SLIG 2018 Faculty

Dina C. Carson, MA

Dina Carson Dina Carson, owner and publisher at Iron Gate Publishing, has been an author and publisher for almost 30 years and brings her experience with all phases of book production and publishing—in print, electronically or online— to help first-time self-publishers create quality family or local histories that are both believable and achievable. Although her formal education is in International Law and Economics, Dina has been involved in genealogy for more than three decades, and lectures frequently to genealogical and historical societies throughout the West. She brings her experience with storytelling using techniques from fiction, creative non-fiction, investigative journalism (and yes, flat-out family fibs) to help inexperienced writers craft engaging, entertaining family histories that even a non-genealogically inclined relative will relish and read. Dina uses her graphic design skills to help family historians make their images look their best in their publications, and to preserve those images for the next generation. She is the author of 10 books about publishing and genealogy now in their second editions including, Set Yourself Up to Self-Publish: A Genealogist's Guide and Publish Your Family History: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing the Stories of Your Ancestors.

She is the coordinator of the Boulder Pioneers Project, a comprehensive look at the original source documents for Boulder County during the Territorial period (1859-1876) and the author of more than 30 annotated indexes and transcriptions of Boulder County source materials. She has worked with the Colorado State Archives to coordinate state-wide indexing projects and has published the results. When she's not at a computer working on a publishing project, you can find her photographing the pioneer cemeteries of Colorado.

Courses Taught

John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGA

John Colletta John Philip Colletta is one of America’s most popular genealogical lecturers. Knowledgeable, experienced and entertaining, he resides in Washington, D.C. 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. He has also been an instructor and course coordinator for the National Institute on Genealogical Research (Washington, DC), the Genealogical Institute of Texas (Dallas), and the Genealogical Institute of Mid-America (Springfield, Ill.).

His 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. It tells the story of Colletta’s great great grandfather, Joe Ring, who moved his family from Buffalo, New York, to Rolling Fork, Mississippi, after the Civil War. When Joe Ring’s country store burned to the ground with five unfortunate victims sleeping upstairs, the incident was investigated as mass murder, robbery and arson.

Dr. Colletta appears frequently on podcasts and local and national radio and television. He is featured in Episode Four of “Ancestors,” the ten-part KBYU-TV series, as well as its sequel. He has received many professional honors, including fellowship in the Utah Genealogical Association and distinguished service awards from the Dallas Genealogical Society and the National Society, Daughters of Colonial Founders and Patriots.

Courses Taught

Luana Wentz Darby, MLIS, AG

Luana Darby Luana is an Accredited Genealogist® with a bachelor’s degree in Family History from BYU and an MLIS from SJSU. Genealogy and the recording of family history has always been a passion for Luana. She began organizing photos, documents, and information on her grandmother’s family in 1977 and has researched for others since 1985, working as a professional genealogist since 1995. She specializes in Palatine German, U.S., Canadian, and western European research and frequently travels to Europe for genealogical research on site in archives located in Germany, Poland and France.

She is a frequent lecturer at local and national conferences and institutes, including the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the British Institute, RootsTech, and Legacy Family Tree Webinars. She has served on the Utah Genealogical Association board and currently serves on the board of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Genealogical Speakers Guild. She has been an instructor with the BYU-Idaho family history department since 2014. As the owner of Lineages by Luana, she provides record retrieval from the Family History Library in multiple countries and in-depth research and consultations.

Courses Taught

Michael J. Hall

Mike Hall As a young man, Michael, a Marine, was first stationed in Okinawa, Japan where he found the LDS Church, and then later at the Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, California, he developed a desired to research his personal family history.

After discharge from active duty, he moved to Provo, Utah where he attained a BS in Anthropology from Brigham Young University (BYU). He “tested out” of several genealogy courses, certifying proficiency as a self-taught genealogist. Initially Michael became a Research Archaeologist and was recognized as among the top in his fauna research. He had the ability to identify and apprise everything about a bone, albeit a job not long lasting. His love for genealogy emerged; he switched careers and has worked in the Family History field for over thirty-two years.

Mike is currently the Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch (, the largest genealogical organization in the world, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is tasked with working with libraries, archives, historic and genealogical societies around the world to educate how FamilySearch might help these organizations and to build goodwill.

