGHR in the Advanced Methodology, Advanced Military, Research in the South, Techniques and Technology, and Land courses. Rick holds an M.A. in Management Information Systems and is a retired military officer, having served 31 years in the U.S. Army. He has returned to government service working for the Defense Department as a civilian.
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA. Paula is an internationally recognized genealogical educator, researcher and consultant focusing on unusual resources, manuscripts, methodology, and analyzing records. She has researched onsite at the U. S. National Archives (multiple locations), Family History Library, Minnesota Historical Society, Wisconsin Historical Society, New England Historic Genealogical Society and other state and local repositories from coast to coast. Since 1997 she has been a Course Coordinator for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, lectured at National Genealogical Society and Federation of Genealogical Societies conferences since the early 1990s, and in many states and Canada. This is her third year with the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. A former officer of the Association of Professional Genealogists, former board member of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, past President of the Northland Chapter of the APG, she is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. She co-chaired the FGS 2001, 2011, and 2013 conferences. She is descended from eight ancestral countries and has researched family connections across the U.S. and Canada.
Paula has written for Ancestry Magazine, FGS FORUM, NGS Magazine, New England Ancestors, Minnesota Genealogist, findmypast.com, was editor of the FGS Conference News Blog and currently published her own blog, Paula’s Genealogical Eclectica. http://paulastuartwarren.blogspot.com/.
D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS. Joshua is a nationally known and recognized genealogical author, lecturer, and researcher. Currently the Data Strategy Manager – United States and Canada for DC Thomson Family History and findmypast.com, Joshua is the President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. A popular speaker at national and regional family history events, Joshua has been featured on Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC and TLC) and was a co-host of Genealogy Roadshow (PBS). Joshua is former Director of Education and Programs at the New England Historic Genealogical Society and holds an MLS (Archival Management) and an MA (History) from Simmons College.
Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, is a full-time, professional genealogist experienced using DNA analysis, as well as more traditional techniques, for genealogical research. She previously worked in the computer industry doing support, training, programming, and Web design. Debbie is a Trustee for the BCG Education Fund, the Texas State Genealogical Society’s DNA Project Director, a former board member and Advocacy Committee Chair of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and former president of the Lone Star Chapter of APG. Debbie has completed many courses at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), including advanced methodology courses at both institutes and the “Advanced Law Library and Government Documents” course at IGHR.
Debbie has presented DNA topics in 2013 at the National Genealogical Society and Federation of Genealogical Society conferences, Family Tree DNA Project Administrator’s Conference, Southern California Jamboree DNA Day, “Genealogy as a Profession” course at IGHR, many local genealogical societies in Texas, and all-day workshops on genetic genealogy in Texas and Arkansas. She presented at the Texas General Land Office’s 2011 Save Texas History Symposium and for several years at the Angelina College Genealogy Conference. She is the DNA instructor for the Forensic Genealogy Institute run by the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy. Debbie’s DNA research focuses on client projects and on research into her own family project which includes Y‑DNA, mtDNA, X‑DNA, and autosomal DNA studies.
Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D. (Biochemistry), JD, is an intellectual property attorney in Syracuse, New York. In 2007 he started The Genetic Genealogist blog, one of the most respected and easy to understand of the blogs on this topic. He has been interviewed on genealogical and personal genomics topics and quoted in Newsweek, New Scientist, Wired magazine, and others. He authored I Have the Results of My Genetic Genealogy Test, Now What? in 2008. An updated version is distributed by Family Tree DNA to their customers and is freely available online to anyone interested.
Blaine combines traditional research with cutting-edge genetics to learn more about one’s origins. He is the administrator of the Bettinger Surname Project and co-administrator for the R1b-L1/S26 Y-DNA Haplogroup Project. Blaine frequently gives presentations and webinars to educate others about the use of DNA to explore their ancestry, and recently had his genome sequenced through the Personal Genome Project.
Cathi Becker Wiest Desmarais, CG. A full-time professional genealogist, Cathi is the owner of Stone House Historical Research and the current Vice-President of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She also serves on the board of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy and coordinates its mentor program. In addition to family history research, Cathi works on U.S. Army military repatriation cases, finding next-of-kin and family DNA donors for MIA soldiers from past wars. She also locates missing or unknown heirs and beneficiaries for law firms and title insurance companies. Her work has given her broad U.S. and international experience, with a particular emphasis on Ireland, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. Cathi’s writing has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Crossroads, The NYG&B Record, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. She has an M.S. Ed. from the University of Vermont, and has attended GRIP, IGHR, NIGR, and Boston University’s Genealogical Writing course.
