Our Family History Experts

  • As a qualified social science researcher, Joe has developed a deep understanding of local culture and history in his native Ireland. In 2010, he followed millions of Irish people before him and immigrated to the United States, where he turned his passion for genealogy into a business. His extensive studies of Irish immigrant communities in North America culminated in him authoring Finding Your Irish Ancestors in New York City and launching the genealogy website Townland of Origin. While in the U.S., Joe enjoyed working with local genealogy groups and giving lectures up and down the east coast on a wide variety of topics. Now back in Ireland and working for AncestryProGenealogists, he uses his expertise in U.S., Canadian and Irish genealogy to help people discover where their ancestors came from.

     

  • Janette began her genealogical journey more than 35 years ago as a hobby with her father. What started as a hobby quickly became more as she immersed herself in Jewish history, both as a student and a teacher. She has been president of a Jewish Genealogy Society; is an active volunteer with JewishGen, heading up the Ukraine Special Interest Group; and is lead co-chair of the 2016 International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies conference. She has worked with private clients since 2004.

     

    Janette holds master's and doctorate degrees in Jewish studies from Spertus Institute in Chicago. Her doctoral dissertation, “In Living Memory,” explored the experiences of four Jewish families in Europe and the United States, contextualizing the micro-history of those families within the more global historical world. Her areas of research expertise include Eastern European Jews, the Holocaust, the United States and immigration.

  • Brian hails from Minnesota, but he studied history at Colorado College and spent a semester in Austria taking classes through the University of Vienna. He now calls Utah home and has been working with ProGen for more than three years.

    Tracing his paternal Schellenberg line along a convoluted path that took him to his father's birthplace in western Hungary, back to Romania, then to southern Hungary, and finally to the Schellenberg homeland in eastern Switzerland taught him to approach records with an open mind in order to find the subtle clues that lead to new discoveries. He also performed research for the Trisha Yearwood and Kelsey Grammer episodes of Who Do You Think You Are?, and he appeared on the Ginnifer Goodwin episode to talk about his research for her.

     

    His areas of research expertise include Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Hungary, the U.S. Midwest and immigration cases.

  • Michael has a master's degree in history from California State University Long Beach and a bachelor's degree in classics. He comes from a long line of genealogists, and he has done research for more than a decade.

     

    Before joining ProGen, he was a researcher and associate producer for Who Do You Think You Are? for three years, helping to uncover amazing stories in the ancestry of celebrities. Today, his areas of expertise include U.S. research, modern and 19th century history, and DNA and adoption cases.

     

  • Virginia is originally from the great state of Virginia, and as the daughter of two historians, she grew up visiting the historical sites of the south. As a teenager, she began researching her own family history, which includes Russian and Polish immigrants on one side, and colonial American roots on the other. She taught at Brigham Young University for nine years, and she has worked as a professional genealogist for almost 10 years. 

    Virginia has a bachelor's degree in classical studies (history and Latin literature) and a master's degree in humanities (Medieval and Renaissance studies) from BYU. She is an accredited genealogist in the U.S. Mid-South region. Her areas of expertise include U.S. research (particularly the Southern States), African American research, pre-1850 U.S. research and early American migration.

  • Quentin's mother was born and raised in Ireland. He has made frequent trips to Europe and began researching his own family at an early age. Prior to joining ProGen, he owned his own law firm and also performed professional genealogy work for clients.

     

    Quentin graduated magna cum laude with a BA degree in communications from Northern Illinois University in 1994. He also earned his JD degree in law, magna cum laude, from Valparaiso University School of Law, Indiana, in 1997. Over the past ten years, he has successfully completed multiple intensive genealogy study programs, conducted by some of the most prestigious genealogy organizations in the world. He is a former instructor in political science and history at East-West University, Chicago, Illinois. He's a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and several Irish genealogy societies. He has written and researched on many genealogical topics, particularly related to Irish heritage, and he has performed research for the television shows Who Do You Think You Are? and Finding Your Roots. Other areas of research expertise include Canada (English), England, Scotland, and the United States (Midwest and Eastern).