Courses Taught

Thomas Hamm, PhD

Thomas Hamm Thomas D. Hamm Ph.D. is among the world's leading experts on Quakers in America. Professor of History, Curator of the Quaker Collection and Director of Special Collections at Earlham College. There Tom teaches courses on Quaker history, faith, and practice. He is the author of The Quakers in America, other titles on Quaker thought, and over forty published essays on religion and Quaker subjects. "When you're an historian of Quakerism, Earlham is one of the three or four best places in the world to be," says Tom, who also published a history of the college.

Courses Taught

Elaine E. Hasleton, AG

Elaine Hasleton Elaine Helgeson Hasleton is an Accredited Genealogist for the countries of Norway and Sweden. She has done professional Scandinavian research for over forty years. She currently works for FamilySearch as a Deputy, Chief Genealogical Officer, where her passion is networking with Scandinavians and Scandinavian-Americans, particularly in the Upper Midwest. Her previous assignments with FamilySearch include Manager, VIP Projects and VIP Hosting, and Manager, Scandinavian Reference Unit, both at the Family History Library.

Courses Taught

Ron Hill

Ron Hill Ronald A. Hill, Ph.D., is a Certified Genealogist Emeritus and Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. Dr. Hill is a retired physicist (Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM), former president of the New Mexico Genealogical Society, and past trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. A member of the NGS Quarterly editorial board, he has published six family history books including winners of the Jacobus Award and the National Genealogical Society Award for Excellence. He has published 45 articles (17 in The National Genealogical Society Quarterly, 13 in The Genealogist, six in The American Genealogist, two in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, one in the Genealogical Journal [Utah Genealogical Association], one in the NGS Magazine, three in the Cornwall Family History Society Journal, and two in Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries. He presented papers at the 1992–1994 and 2000 meetings of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and at the 1999, 2003, and 2013 meetings of the National Genealogical Society. He was awarded the NGS President’s Citation in 2014.

Courses Taught

Kathryn Lake Hogan, PLCGS

Kathryn Hogan It all started when Kathryn Lake Hogan, UE, PLCGS, was a Girl Guide leader wanting the girls in her group to learn about their heritage. Why not teach them about researching their family history? To do so, Kathryn had to first learn how to research her own ancestry. That was over 18 years ago, and today, Kathryn is an author, educator, speaker and professional genealogist specialising in finding your ancestors in Canada. She is the owner of the Canadian-based genealogy business, Looking4Ancestors.

The author of Digging Your Canadian Roots, as well as fifteen mini-research guides featuring Canadian genealogy, Kathryn has also written articles for FamilyTree magazine, and The In-Depth Genealogist. Kathryn is the past Dominion Genealogist of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, and a past Director-at-Large with the Association of Professional Genealogists. Currently, she is the Canadian virtual chat coordinator with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, as well as one of the founding partners of The Great Canadian Genealogy Summit. A native of Ontario, Canada, Kathryn continues to reside there with her family.

Courses Taught

Cyndi Ingle

Cyndi Ingle Cyndi Ingle is the owner and webmaster of Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet, a categorized index to over 332,000 online resources. In its 21 years online Cyndi’s List has consistently remained in the top tiers for genealogical research tools online. It is an award-winning site which helps millions of visitors worldwide. It has been featured by the History Channel web site and in the media and several publications, including ABC News, NBC News, USA Today, Time, Newsweek, Parade Magazine, Wired, Family Tree Magazine, Family Chronicle, and Internet Genealogy magazines.

Cyndi, a genealogist for more than 37 years, is the recipient of the 2016 National Genealogical Society President's Citation. She is a past-member of the board of directors for the National Genealogical Society. Cyndi is a nationally known guest lecturer for various genealogical society meetings and seminars. Cyndi is the author of a best-selling book for genealogical research on the Internet titled Netting Your Ancestors. She is also author of another book, a printed version of her web site Cyndi's List.

Her latest book is Planting Your Family Tree Online: How To Create Your Own Family History Web Site. Cyndi and her son, Evan, live in Edgewood, Washington.

Courses Taught

Melissa Johnson, CG

Melissa Johnson Melissa Johnson, CG, is a professional genealogist, writer and editor. She has expertise in researching families with origins in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and England, and works on forensic cases, dual citizenship matters, and lineage society applications. She is also proficient in using DNA test results to break through ancestral brick walls. Melissa is the former Editor of NGS Monthly and frequently writes articles on methodology and sources. She is also Reviews Editor of the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly (APGQ), and editor of the GSNJ Newsletter, a publication of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey.