Eugenia “Genia” Gorecki is a member of the Polish Mission team, serving as our in house translator, and knowledgeable about all things Polish. You may have met her – she shared her family’s World War II suffering and triumph during the 2013 Genealogy Roadshow-Detroit Episode. She received her elementary and secondary education in Poland, and obtained her Engineering degree in metro Detroit. After a successful career in the auto industry, she now devotes time each week helping Polish Americans obtain records from Polish archives and parishes and assists in reconnecting long lost families.
Karen Mauer Green, CG (bio coming)
Hal Learman, Ph.D., Co-Director, Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI), is an Optometrist by education and has been an avid genealogist for more than 35 years. He assists patrons with ancestral research, develops family data bases, and modernizes programs of the Polish Mission. Hal’s passion for genealogy was sparked in 1978 when he was presented with some photos of his great grandparents. Tracing his heritage became an intense hobby and passion that has grown into his new avocation. Dr. Learman has done extensive research not only in the United States; but, he has additionally traveled to his ancestral villages in both the Netherlands and Germany having found records dating back to 1618 in a particular German archives.
Hal had been an active volunteer in Michigan at the local LDS Family History Library in Bloomfield Hills for over 13 years. He recently became a part-time staff member of The Polish Mission at St. Mary’s of Orchard Lake where he continues to hone and share his genealogical research capabilities. Hal was the editor for the well-received research guide by Cecile Wendt Jensen, Sto Lat: A Modern Guide to Polish Genealogy. He was also editor for The History of the Polish Panorama which was published by the Polish Mission in 2013.
Dr. Learman’s philanthropic efforts include the establishment of three separate endowed funds at Wayne State University, Bad Axe Area District Library, and Leader Dogs for the Blind. He earned his Doctorate at Chicago’s Illinois College of Optometry and has served on 3 international missions to Mexico where over 50,000 people received much needed visual assistance.
Noreen Alexander Manzella has served on the Board of Governors for the Connecticut Society of Genealogists since 2009 and currently holds the office of secretary. She has completed courses at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) and the National Institute for Genealogical Research (NIGR). Noreen has presented hands-on genealogy workshops for educators under the auspices of Connecticut’s Continuing Education Credit program and has lectured for local societies. Her current research interests include Eastern Pennsylvania, New York, Italy, Germany and Ireland. Noreen’s writing has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Connecticut Genealogy News, and Communes of Italy magazine. Noreen retired from a 37-year career as a public school educator on the secondary level and holds a B.S. in English Education and M.S. in Instructional Technology.
Debra Mieszala, CG, specializes in forensic genealogy, 20th century research, and the Midwest. She does genealogical research for the military to locate relatives of service members missing in past wars, and formerly did adoption-related research as a Confidential Intermediary in Illinois. A national-level lecturer and author, she has taught at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. Debbie’s work has been published in NGS Magazine, The Digital Genealogist, and OnBoard! She is a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). She has attended GRIP, IGHR and NIGR, and holds a certificate in paralegal studies.
CeCe Moore is a professional genetic genealogist who is considered an innovator in the use of autosomal DNA for genealogy. Currently, she is working as the first-ever, full-time genetic genealogy consultant for television on “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” and recently completed work as the DNA consultant for “Genealogy Roadshow” on PBS. She is the author of the popular blog Your Genetic Genealogist, with tens of thousands of readers from 160 countries. In 2012, she was appointed by the CEO of 23andMe to serve as their lead “Ancestry Ambassador,” advising the company on their genealogy product. She was also chosen by Dr. Spencer Wells, population geneticist and director of the Genographic Project, to participate in the launch of the new phase of the project and to be one of the first to review their new DNA test. CeCe serves as the Co-Director of the “Global Adoptee Genealogy Project,” and as the co-administrator of the “Adopted Project” at Family Tree DNA. She is the Southern California Regional Coordinator for the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, co-founder of the North San Diego County Genealogical Society’s DNA Interest Group, and administers popular mail lists and Wikis providing information on using DNA for genealogy.
CeCe is a popular presenter and author, spending much of her time educating others about genetic genealogy. She is frequently consulted by the press in regard to the emerging personal genomics industry and has been quoted on the subject by the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Discover Magazine’s Gene Expression, Science Blog’s Genetic Future, Genomes Unzipped, Genomics Law Report, Fox Health, CNN’s Paging Dr. Gupta and Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter as well as being listed in Newsweek as “Recommended Reading” for DNA. CeCe was the program organizer of the first independently produced genetic genealogy conference, held in June 2013, featuring Spencer Wells, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and many others that are among the most respected speakers in the field. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogist and of Mensa.
Pan Paweł Pietrzyk, Senior Archivist at the National Archives of Poland in Łódź, has visited Orchard Lake for several extended stays to evaluate our archives and lead development of new processes that will allow us to better serve our researchers. During his 2014 visit, Paweł will work with Ceil Wendt Jensen, MA, and Dr. Hal Learman to enhance our current archives system in preparation for a formal report that will be delivered to the National Archives.
