Faculty

Faculty biographies and photographs appear below the course lists in alphabetical order. Coordinators determine course content and work with their instructors to deliver cohesive course content.

Six courses 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

Seven courses 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

FACULTY AND INSTRUCTORS

Suzanne Russo Adams, AG

Suzanne Russo Adams, AG

Suzanne Russo Adams, AG, is an accredited genealogist in Italian research and has been researching Italian roots for 20 years. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a BS in sociology and a BA in family history/genealogy specializing in Southern European research, specifically Italy. She also has a Master s degree in European History from BYU.

Suzanne worked for Ancestry.com for just shy of 12 years in record strategy, acquisition and content digitization as well as PR, community relations and conferences. She is currently employed at FamilySearch.org as a Sr. Content Strategist with responsibilities for record acquisition strategy in the United States, Latin America, Southern Europe, Adriatic, Australia and the Pacific Isles.

Suzanne has served as a board member for the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) and as a commissioner for the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen). She was a lead researcher for NBC s U.S. season 1 of Who Do You Think You Are? and is credited for her work on the Susan Sarandon and Brooke Shields episodes. She is also the author of Finding Your Italian Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide (Ancestry, 2008).

Beth Balkite

Beth Balkite

Elizabeth (Beth) Balkite has a masters degree from the Graduate Program in Human Genetics, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY.  She is a board certified genetic counselor with over 30 years experience counseling individuals and families as well as educating healthcare professionals and the public about human genetics. She has studied genealogy for the past year and is a member of NGS and ISOGG.

Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.

Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.

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.

Shelley Bishop

Shelley Bishop

Shelley Bishop is a professional genealogy researcher and writer specializing in Ohio research, as well as strategies for finding and preserving ancestor stories. She is a frequent contributor to Family Tree Magazine, the Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly, and other publications. An alumnus of the ProGen study program, Shelley has completed numerous courses at genealogical research institutes, including GRIP, SLIG, and IGHR. She was a 2015 recipient of the Birdie Monk Holsclaw Scholarship. Shelley is an officer of the Great Lakes Chapter Association of Professional Genealogists and owner of Buckeye Family Trees, www.BuckeyeFamilyTrees.com.

F. Warren Bittner

F. Warren Bittner

F. Warren Bittner is a genealogical researcher and lecturer. He holds a Master of Science degree in History from Utah State University. His master’s thesis looked at the social factors affecting illegitimacy in nineteenth-century Bavaria. Warren Bittner was a winner of the National Genealogical Society 2011 Writing Contest, with his article “Without Land, Occupation, Rights, or Marriage Privilege: The Büttner Family from Bavaria to New York.” This article was also awarded the  National Genealogical Society, Award for Excellence, 2012 which is presented annually for an outstanding article published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. He is a former trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

He has coordinated German research tracks at the Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Birmingham, Alabama, and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. For six years he was the German Collection Manager for the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. He has done research in more than fifty German archives and in more than forty U.S. archives and record repositories.

Cathi Desmarais, CG

Cathi Desmarais, CG

Catherine Becker Wiest Desmarais, CG. A full-time professional genealogist specializing in forensic work, Catherine is the owner of Stone House Historical Research and the current vice-president of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). She locates missing or unknown heirs for attorneys and researches U.S. Army military repatriation cases, finding next-of-kin and family DNA donors for soldiers whose remains were not recovered from past wars. Catherine also enjoys research for clients with Vermont or Irish ancestors. She has served on the board of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) and coordinated its mentor program. Catherine’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 a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Vermont and is co-owner of the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR).

Pamela Stone Eagleson, CG

Pamela Stone Eagleson, CG

Pam Stone Eagleson, CG, of Kennebunk Maine is a researcher, author, lecturer and teacher. She is a graduate of Northwestern University with a B.A. in sociology and history, University of Maine at Portland-Gorham with a M.S.Ed,  and Tufts University with a C.A.S. in Museum Studies.  Pam is a member of the National Genealogical Society’s Board of Directors and serves on its Education Committee.  A past winner of the NGS Family History Writing Contest, she is a member of numerous genealogical and historical societies,  a past member of the APG Board of Directors and co-administrator of the Stone Surname DNA project.

