UGA Mission Statement
The Utah Genealogical Association provides genealogical information, sources and education through personal instruction and published media on state, national and international family history topics, while promoting high standards and ethical practices.
The Utah Genealogical Association was formally organized on September 25, 1971, and chartered on December 1, 1971, by the State of Utah as a nonprofit educational organization. The Association's interests are worldwide while still providing specific materials of interest relating to Utah. It is not affiliated with any religious or political organization.
The Association is governed by an Executive Committee comprised of the President, 1st Vice-President, and 2nd Vice-President plus a Board of Governors. Members of the Board are elected by the general membership of the Association and serve for a period of three years.
In addition, dozens of volunteers serve on various committees, staff booths at conferences, and work behind the scenes to assure the membership a vibrant, collegial, and enjoyable Association.
The Association publishes Crossroads, a quarterly journal of general interest in the field of genealogy and family history. The journal is sent to the general membership of the Association and is also available to the membership in an electronic edition on this website.
Association members can share information on specific surnames through our Surname Research page. We sponsor an annual meeting wherein outstanding service and accomplishments are recognized and awarded.
Also available to members is the opportunity to participate in a monthly "virtual chapter" meeting wherein experts in various aspects of genealogy and family history make hour-long presentations on their areas of expertise. These presentations are then archived for member review and access at any time.
The latest revision of the Utah Genealogical Association ByLaws were drafted on September 1, 2011, by an ad hoc Bylaws Committee made up of UGA Executive Committee members. The Bylaws were approved in a general membership meeting on October 13, 2011. They can be found HERE.
Dayna Jacobs, AG
Dayna serves as a Commissioner on the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists, (ICAPGen℠), where she chairs the Public Relations Committee and facilitates the organization's social media outreach via blog, Facebook, Twitter, and newsletter. Dayna is one of five professionals accredited for U.S. Mountain West States research.
She has been researching, teaching, and writing since 1988 and has been on staff at the Monterey, California Family History Center since 1998, where she has served as staff trainer and Assistant Director. Over the years, Dayna has presented classes on thirty different topics at genealogy conferences and seminars, and has facilitated ongoing genealogy workshops at the public library.
She enjoys educating and mentoring genealogists, and her genealogy blog, On Granny's Trail, is a resource for Western States research and beyond.
Julia Oldroyd, AG
Julia has been fascinated by family history and genealogy her entire life. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and University Honors from Brigham Young University in 1993 and recently became an Accredited Genealogist®, specializing in the United States Gulf South Region. Julia and her husband, Jared, have eight children and one grandchild and live in Provo.
Mike develops web applications and deciphers old handwritten German documents for genealogists. In his spare time he researches his own family lines, and is always eager to learn about and discuss genealogical research methodologies, business processes, and solo-preneur strategies.
Mike has been working in web application development since 1996 in various programming languages and technologies. He is currently developing modern web applications for genealogists using cutting-edge technologies. He also consults small businesses on their technology stack, including email servers, web hosting, VOIP PBX, and team collaboration.
Elizabeth (Liz) Cays Miller’s love for genealogy was nurtured in her as a child, took hold as a teenager, and has continued throughout her life. She formally trained for research in Spain, Latin America, and the southern states of the U.S.A. at Brigham Young University, while
newer research opportunities have allowed her to broaden her knowledge and expand her skills. She especially enjoys on-site archival research and has researched at archives in Spain, Ecuador, Scotland, Wales, Canada, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Idaho, and Utah.
Currently, Liz works as a contract researcher for Legacy Tree Genealogists and serves UGA on several committees and as 1st Vice-President, where she has worked with the Conference Committee, Exhibits and Sales, UGA Membership and Volunteer Committee, and the Technology Committee. She has helped out with the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and will represent UGA at the FGS Society Days at Fort Wayne, Indiana in August 2018.
Liz hopes to help others make new discoveries about their family history and to see them become excited about learning. She would like to generate enthusiasm among UGA members and help them become more involved with the organization.