“The collections here are extremely unique,” says Paweł. He continued, “There are no other archives like the one at the Polish Mission. It is extremely important to preserve and organize them, so researchers may have access to the valuable information they contain.”
Robert Sliwinski, M.S., is a Biologist and Genetic Genealogist, who is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about what a researcher can learn from DNA testing for ancestry. His company, DNA Explorers, provides professional services to those who have Y-DNA (paternal lineage) and/or MtDNA (maternal lineage) results and need assistance with interpretation that is easy to understand.
Marian L. Smith leads the Historical Research Branch at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security, including the agency’s History Office, Historical Reference Library, and fee-for-service Genealogy Program. She specializes in the history and uses of immigration and naturalization records. Her research primarily involves official immigration agency records held in the National Archives in downtown Washington, D.C. Her articles appear in the National Archives journal Prologue, the FGS Forum, and other publications. (Agency website: www.uscis.gov/historyandgenealogy)
Patricia Yocum is librarian emerita at the University of Michigan where she worked as a science librarian for 32 years. A native of Utica, N.Y., she earned a B.A. in English literature from Harpur College, SUNY Binghamton and M.A. in English literature and A.M.L.S. from the U of M. Her interest in family history dates back to her childhood and was fostered by stories her mother told her about her grandparents’ immigration. She has been an active genealogist for 15 years and for the last several years has expanded her research to examine migration during the era of Great Migration from a micro region in present day S.E. Poland where she still has family.
EVENING LECTURERS IN PITTSBURGH
Pam Stone Eagleson, CG, of Kennebunk Maine is a researcher, writer, and teacher who conducts client research nationwide with an emphasis on New England, mid-Atlantic, and the Midwest. Winner of the 2004 NGS Family History Writing Contest, Pam has attended IGHR, NIGR, SLIG and VIGR. She is a member of NGS, NEHGS, numerous regional and local historical and genealogical societies, and co-administrates the Stone DNA surname project. She is a current NGS board member and has previously served on the APG board. She has B.A. in sociology and history from Northwestern University, M.S. Ed. from the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham, and a C.A.S. in Museum Studies from Tufts University.
Kimberly Powell (bio coming)
Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL. A professional researcher, educator, author, and lecturer, Pam has developed, coordinated, and taught courses at Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, Boston University’s Professional Certificate Program in Genealogy, St. Louis (Missouri) Community College, and NGS. Former NGS director of education and publications and former board member of NGS and FGS, Ms. Sayre is co-author of Online Roots: How to Discover Your Family’s History and Heritage with the Power of the Internet (2003) and Research in Missouri (1999, 2007), former FGS FORUM Digitools columnist, and past editor of APGQ. A popular seminar presenter, she has spoken at genealogy conferences and seminars in thirty-one states.
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, and Deborah Lichtner Deal
Deborah Lichtner Deal is a co-director of GRIP. She is a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS) Board of Trustees. Deborah serves as the chairperson of the OGS week-long Summer Workshop and Ohio Genealogical Society Historian. She was the 2010 Exhibits Chair for the annual OGS conference. She is a Past President of the Muskingum County Chapter, and has served as chapter Newsletter Editor, Cemetery Chairman and Library Volunteer Coordinator. She was secretary and vice-president of the Morgan County Genealogical Society. Ms Deal is a member of APG, NGS, NEHGS and many state and county genealogical societies.
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, is a co-director of GRIP. She is the President for the Board for Certification of Genealogists and the Professional Genealogy course coordinator for Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University. She also is an instructor for Boston University’s on campus and online Genealogical Research Certificate course. She was the course co-coordinator of the AG/CG Preparation Course at the 2010 and 2014 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She taught a beginning genealogy course for 14 years at a local community college. She was honored in May 2010 with the National Genealogical Society’s President’s Citation in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy.
A western Pennsylvania researcher since 1986, Elissa is a past-President of the North Hills Genealogists [of Pittsburgh] and of the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society. She was a Director for the Association of Professional Genealogists for six years; co-edited a cemetery book series and appeared on the PBS-TV show “Ancestors 2″ in the cemetery episode. She is a contributing author to many publications such as the APG Quarterly and the NGS Magazine. She lectures regionally and nationally on such topics as Pennsylvania records, methodology, professional development and society management. You can see her in a video presentation on the BCG website and video lectures from the 2009 and 2010 Professional Management Conferences on the APGen.org website (PMC webcast) http://www.apgen.org/publications/pmc_webcast.html or
NOTE: CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are Service Marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluations by the Board and the board name is a trademark registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.