Courses Taught

Karen Maurer Jones, CG, FGBS

Karen Maurer Jones Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, of Monroe, New York, is an editor, author, lecturer, and professional genealogist, specializing in upstate New York, and currently employed as editor of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. She was named a fellow of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society in November 2012. She holds an MA in museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies (State University of New York, Oneonta) and a BS (honors) in history (State University of New York, Oneonta). She has served on the Education Committee of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society since 2011. She has served APG as a Regional Vice President (1993-1994) and as Director (1993-1996 and again from 2009-2010). She has also served the genealogical community as Director and Vice President of Administration for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) from 1992 to 2002; National Conference Chair of the 1997 FGS conference in Dallas, Texas; Chair of the FGS Public Relations Committee, 1992-1998.

The owner of Frontier Press, a genealogical and historical bookstore, Karen is the author of articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, as well as the two-volume set of The Kentucky Gazette: Genealogical and Historical Abstracts, 1787-1820, the two-volume set of Pioneer Ohio Newspapers: Genealogical and Historical Abstracts, 1793-1818 (winner of the 1989 Salmon P. Chase Award, Council of Ohio Genealogists), and The Maryland Gazette: Genealogical and Historical Abstracts, 1727-1761 (winner of the 1991 Norris Harris Award, Maryland Historical Society).

Courses Taught

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Tom Jones Thomas W. Jones works and plays full-time as a genealogical editor, educator, researcher, and writer. He has lectured at national genealogy conferences since 1996, coedited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002, coordinated courses at genealogy institutes since 2006, and taught “Evidence Analysis and Documentation,” in Boston University’s genealogy certificate program. Tom also is the author of Mastering Genealogical Proof, a popular textbook on genealogical methods.

An active genealogist since his teens, Tom's research encompasses records of most American states and France, Germany, Ireland, and Italy. He specializes, however, in Georgia, the Midwest, Northern Ireland, Upstate New York, and Virginia. Tom writes and speaks frequently on genealogical methods applicable across geographic areas and time periods.

Courses Taught

Melinda Kashuba, PhD

Melinda Kashuba Melinda Kashuba holds a PhD in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a popular lecturer on a variety of genealogical topics. Her popular book, Walking with Your Ancestors: a Genealogist’s Guide to Using Maps and Geography (Family Tree Books, 2005) joins a long list of articles in numerous genealogical magazines and other publications. She teaches Geography part-time at Shasta College and is the 2016 recipient of the Gerald C. Hayward Award for Excellence in Community College Teaching given by the California Community College Foundation.

Melinda’s specialties include 19th century and contemporary genealogical records in California including map and land records. She is the owner and principal researcher of Kashuba Research Services, an historical and genealogical research company. She resides in Shasta County, California with her husband and daughter.

Courses Taught

Jim Kichas, State Archivist of Utah

Jim Kichas Jim Kichas is the Archives and Patron Services Manager at the Utah State Archives and Records Service where he oversees the administration of programs that insure the ongoing preservation of, and access to, the permanent government records of Utah. Jim holds masters degrees in the Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah (2012) and Library and Information Science from Drexel University (2016). His professional service experience includes multiple leadership positions in the Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists (CIMA), incoming president for the Utah Manuscripts Committee (UMA), coordinator of the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB), and member of the Cottonwood Heights City Historic Committee.

Courses Taught

Michael D. Lacopo, DVM

Michael Lacopo 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. Genealogical research as a hobby was in its infancy in the 1980s. Combing libraries, archives, cemeteries and courthouses as a teenager, Michael gained the skills needed to become a keen researcher. 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 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. As befitting a doctor, Michael treats his genealogical research as he would medicine – carefully, methodically and completely. Several genealogical journal articles and publications appeared along the way. 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. He appeared in USA Today in 2000 discussing genealogy and the proposed destruction of the federal census tabulated in that year. 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 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 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, or for more up-to-date lecture and research information, at his Facebook page at

Courses Taught

Mona Lambrecht, MA

Mona Lambrecht Mona Lambrecht is a museum curator, historian, and genealogist who specializes in researching history at the local level, and focuses on uncovering the details that place individuals and families into the historical context of their communities. Her genealogical journey began nearly thirty years ago with her German family, and she has researched other families in Colorado, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Earning a Masters degree in History Mona has worked on a variety of projects in the Denver-Metro and Boston areas. These projects include articles, museum exhibits, history-based websites, and a documentary film that incorporate social and cultural history, material culture, medical traditions, architectural surveys, and business histories.

