Faculty biographies and photographs appear below the course list for each week in 2016. (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Offered June 26, 2016 to July 1, 2016 at La Roche College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:
- “Family Archiving: Heirlooms in the Digital Age” with Denise May Levenick
- “Finding Your German Ancestors” with Warren Bittner and Baerbel Johnson, AG
- “Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy in the 21st Century” with Cathi Desmarais, CG, Kelvin Meyers, and Michael Ramage, J.D., CG
- “Mastering the Art of Genealogical Documentation” with Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
- “Pennsylvania: Research in the Keystone State” with Sharon MacInnes, Ph.D. and Michael Lacopo, D.V.M
- “Women and Children First! Research Methods for the Hidden Members of the Family” with Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL
Offered July 17-22, 2016 at La Roche College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:
- “Advanced Genetic Genealogy” with CeCe Moore
- “Advanced Research Methods” with Thomas W. Jones., Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
- “Diving Deeper into New England: Advanced Strategies for Success” with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
- “From Confusion to Conclusion: How to Write Proof Arguments” with Harold Henderson, CG and Kimberly Powell
- “Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper” with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA
- “Practical Genetic Genealogy” with Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL and Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.
- “Researching in Italian Records” with Melanie D. Holtz, CG
Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.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.
Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS. Tom has edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002. 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).
Dr. Michael D. Lacopo was born and raised in northern Indiana surrounded by extended family always willing to tell tall tales. Intrigued by his maternal family’s claim to be kinfolk of Abraham Lincoln, and his paternal family’s stories of murder and mayhem, he took to genealogical research in 1980 to substantiate these family stories. His first major challenge in the world of research was tackled by finding his adopted mother’s birthparents in 1982. You can read about this adventure at his blog at Roots4U.blogspot.com with some engaging story-telling, plot twists, and new findings!
Although a budding genealogist in the 1980s, Michael completed his doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1991, while still spending time honing his research skills. In 2013, Michael retired from his medical career to pursue genealogical research full-time as a profession. He has contributed to numerous periodicals and has helped numerous people in their quests to locate their relatives – living and dead. His national lecturing began in Sacramento, CA, at the National Genealogical Society’s national conference in 2004, and has continued with several local, state, national, and international conference speaking engagements to this present day.
Michael’s interests and strengths include DNA research, Mennonite research, German and Swiss research, especially as it pertains to the 18th century immigration to America, among many other topics. He makes many trips throughout the Mid-Atlantic (especially Pennsylvania) and Midwest states chasing ancestors in primary repositories, and also devotes a considerable amount of time to European research, being proficient in reading German script. Having ancestors from many geographic locales as well as immigrants spanning the 17th century to the 20th century, Michael has a wide variety of proficiencies. He believes that as genealogists we should tell the tales or our ancestors and is a vocal proponent for learning the social history that interweaves our ancestors into the fabric of the past. In addition to his story-telling and educational blog, Michael’s presence can be found online at www.Roots4U.com, or for more up-to-date lecture and research information, at his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Roots4U.
Sharon Cook MacInnes, Ph.D., is the author of eight volumes of the series Early Landowners of Pennsylvania: Atlas of Township Warrantee Maps of *** County. She has authored articles in NGS Magazine and Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society’s “Jots from the Point,” as well as other genealogical publications. She is CEO of Ancestor Tracks (http://ancestortracks.com) which is dedicated to publishing online free, downloadable 19th-century maps of every county of Pennsylvania to be used as a resource with census records and published county histories.
In addition to conducting research in national and state repositories such as the National Archives, DAR Library, Library of Congress, Pennsylvania Archives, and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Sharon has haunted numerous county courthouses and archives, especially in Pennsylvania. She has just celebrated her 40th year of active genealogical research. After a 28-year-long background as a secondary-school teacher, she became a popular genealogical educator and lecturer who focuses on practical application of methods and standards. Sharon is an alumna of National Institute of Genealogical Research at the National Archives (NIGR), Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Samford (IGHR), and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). She is a member of numerous local and national genealogical societies and is currently Program Chair of Mount Vernon Genealogical Society and coordinator of the German Special Interest Group of Fairfax Genealogical Society. She specializes in Pennsylvania research, early Germans, and land records.
CeCe Moore is a full time professional genetic genealogist who is considered an innovator in the use of autosomal DNA for genealogy. Currently, she is working as the genetic genealogy consultant and scriptwriter for season three of “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” and recently completed work as the DNA consultant for season two of “Genealogy Roadshow.” She also works extensively with individuals of unknown parentage to help them learn about their genealogy through DNA, often reuniting them with biological family members. She is the co-administrator of the “Adopted DNA” and “Unknown Fathers DNA” projects at Family Tree DNA and writes the blog “Adoption and DNA.”
As a leading proponent of genetic genealogy education, CeCe organizes conferences, teaches a number of courses around the U.S. and administers popular mail lists and the ISOGG Wiki focusing on genetic genealogy. She is the co-founder of the Institute for Genetic Genealogy and has written the blog popular “Your Genetic Genealogist” since 2010.