 

Diane Florence Gravel, CG

Diane Florence Gravel, CG

Diane Florence Gravel, CG, is a full-time professional genealogist and lecturer, with emphasis on New Hampshire research. She is a graduate (with honors) of NGS’s American Genealogy: A Basic Course, and attended both the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (Advanced Methodology and Military Records) at Samford University and the National Institute on Genealogical Research at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Prior to becoming a genealogist, she had nearly two decades of experience in the legal field. She has lectured at local level, as well as at state, regional, and national conferences. Diane co-edited Volume I of New Hampshire Families in 1790, and is currently working on Volume II of that project. She serves on APG’s Board of Directors, is the Vice President of the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists, and has been a trustee of her local library since 2003. She is also a past-president of the New England Chapter of APG.

Sierra Green

Sierra Green

Sierra Green, a native of Adamsville, Pennsylvania, completed her Masters in Library and Information Science with a specialization in Archives, Preservation, and Records Management from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. As an archivist at the Detre Library & Archives, Sierra is engaged in archival processing and reference services in addition to her work in public and educational programming. Throughout her graduate and professional work thus far, Sierra has fostered a deep passion for and interest in archival outreach, engagement, and public awareness. She takes great pleasure in discussing the professional tenets of archival arrangement, description, and preservation with genealogists and family historians through the lens of their personal family collections. In addition to presenting to members of the general public, Sierra has previously presented Family Archives Workshops to the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Pittsburgh Chapter, as well as the North Hills Genealogists.

Michael Hait, CG

Michael Hait, CG

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. He is co-owner of the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR). For more information on Michael’s available services, visit http://www.haitfamilyresearch.com.

Harold Henderson, CG

Harold Henderson, CG

Harold Henderson, CG, has completed more than 100 client projects since beginning professional work in September 2009, focusing on the 50 counties around Chicago in northeastern Illinois, southwestern Michigan, and northern Indiana — as well as feeder areas to the east and emigration areas to the west. He is conveniently located to work in libraries and archives from Chicago to Fort Wayne and particularly enjoys helping with problems that involve multiple locations and many different kinds of records.

Harold is a current trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists and a former director of the Association of Professional Genealogists. He has taught, lectured, and written about a myriad of topics involving proof arguments and genealogical problem solutions.

Patti Hobbs, CG

Patti Hobbs, CG

Patti Hobbs, CG, has a BA in Biology and specializes in Federal Records, Land Records, Lineage Societies, Court Records, and is a DNA Specialist.

Patti is the genealogy face of the Springfield-Greene County (Missouri) Library District. Since 2009 she has been a genealogist reference associate for the Local History and Genealogy Department.

 

Melanie D. Holtz, CG

Melanie D. Holtz, CG

Melanie Holtz, CG,  is a board-certified genealogist, writer, and lecturer. She operates an international research firm that specializes in Italian genealogical research, Italian-American dual citizenship, and Italian-American probate cases. Melanie maintains offices in both Italy and the U.S. and has extensive experience working in the pre-French records of Corsica. She is also a co-administrator of the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR) and teaches through lecturing and writing courses for various organizations.

Baerbel Johnson, AG

Baerbel Johnson, AG

Baerbel K. Johnson, AG®, is a professional genealogist and works for FamilySearch. Currently she supports the German-language family history centers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. She holds degrees in Family and Local History Studies and Sociology from BYU, and has over twenty-five years of extensive experience in European family history research with emphasis on Germany. She has published a number of journal articles, contributed material for several books, and lectured at various conferences. Her personal interest is in “putting flesh on the genealogical skeleton” by placing each individual within a proper social and historical context. Baerbel currently serves as Commissioner of Education and Mentoring at ICAPGen. She is a member of NGS, the German Professional Genealogists Association, and the German Society for Computer Genealogy

Melissa Johnson is a board-certified genealogist specializing in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and British families. She focuses on genealogical research from the colonial period to the present; family history writing, editing and publishing; dual citizenship for Italy and Ireland; DNA adoption research, and lineage society applications. She is currently Editor of NGS Monthly and Reviews Editor of Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. Melissa is also on the Board of Trustees of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey and the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History.

Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL. FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL. FASG, FUGA, FNGS

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 has taught 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).

Brianne Kirkpatrick Genetic Counselor

Brianne Kirkpatrick
Genetic Counselor

Brianne Kirkpatrick is a certified and licensed genetic counselor with clinical and research experience. After leading a long-term project on Direct-to-Consumer DNA testing for the National Society of Genetic Counselors, Brianne launched WatershedDNA in 2016, a private tele-consulting practice that provides specialized services to adoptees and donor-conceived individuals in regards to ancestry testing.

 

 

Michael D. Lacopo, D.V.M.