Previously working as an independent historian, genealogist, lecturer, and college professor, Mona is currently the curator of a small museum at the University of Colorado Boulder. In addition to researching and writing about campus history, alumni, and artifacts for exhibits and articles, she manages the museum’s collections, assists patrons with research, and lectures for various academic classes.

Mona has published several topics about Boulder's history, and she continues her local research projects which include revealing the real story behind an influential nineteenth-century local photographer, the 1918 influenza epidemic in Boulder, and the history of the town's pre-prohibition breweries.

Courses Taught

Diane C. Loosle, AG, CG

Diane Loosle Diane C. Loosle, is an Accredited Genealogist® and a Certified GenealogistSM. She has a Bachelors degree in History with an emphasis in Family History and Genealogy and a Masters of Business Administration. She has worked for FamilySearch for the past twenty-three years as a British Reference Consultant, British Reference Unit Supervisor, Customer Experience Manager, FamilySearch Genealogical Community Services Manager, Director Genealogical Services, Director of the Family History Library and FamilySearch Centers worldwide, and is currently Director of the Family History Library and Senior Vice President of the Patron Services Division where she oversees the libraries, centers, contact center and help resources on

Some of the pivotal projects Diane has managed include: the FamilySearch Research Wiki, FamilySearch Forums (no longer a product),, FamilySearch Learning Center, new Family Discovery Center prototypes and the remodeling of the Family History Library. She is a well-known speaker and has spoken at the National Genealogical Society Conference, the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, Rootstech and many other conferences and venues. Her passions include helping people discover their own family’s history for the first time, teaching and mentoring others, researching her own family history, playing and enjoying music, serving in her church congregation, spending time in the outdoors and traveling with her husband Mike.

Courses Taught

Karen Matheson

Karen Matheson Karen Matheson has been doing genealogical and family history research for 25 years and currently works as a professional genealogist. She served five years as the Director of the Round Rock Family History Center, and is the immediate Past-President of the Williamson County (Texas) Genealogical Society, and currently serves as the Editor of their quarterly publication, The Chisholm Trail.

Karen has served as Chapter Rep for the Lone Star Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, as Secretary of the Texas State Genealogical Society, and as the 2013 Conference Chair for the Texas State Genealogical Society. Karen was a committee member and a presenter at the FGS 2014 Conference in San Antonio, Texas. In February 2012, Karen was a featured guest on the morning show for Austin’s local FOX TV station. Karen had the opportunity to assist a Williamson County cold case detective with a missing person’s case, and was an on-site genealogist in Austin, Texas for the taping of Genealogy Roadshow.

Karen moved to Northern California in 2014, where she is a member of the Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society. In January 2016 Karen became the administrator of the Gen Proof Study Groups, the study of Thomas W. Jones’ book, Mastering Genealogical Proof.

Courses Taught

Rev. Dr. David McDonald, CG

David McDonald Dr. McDonald has nearly 40 years’ experience as a genealogist and 30 years as a genealogical instructor, and is a past president of BCG. He has coordinated research tracks in English church records and the Christian denominations and their records. His article, “Protestant Church Law in America,” appeared in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly in September 2007. He has been on the faculty at IGHR at Samford University, is a frequent lecturer at both NGS and FGS, and has appeared at state and regional conferences from coast-to-coast.

David holds graduate and doctoral degrees in theology, and is active as a local church pastor in the United Church of Christ. He lives near Madison, Wisconsin.

Courses Taught

Debra Mieszala, CG

Debra Mieszala Debbie Mieszala, Certified GenealogistTM,specializes in forensic genealogy, and 20th-century and Midwest research. She conducts genealogical research for the military to locate relatives of service members missing in past wars, and formerly conducted adoption-related research as a Confidential Intermediary in Illinois. A national-level lecturer and author, she has taught at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and created and taught an Ancestry Academy course. 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. Debbie has attended IGHR, NIGR, and GRIP, and holds a certificate in paralegal studies. Visit her website and blog The Advancing Genealogist.

Courses Taught

Paul Milner, MDiv

Paul Milner Paul Milner, a native of northern England is an author, professional genealogist and international lecturer. He is the author of Discover English Census Records (UnlockThePast 2015); Buried Treasures: what’s in the English parish chest (UnlockThePast, 2015) ; Discover English Parish Records (UnlockThePast, 2014); Genealogy at a Glance: England Research (Genealogical Publishing Co, 2011); plus co-author with Linda Jonas of A Genealogists Guide to Discovering Your English Ancestors: How to find and record your unique heritage (Betterway Books, 2000), and A Genealogists Guide to Discovering Your Scottish Ancestors: How to find and record your unique heritage (Betterway Books, 2002).