One of CeCe’s primary goals is to encourage positive stories about the power of genetic genealogy in the media. She has appeared as a genetic genealogy expert on 20/20, CBS This Morning, The Doctors and “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” discussing high-profile cases that used DNA to trace family history and has been quoted on the subject by the Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, Business Insider, ABC News, Live Science, Huffington Post, The Root, The Invisible History of the Human Race and many more.
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.
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, Genealogy by Paula, http://genealogybypaula.com/ She formerly published 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. Her 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. Her traditional research focuses on Texas, the Southwest, and the Southern U.S. She has performed research for genealogical television series such as the Canadian series Ancestors in the Attic, the PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr., and The Learning Channel’s Who Do You Think You Are?.
Debbie is a Trustee for the BCG Education Fund, the Texas State Genealogical Society’s DNA Project Chair, a former board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and former president of the Lone Star Chapter of APG. Debbie has presented at the National Genealogical Society and Federation of Genealogical Society conferences, International Genetic Genealogy Conference, Family Tree DNA Project Administrator’s Conference, Southern California Jamboree DNA Day, several genealogy institutes, and many genealogical societies in Texas and other states. Her publications include a column on using DNA analysis for genealogical research in NGS Magazine, a column on genetic genealogy in the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, and award-winning articles in writing competitions held by the Dallas Genealogical Society and the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors.
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.
Michael Hait, CG, is a full-time professional genealogist, with over fifteen years of research experience across the United States. His specialties include Maryland research, African American genealogy, and records of the Civil War and Reconstruction era. Michael is a frequent contributor to genealogy magazines and journals, and a popular lecturer in the Mid-Atlantic area. He has lectured at Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. For more information on Michael’s available services, visit http://www.haitfamilyresearch.com.
Harold Henderson, CG, has been a professional writer since 1979, a professional genealogist since 2009, and a board-certified genealogist since June 2012. He lives and works in northwest Indiana and at midwestroots.net, and serves as a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. He has lectured nationally and published articles in American Ancestors Journal (annual supplement to the New England Historical and Genealogical Register), the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and several state publications — including “A Field Guide to Indirect Evidence: How We Find It, How It Guides Our Research, and How It Helps Us Build a Case,” in the June 2015 APG Quarterly. At any given time he would probably rather be reading a grantor index.
Patti Hobbs, CG, is a professional genealogist and part-time Local History & Genealogy reference associate in the Springfield-Greene County Library in Missouri. She has a BA in biology and teaches classes on genetic genealogy and traditional research methodology for her local society and the library. She has served on the Education Committee and as treasurer, conference chairman, and webmaster of Ozarks Genealogical Society. Patti has attended Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR), and GRIP.
Kelvin L. Meyers
A fifth generation Texan and professional forensic genealogist since 1996, Kelvin is a frequent speaker to genealogical societies and family associations throughout the United States. As a graduate of Texas Tech University with a history major, he is an avid research-historian. After being employed for ten years in the Genealogy Department of the Dallas Public Library, Kelvin now has a solo practice as a forensic genealogist serving clients that include probate attorneys, trust department of banks, the US Immigration Service and energy companies. Kelvin is a 1989 and 1990 alumni of the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research at Samford University and has returned to IGHR as lecturer. He is a past board member of the Association of Professional Genealogist, a past President of the Lone Star Chapter of APG, and a founding member for the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG). Kelvin currently serves as the chairman of the history and archives committee for First United Methodist Church in Dallas.
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.
Michael S. Ramage, J.D., Certified Genealogist(R) is a full-time, professional genealogist specializing in forensic genealogy including missing and unknown heir research and expert testimony. A frequent speaker and writer, Michael is Treasurer of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and an instructor for Boston University’s Genealogical Research Program. His publications include: “Missing and Unknown Estate Heir Law Practice and Procedure,” Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly, Volume LXXVI, No. 3 (July 2005), and “What Lawyers Need to Know about the Heir-Hunting Industry,” The Pennsylvania Lawyer (May/June 2013).
Richard G. “Rick” Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, 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.
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)
Amber Goodpaster Tauscher is a professional genealogist and lecturer based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her company, Antique Ancestors, specializes in forensic genealogy research to locate unknown or missing heirs; traditional family history research across the United States; and the production of keepsake Heritage Albums (a printed family history book combining genealogy, family stories, documents and photographs) for her clients. Amber is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and is past President/Chapter Representative for the Great Plains Chapter. She is also a past Board member and Mentor Program Coordinator for the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy and has taught at their annual Forensic Genealogy Institute.
Bethany Waterbury, owner of Next of Kin Research, is a full-‐time professional genealogist. She specializes in the use of DNA testing, along with 20th and 21st century research techniques, to resolve complex kinship problems, especially for adoptees and others of unknown parentage. She also identifies missing or unknown heirs for probate cases across the country. Ms. Waterbury is a Board Member for the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy and is the editor of their quarterly newsletter, Forensic Genealogy News. She is also a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the National Genealogical Society where she was appointed to NGS Committee on Genetic Genealogy.
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 served 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 and is the co-chair of the 2014 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. Debbie 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 immediate past-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 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.