Michael D. Lacopo, D.V.M.

Dr. Michael D. Lacopo, of northern Indiana, took to genealogical research in 1980 to substantiate family stories and found 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! 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 people in their quests to locate their relatives – living and dead.  His national lecturing began in 2004, and has continued with several local, state, national, and international conference speaking engagements to this present day. Michael’s interests 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 repositories, and also devotes a considerable amount of time to European research, being proficient in reading German script. 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 blog, Michael’s website is www.Roots4U.com, or more up-to-date information is at his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Roots4U.

Denise Levenick The Family Curator

Denise Levenick,
The Family Curator

Denise May Levenick, MA, is a native Southern Californian with roots in New England, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. She is an author, lecturer, blogger, and researcher with research interests in personal and family collections and the author of How to Archive Family Keepsakes (2012) and How to Archive Family Photos (2015). Denise is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with degrees in Medieval Studies and Comparative Literature, and holds a Master of Arts in English from Claremont Graduate University. She has enjoyed careers in editing, publishing and teaching English, journalism, and technology. After inheriting a dozen family archives in less than a decade, Denise turned to researching and writing about her family and their collections full-time, and created the award-winning blog, The Family Curator. Denise is a frequent contributor to FamilyTree Magazine, Ancestry.com, and various genealogy magazines and journals. Denise has attended the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR), Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and GRIP, and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, National Genealogical Society and local and regional societies. As Chair of the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant, she works with the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree annual scholarship program. Denise may be contacted at www.theFamilyCurator.com.

Sharon MacInnes, Ph.D.

Sharon MacInnes, Ph.D.

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.

Paola Manfredi, AG, is an Accredited Genealogist® professional specializing in Italian family history research. A native of Italy, she is the first Italian to have successfully obtained a degree in Family History Genealogy from Brigham Young University. For over 30 years she has been conducting research on original records in Italy to find out more about her own Italian and Swedish heritage. Over the years she has performed extensive research on original documents in record repositories all across Italy becoming familiar with unique records in Italian and Latin. She has also been a presenter at Genealogical Conferences in the US and in Italy speaking on a variety of Italian Family History topics. She is a member of PHI ALPHA THETA (Historical Honor Society). At BYU she has shared her expertise by teaching Italian Family History research and by working for the BYU Center of Family History and Genealogy in the acquisition of Italian emigration records. She has also worked for Ancestry as an Italian content specialist and is currently working for FamilySearch in the Family History Library in SLC as an international consultant where she is happy to consult with any patron doing Italian research.

Kelvin Meyers

Kelvin Meyers

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

Debra Mieszala, CG

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

CeCe Moore

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.

Kimberly Powell

Kimberly Powell

Kimberly Powell is a genealogical researcher, author, editor and volunteer. She is past President of the Association of Professional Genealogists and webmaster for the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society. She has been the Genealogy Expert with About.com (http://genealogy.about.com) since March 2000 and is the author of several books, including most recently The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd edition (Adams Media, 2014). She has also contributed to several popular genealogy magazines, including BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?. Kimberly specializes in eastern North Carolina and southwestern Pennsylvania research, as well as French and English research. She has extensive experience at full-family genealogies, including immigrant families, branching out through multiple states, countries, and time periods.

Michael Ramage, J.D., CG

Michael Ramage, J.D., CG

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).

Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL

Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL

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 Genealogist® 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.

Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL

Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL

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.

Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

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 returned to government service working for the Defense Department as a civilian from which he is retired.

Marian L. Smith

Marian L. Smith

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)

Karen Stanbary, CG

Karen Stanbary, CG

Karen Stanbary, CG, specializes in Midwestern U.S. research, Chicago-based research, complex problem-solving and DNA analysis. She is a regular instructor in the Newberry Library Adult Education program in Genetic Genealogy, Advanced Genetic Genealogy and the Genealogical Proof Standard.

 

 

Paula Stuart-Warren, CG

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/.

Amber Tauscher

Amber Tauscher

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.

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS. Joshua is a nationally known and recognized genealogical author, lecturer, and researcher. Currently the President of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, Joshua is also 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 is 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

Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL

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.

Bethany Waterbury

Bethany Waterbury

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 former Board Member of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy and was the editor of their quarterly newsletter, Forensic Genealogy News, for several years. 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.

STAFF

  

 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

https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/choosing-the-best-continuing-education-opportunities/49

and

https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/get-paid-for-your-passion-becoming-a-professional-genealogist/51

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.