Paul has specialized in British Isles genealogical research for over 30 years speaking on topics relating to research in the British Isles, migration to North America and research methodology. He is the course coordinator and instructor for the English and Scottish tracks at the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University; plus has taught at the British Institute in Salt Lake City, and the Genealogical Institute of Mid-America. He has lectured extensively in the US, Australia, Canada and England, plus on genealogy cruises. He is currently the book review editor for the BIGWILL newsletter and recently retired review editor of the FGS FORUM. He is the past-president of the British Interest Group of Wisconsin and Illinois (BIGWILL), and a past board member of the Association to Professional Genealogists, the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Genealogical Speakers Guild. Paul highlights new British Isles resources and methodology on his blog at

Courses Taught

Geoffrey Fröberg Morris, AG

Geoffrey Morris Geoffrey Fröberg Morris began doing Swedish genealogy over 25 years ago. He has been a member of the Nordic team at the Family History Library since 2000, and accredited with ICAPgen in Swedish research since 2004. Geoff has engaged in many archival visits in Sweden, authored hundreds of pages into the Family Search Wiki, and presents at conferences routinely. He co-founded The Swedish Genealogy Guide where he offers additional tools and instruction through the company website, facebook page, and Youtube channel.

Courses Taught

Steven W. Morrison, MPA

Steven Morrison Steven Waltz Morrison has been a genealogical instructor since 2006. He is now the president of the Puget Sound Chapter of the APG. Steven earned a master’s in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College, where he taught as an adjunct faculty in the graduate program for seven years. He’s attended genealogical institutes at SLIG, GRIP, IGHR and the British Institute. Steven is active presenting at more than two dozen conferences and seminars throughout the Pacific Northwest. He’s presented at the BYU Family History & Genealogical Conference and has addressed international audiences in Northern Ireland twice; first in 2012 at the Ulster American Historical Symposium, and in 2015 at the Irish Friends (Quakers) Yearly Meeting.

Steven’s genealogical journey began by self-publishing a remembrance of his grandmother. Since then he’s authored a book review and multiple articles regarding Quakers (Religious Society of Friends) in The Genealogist, Familia, Journal of Scotch-Irish Studies, Directory of Irish Family History Research, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. Steven received the 2016 Scholar Award from The American Society of Genealogists for his work tracing a Quaker family from Ulster, Ireland to Pennsylvania.

Courses Taught

David Ouimette, CG, CGL

David Ouimette David Ouimette, CG, CGL, manages Content Strategy at FamilySearch, prioritizing historical documents worldwide for digital preservation and online publication in support of family history research. His team prioritizes camera placement and targets records in national, regional, and local archives; they also guide record selection for collaborative projects with partners such as, Findmypast, and MyHeritage. David has conducted research in hundreds of archives in over fifty countries spanning all continents. Previously, David was productmanager at, responsible for family trees, United States records, DNA testing, and the search experience.

David regularly lectures at national genealogical conferences and institutes. He serves as a Trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has served as Vice President of the Utah Genealogical Association and on the board of the National Genealogical Society. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics from Brigham Young University, has contributed articles to many magazines and journals, and authored Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide. David and his wife, Deanna, live in Highland, Utah, and are the parents of eight children.

Courses Taught

Angela Packer McGhie, CG

Angela Packer McGhie Angela Packer McGhie, CG is a professional genealogist who has focused her career in genealogy education. She is a course coordinator at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), as well as an instructor at the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records in Washington, D.C., the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research.

Angela has served on the education committee for the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), as past president of the National Capital Area Chapter of APG, and as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program from 2008-2014. She presently serves as a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) Education Fund and on the ProGen board of directors.

Courses Taught

Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR

Gena Philibert-Ortega Gena Philibert-Ortega holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women’s Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. Presenting on various subjects involving genealogy, women’s studies and social history, Gena has spoken to groups throughout the United States and Canada as well as virtually to audiences worldwide. Gena is the author of hundreds of articles published in genealogy newsletters and magazines including FGS Forum, APG Quarterly, Internet Genealogy, Family Chronicle and Family Tree Magazine. Her writings can also be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera.

She is the author of three books including her latest From the Family Kitchen (F + W Media, 2012). Gena was a researcher for the first season of the PBS show Genealogy Roadshow (2013). Gena is the editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s journal Crossroads. She serves as past-president for the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Her current research interests include women’s social history, and researching women’s lives using material artifacts.

