Faculty biographies and photographs appear below the course list for each week in 2015.
These six courses are scheduled for June 28 to July 3, 2015:
- Writing Your Immigrant Families’ Stories: From Research to Publishing with John P. Colletta, Ph.D. and Michael Hait, CG
- Determining Kinship Reliably with the Genealogical Proof Standard with Thomas W. Jones, PhD., CG, CGL and Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS
- Researching New York State with Karen Mauer Jones, CG , FGBS
- Problem Solving with Church Records with Rev. Dr. David McDonald, CG
- Advanced Research Tools: Land Records with Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA and Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, Angela McGhie, and Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL
- Practical Genetic Genealogy with Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.
These six courses are scheduled for July 19-24, 2015 in Pittsburgh:
- Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, and Debra Mieszala, CG
- Advanced Research Methods with Thomas W. Jones, PhD., CG, CGL, Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL, Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, and Pam Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
- Refresh, Rebuild and Recharge Your Genealogy Career with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL, and Debra Mieszala, CG
- Pennsylvania: Research in the Keystone State with Sharon Cook MacInnes, Ph.D. and Michael D. Lacopo, D.V.M.
- Practical Genetic Genealogywith Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, Patti Hobbs, CG, and Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.
- Law School for Genealogists with Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL and Richard G. “Rick” Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, and Marian L. Smith
Knowledgeable, entertaining and experienced, John Philip Colletta is a popular Washington, D.C.-based lecturer on topics of family history research and writing. For twenty years, while laying the foundation for his career in genealogy, he worked half-time at the Library of Congress and taught workshops at the National Archives. Today Dr. Colletta lectures nationally, teaches at local schools, and conducts programs for the Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associate Program. He is a faculty member of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University (Birmingham, Ala.), the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and Boston University’s Certificate in Family History program. In 2014 The Teaching Company released Dr. Colletta’s 15-lesson course, “Discovering Your Roots: The Fundamentals of Genealogy,” as one of their “Great Courses” on DVD or CD with accompanying manual. Dr. Colletta’s publications include numerous articles, both scholarly and popular, two manuals — They Came in Ships: A Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor’s Arrival Record and Finding Italian Roots: The Complete Guide for Americans – and one “murder-mystery-family-history,” Only a Few Bones: A True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and Its Aftermath. Dr. Colletta has received many professional awards and honors and appears frequently on podcasts and local and national radio and television. His Ph.D. in Medieval French is from The Catholic University of America. Visit www.genealogyjohn.com.
Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, (formerly Green) of Monroe, New York, is an editor, author, lecturer, and professional genealogist, and is currently employed as coeditor of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Record. She holds an MA from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies (State University of New York, Oneonta). She is currently a member of the NYG&B Education Committee, and 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, 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.
Rev. Dr. David McDonald, CG, holds an undergraduate degree in history and political science from Beloit College (Wisconsin); and a Master of Divinity in pastoral studies from Eden Seminary (Missouri). His doctorate was earned at Christian Seminary, Indianapolis. “D.Min.” is the abbreviation for doctor of ministry, the terminal professional degree for ordained clergy. He is “Reverend” by virtue of ordination in the United Church of Christ. The UCC is the mainline Protestant church in which he serves as a local church pastor, and has since 1991. He currently serves Windsor United Church of Christ, Windsor, Wisconsin, as its senior pastor and teacher. “CG” and “Certified Genealogist” are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) ®, Washington, D. C., and are used by authorized associates following periodic, peer-reviewed competency evaluations. No. 452, renewed, expiring 19 April 2019.
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.
Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA. 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. “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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Angela Packer McGhie is a professional genealogist who has focused her career in genealogy education. She is the coordinator for the Intermediate Genealogy course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University, a coordinator of the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), and the administrator of the ProGen Study Program. She has been an instructor at the National Institute for Genealogy Research (NIGR) in Washington, D.C., the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland. Angela is a past president of the National Capital Area chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and has been published in the APG Quarterly.
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 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.
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)
A Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG) member, national speaker and former public school teacher, Jane Wilcox is a genealogical researcher, author, editor, and podcast host. She serves on the advisory board of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record and on the NYG&B Education Committee. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and conducts her research business as Forget-Me-Not Ancestry in the Hudson Valley of New York.
Jane holds an M.S. degree in journalism, a B.A. degree in colonial American history and English literature, and an elementary/middle school Teacher’s Certificate. As a historian, journalist and teacher, Jane infuses her talks with historical context, helping to tell the ancestors’ stories. She hosts The Forget-Me-Not Hour: Your Ancestors Want Their Stories to Be Told podcast on the internet at www.BlogTalkRadio.com/JaneEWilcox. She can be reached at www.4getMeNotAncestry.com.
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.
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.