Michael Strauss, AG
Michael L. Strauss, AG, is an Accredited Genealogist and a nationally recognized genealogical lecturer. A native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Utah, he has been employed as a Forensic Investigator for 25 years. Strauss holds a BA in History and is a United States Coast Guard veteran and a licensed Private Investigator. He is also a qualified expert witness in court in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia and approved genealogist with the United States Army to locate DNA qualified persons MIA from Korea, Vietnam, and World War II.
Michael was the film historian for the 2015 Academy nominated film "Finding Vivian Maier" He has been involved in Civil War reenacting for more than 25 years, serving in two units, namely; the 99th New York Infantry and Battery A., 5th U.S. Artillery and most recently the Utah Living History Association.
Tristan Tolman, AG
Tristan L. Tolman, AG®, is a professional genealogist, author, editor, and publisher. She has a bachelor's degree in Family History and Genealogy from Brigham Young University and received her accreditation in genealogy research in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic States through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen). Tristan has been actively involved in the genealogical field for over twenty years. She has served on the ICAPGen Board as the first vice chair and on the Nominations Committee of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She has written curriculum for the Family History degree programs at BYU-Idaho and BYU-Provo and was co-editor of Becoming an Excellent Genealogist: Essays on Professional Research Skills (2012). She loves working with clients and enjoys being on the research team of the award-winning television series, Relative Race. She is a member in good standing of ICAPGen, the National Genealogical Society, and the Association of Professional Genealogists. Tristan specializes in U.S. genealogical research, writing personal and family histories, and preparing genealogical information for publication. She and her husband Blair are the parents of five children.
Lynne Shumway is a genealogist with more than 40 years of experience in the research field. She specializes in English research although she is not limited to that area, having accomplished client work in the USA and Australia. She is a past president of the Provo chapter of UGA; past editor of PAFology (the magazine of the PAF Users Group), and is currently the online parish clerk for Seaford, Sussex County, England. She has presented at genealogy conferences, including the UGA annual events, as well as taught classes at local genealogical societies, both in Utah and Australia.
Lynne also conducts two registered one-name studies for the Burgess and Bulman surnames, which include variations in spellings of those names. She is considering seeking certification in her area of specialization.
Lynne’s professional background has been in education. She retired in 2017 after a career that included not only teaching in the classroom, but also working in other areas with an educational emphasis.
Gerhard Ruf was born in West Germany and grew up in Utah. He graduated from BYU in Physics and has worked with various aspects of computers and technology over the past 40 years. Over the years he has taught classes in the use of technology in family history at local, regional, and national genealogical conferences and workshops. Since 1995 he has served in the leadership of the Utah Valley PAF Users Group. Under his leadership it was renamed the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group (UVTAGG) and its meetings have been made globally accessible via live broadcasts. He has been involved in family history pursuits since his mother got him started with microfilm of German records in the Salt Lake Family History Library during his teen years. It became a lifelong pursuit. His last employment at Ancestry.com finally combined his profession with his hobby. His duties included the development and teaching of classes on genealogical principles and techniques to the staff in the call center. He is now retired and resides with his wife, Deon, in Orem, Utah.
Zachary Hamilton is a professional genealogist and family researcher specializing in Southern US research and military records. He has spent the last several years working as a professional genealogist and lecturer in Idaho and for AncestryProGenealogists. He also holds a B.A. in History and an A.A.S. in Office Management.
Zachary is highly familiar to the Utah Genealogical Association as he has spent the past year revitalizing the Salt Lake Valley Chapter where he currently serves as Chapter President. He has also volunteered in multiple other capacities including as a member of the conference committee and a volunteer at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.
In addition to his work with UGA, Zachary is an enthusiastic about education in the genealogical community. He has appeared as a lecturer at conferences and seminars and regional events in the Inter-mountain West, Midwest, and South. He previously served as an assistant director for a FamilySearch Center and also been a guest lecturer for genealogy courses at Brigham Young University-Idaho.
Zachary spends his time not doing genealogy by being involved in his church, pursuing additional education opportunities, and participating in cultural events in the Salt Lake Valley where he currently resides.