Courses Taught

Kimberly Powell

Kimberly Powell Kimberly T. Powell is a professional genealogist, author, editor, educator, and volunteer. She is past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists and chairs its Professional Development Committee. She is a coordinator and instructor at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and also teaches at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

Kimberly was the genealogy expert for from 2000–2016, and is the author of several books, including The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd edition (Adams Media, 2014). She has had articles published in BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? magazine, Family Tree Magazine, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. She is the proud recipient of IGHR’s Walter Lee Sheppard Jr. prize (2010), the Utah Genealogical Associations’ Silver Tray award for genealogical publishing (2012), and a Certificate of Appreciation from the Association of Professional Genealogists (2016) for her service and dedication to the association.

Courses Taught

Pat Roberts

Pat Roberts Pat Roberts has had 30+ years as a genealogy researcher, lecture, teacher and writer. Pat is active in many national, state and local genealogy societies. She is a past president of the Colorado Council of Genealogical Societies, and past president of the Boulder Genealogical Society. An alumnus of the University of Colorado, with a major in English and a minor in history, Pat has also attended numerous summers at the highly regarded University of Iowa Writer’s Institute, and Samford University’s Institute for Genealogical Research. She has also attended the Salt Lake Genealogical Institute and the British Genealogical Institute several times. In addition, she frequently attends and speaks at the National Genealogical Society’s annual national conferences, and has been a delegate to the Federation of Genealogical Societies for a number of years, attending their annual national conferences. Pat is the Lineage Specialist for the Denver Chapter DAR.

Courses Taught

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

Judy Russell The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell is a genealogist with a law degree. She writes, teaches and lectures on a wide variety of genealogical topics, ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. A Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother’s side and entirely in Germany on her father’s side, she is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society and numerous state and regional genealogical societies. She has written for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and National Genealogical Society Magazine, among other publications.

On the faculty of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Alabama, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and Boston University’s Center for Professional Education, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, from which she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogistâ„  and Certified Genealogical Lecturerâ„ . Her blog – chosen as one of the American Bar Association’s top 100 in 2013 and 2014 – appears at The Legal Genealogist website (

Courses Taught

George R. Ryskamp, JD, AG

George Ryskamp GEORGE R. RYSKAMP, JD, AG, Associate Professor of History at Brigham Young University has forty years of experience working in the archives of Spain and Mexico, and is the author of numerous books and articles on Hispanic research and a regular lecturer at national and international conferences. He specializes in Spanish language research and United States probate and legal systems. He recently took his fifteenth group of students to Spain, France and Italy to learn first hand how to research in archives.

Courses Taught

Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Pamela Boyer Sayre Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, is a professional researcher, educator, author, and lecturer. She has developed, coordinated, and taught the Techniques and Technology course at Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research since 2007. She also co-coordinates and teaches in the Researching in Washington, DC, without Leaving Home and the advanced land course at Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the advanced land course at Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. She has taught in Boston University’s Professional Certificate Program in Genealogy, and she developed an NGS self-paced Social Security course for family historians.

Pam is former NGS director of education and publications, former board member of NGS and FGS, 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 a former editor of APGQ. She is a popular seminar presenter who has spoken at genealogy conferences and seminars nationwide and on international cruises.

Courses Taught

Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Richard Sayre Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, is a long-time researcher and instructor in genealogical topics. He coordinates the Using Maps in Genealogy course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University. He also instructs in the Advanced Methodology course, the Techniques and Technology course, the Advanced Military courses, and a variety of other IGHR courses. Rick and his wife Pam coordinate the advanced land course offered by the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and the advanced land course at Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP).

Rick co-coordinates with Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, the Law School for Genealogists at GRIP and the FHL Law Library course at SLIG. He also lectures at national conferences and presents nationwide seminars. His areas of expertise encompass records of the National Archives, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Daughters of the American Revolution, including military records, land records, using maps in genealogy, urban research, and government documents. Rick is experienced in the localities of western Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Courses Taught

Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG, FUGA

Craig Scott Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG, FUGA is the President and CEO of Heritage Books, Inc., a genealogical publishing firm with over 5,300 titles in print. A professional genealogical and historical researcher for more than thirty years, he specializes in the records of the National Archives, especially those that relate to the military. He is the former Coordinator of the Military tracks at IGHR, SLIG and GRIP.

Courses Taught

Gerald H "Jerry" Smith, CG

Gerald Smith Gerald H. “Jerry” Smith, CG, is a Full-time professional Certified Genealogist specializing in Pennsylvania research. He has been a course a course coordinator for IGHR (Land Platting) as and a faculty member for other IGHR, SLIG and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Researching Family in Pennsylvania. He is the author of a number of books and journal articles. He researches extensively on projects requiring in-depth knowledge of Proprietor and Commonwealth land records, mapping, and land placement. Regular research venues include the Pennsylvania Archives, State Library of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State Law Library, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, military repositories (including David Library of the American Revolution and US Army Military History Institute), National Archives, religious & denominational repositories, county courthouses, and county and local historical and genealogical societies. Southern Pennsylvania border county research includes frequent on-site research at repositories in Annapolis, Baltimore, Maryland counties, West Virginia, and Virginia.

Courses Taught

Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG

Karen Stanbary Karen Stanbary is a professional genetic genealogist. She is a regular instructor in Beginning Genetic Genealogy, Advanced Genetic Genealogy and Proving Your Pedigree (Genealogical Proof Standard) for the Newberry Library in Chicago. She lectures on a variety of DNA topics in institutes and local and national venues. She specializes in Midwestern U.S. research, Chicago-based research, Mexican research, complex problem-solving and DNA analysis.

Courses Taught

Michael L. Strauss, AG

Michael Strauss Michael L. Strauss,AG,is a professional Accredited Genealogist and a nationally recognized genealogical speaker. A native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Utah, he has been employed as a Forensic Genealogist for nearly25 years. Strauss holds a BA in History and is a United States Coast Guard veteran and a licensed Private Investigator in Virginia. He is also a qualified expert witness in court in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Strauss is an 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 2014 film “Finding Vivian Maier” which was nominated for an Oscar for Documentaries in 2015. 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.

Courses Taught

Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA

Paula Stuart-Warren Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA is an internationally recognized genealogical educator, researcher and consultant focusing on unusual resources, manuscripts, methodology, and analyzing records. Paula is well-known for her interaction with students and for going the extra mile to assist them. She is a long-time course coordinator and instructor for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She is also involved with the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and has been an instructor for Ancestry Academy and Family Tree University. Her lecturing experience includes the National Genealogical Society and Federation of Genealogical Societies conferences, seminars in many states and Canada, and webinars that reach across the globe. She is also skilled in Native American research.

She has served several organizations: the Board of Directors of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, as an officer of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the board of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, and as past President of the Northland Chapter of the APG. She is descended from eight ancestral countries and has researched her family connections across the U.S. and Canada, including the Southern lines of her father-in-law. She has memberships in many genealogical and historical societies. Her research has taken her onsite to many libraries, archives, courthouses, and historical societies. She has written for multiple genealogical publications and has her own educational website and blog Genealogy by Paula.

Courses Taught

Jeff Svare, AG

Jeff Svare Jeff Svare is an Accredited Genealogist for Norway. Currently working for FamilySearch as a Project Manager and data analyst, he was previously the manager for FamilySearch’s collection of records for Scandinavia. He has been involved with records acquisition in Asia, the Pacific Islands and Scandinavia since joining FamilySearch in 1987.

Courses Taught

Cari A. Taplin, CG

Cari Taplin Cari Taplin is related to Roy Rogers. Or at least that’s what her family told her. As a result, she has been working on finding her true heritage since the year 2000. She is a native of Wood County, Ohio now living near Austin, Texas. Cari holds the Certified Genealogist® credential and currently serves as the Education Chair for the Austin Genealogical Society and on the boards of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Federation of Genealogical Societies. As the owner of GenealogyPANTS, she provides speaking, research and coaching services.

Courses Taught

Elisabeth Thorsell

Elisabeth Thorsell Elisabeth Thorsell was born in Ludvika, Dalarna län, in Sweden, but grew up mostly in the greater Stockholm area. She was interested early in genealogy, and spent much time on her own family. In 1978, while living in Linköping, she decided that it was time to start her own genealogy research company, ET Genealogy, and has since helped a great number of Americans with Swedish roots to find where their immigrants came from, mainly in the areas of Östergötland and Småland.

Wherever she lived, Elizabeth became heavily involved in the genealogical movement in Sweden. She has served as president of the Östgöta Genealogical Society, secretary of the Genalogical Society of Sweden, and was a charter member of the Federation of Swedish Genealogical Societies (Sveriges Släktforskarförbund), of which she was the secretary for several years. She was editor of the Federation journal Släkthistoriskt Forum (Forum of family History), from 1992 to 2002, and the Svenska Släktkalendern (Swedish Family Register) from 1987 to 2001.

In 2004 she became the editor of Swedish American Genealogist (SAG), published by the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center in Rock Island, IL, an ongoing assignment. She has participated in the SAG Workshop at the FHL in Salt Lake City annually since 1993. Elisabeth has been involved in some publications as co-author, the latest being Vad står det? (What does it say?), a manual for reading old Swedish script, published in 2017 by the Federation. In 2006 she was given the Award of Merit by the Swedish Council of America. In 2007 she was given the Victor Örnberg Award by the Federation, the highest award for genealogy in Sweden.

As a hobby she is building a database of the population of the mining parish of Nordmark in eastern Värmland, where parts of her roots are. From this parish at least 600 individuals immigrated, including her own relatives, who went to Upper Michigan.

Courses Taught

Rich Venezia

Rich Venezia Rich Venezia is a New Jersey native who now calls Pittsburgh home, with roots in Italy, Ireland, England, Wales, and Prussia. He founded Rich Roots Genealogy in 2013. He was a member of the research team of Genealogy Roadshow (PBS) for two seasons and also consulted on Follow Your Past (Travel Channel). Rich specializes in 20th-century immigrant ancestry and immigration records. His main areas of focus include Italian, Irish, Pittsburgh, and New Jersey/New York City research. He also assists clients with dual citizenship applications for Ireland and Italy. Venezia holds a B. A. in Theatre from Point Park University. He received his Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University in 2015, and is the President of North Hills Genealogists in Pittsburgh. He lectures nationally, and has recently lectured at the FGS, NGS, OGS, and RootsTech 2017 conferences. He has been featured as IESAbroad’s Alum of the Month, in Ciao Pittsburgh, and on The Genealogy Guys podcast. His writings have been featured in Irish Lives Remembered, FindMyPast’s blog, and MyCanvas’ blog. He spoke about "How to Grow Empathy From Uncovering Your Roots" at TEDx Pittsburgh 2017.

Courses Taught

Al Viera

Al Viera Al Viera has been researching Portuguese genealogy for over 30 years. He is full-blooded Portuguese with many generations of his ancestors on both sides coming through the Azores Islands. He has researched all of his lines back to the Azores and one to the discoverer of the Islands. He is actively involved in genealogical research on his lines, having found over 1,000 ancestors.

Al is the co-author with the other instructors of this course of a book to be published in 2018 on Portuguese genealogy. It will cover how to read old Catholic records and several other record types.

He is able to read and translate the old script of the Portuguese Catholic records with relative ease, especially extracting the key genealogical data. Al is excited to teach others how to read these documents without having to speak Portuguese.

Al was employed at as a Senior Acquisition Manager, responsible for obtaining historical and genealogical documents throughout the Eastern United States. He has also been an instructor for Novell, providing Sales instruction across many parts of the world.

Mr. Viera has owned and operated numerous small businesses. Currently he is President of an apps development and marketing company, which services Schools and Educational institutions as well as parents.

Courses Taught

Lauren Wake

Lauren Wake Lauren Wake holds a BA in Family History and Genealogy from Brigham Young University, with a focus in Portuguese and Spanish-language research. As a student at BYU, she worked as a researcher and a supervisor on the Welsh Mormon Project, tracking the early LDS Welsh migrants to the United States in the records of the time, and helped to create the Latin Scripts Tutorial, an online resource to teach people to read old Latin handwriting across a variety of documents. She has conducted on-site research across Spain, worked on the International Floor of the Family History Library, and has lectured at local and regional conferences in Utah and Massachusetts.

Courses Taught

Darris G. Williams, AG

Darris Williams Darris G. Williams, AG (Wales) has a Bachelor degree in Family & Community History. He worked as a British reference consultant at the Family History Library for 15 years and was a co-founder of the FamilySearch wiki. Darris is presently a customer development specialist, freelance genealogist and family history instructor.

Courses Taught

Paul Woodbury, BS

Paul Woodbury Paul Woodbury is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University where he studied Genetics and Family History. Paul fell in love with genealogy when he was eight years old. Since he was sixteen he knew he wanted to be a genetic genealogist, so he is particularly pleased to work in the field full-time. He currently works as a senior researcher and DNA specialist for Legacy Tree Genealogists. He is also actively pursuing a graduate degree in Instructional Design and Educational Technology. In addition to genetic genealogy, Paul specializes in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Scandinavian research and regularly presents on research topics related to these fields.

Courses Taught