  • Katie fell in love with genealogy during an internship in England while standing on the docks at Liverpool from which many of her ancestors sailed in the mid 1800s. As she stood there, she imagined what they must have felt: Turmoil as they left the home they knew and excitement about starting a new life out past the horizon. For her, a passion for genealogy began.

     

    She has been a researcher at ProGen for several years, honing her expertise and assisting in many Ancestry PR projects and episodes of Who Do You Think You Are?. She received a bachelor's degree in family history from Brigham Young University, and her areas of research expertise include the southern United States and England.

  • Neil grew up in Sussex, England, before moving to Utah in 2001. He has a long-term interest in migrations of people throughout the world, particularly within the nations and colonies of the former British Empire. His studies of the social history and geography of Great Britain complement his professional experience. He has been a lead researcher for episodes of Who Do You Think You Are?, including those focusing on the heritage of Lionel Richie and Rashida Jones, and he has authored or edited several family histories. 

     

    Neil has a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah, and he is currently pursuing graduate-level study in the field of genealogy and paleography. His areas of expertise include research in England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Australia, Canada (English), the Caribbean and South Africa. He is comfortable tracing British and Irish immigrants of the 18th and 19th centuries as they traveled all over the world.

     

  • Lorraine has been enthusiastically involved in genealogy and family history work for many years. She has conducted professional genealogy research since 2004 and joined ProGen in 2009, working on client research and the Who Do You Think You Are? TV series, researching celebrities such as Tim McGraw, Reba McEntyre, Kelly Clarkson, Chris O'Donnell, and others.

     

    She obtained a bachelor's degree from BYU in 2005 with an emphasis in family history and a minor in business management. She continues to attend college courses, institutes, seminars, and conferences with in-depth training on research in several areas of the United States and the British Isles. Her areas of research expertise include the United States (Mid-South, Mid-Atlantic, New England, West, Midwest, colonial), Canada (English), England, African-American, Native American, lineage society applications, immigration and naturalization, and military records.


     

  • Joseph discovered the thrill of genealogy at age 12, and at 14, he began volunteering at his local Family History Center. By age 16 he was teaching classes and lecturing on various family history topics, and at age 18 was presented the Young Historian of the Year Award by the Wyoming State Historical Society.

     

    He has worked as a British Reference Consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and has lectured at many regional and national genealogical conferences. He has been a part of the AncestryProGenealogists team since 2007. As part of his work, he has also made multiple television appearances on such shows as CBS This Morning, CNN's Starting Point, The Jimmy Kimmel Show and 12 episodes of Who Do You Think You Are?.

     

    Joseph is a member of the Genealogical Speaker's Guild (GSG) and has served as both president and vice president of the Salt Lake Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). He has also served on the Board of Commissioners for the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen).

    His primary areas of research expertise include the United States (South and Mid-Atlantic), England, Wales, Scotland, Latin America, Caribbean, African-American, probate and missing heirs, and immigration.

  • Megan has always been fascinated by history, and she discovered a love for genealogy after finding old pedigree charts that her grandparents had compiled. She attended the University of Utah and earned a bachelor's degree in history. After college, she worked for several years as a genealogist for private clients, and as a family history teacher. She joined ProGen in 2011, and she has worked on the Jason Sudeikis and Chelsea Handler episodes of the genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are?.

     

    Megan's areas of research expertise include Germany, France, Australia, the United States (Mid-Atlantic and New England), England, Scotland, Wales, probate and missing heirs, and immigration.

     

  • Paul became interested in genealogy when he started asking questions of relatives and made a trip to the New York Public Library to see what he could find. In one afternoon, he discovered Mayflower ancestry, and he has been hooked for the 40 years since.

    Paul received a B.A. in history from the University of Bridgeport in 1972 and attended graduate school at the University of Maryland, working towards a double major (history and library science). He worked as an archivist at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., for 11 years, mostly in the Office of Presidential Libraries. He worked with the Nixon Presidential Materials Project and helped process the “secret” White House tapes. His areas of research expertise include Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Denmark, Poland, immigration, and 19th and 20th century cases.

     

  • George has worked as a professional genealogist for more than 40 years. After receiving a bachelor's degree from Colorado State University in 1974, he moved to Salt Lake City and worked for Genealogical Services Inc. until 1980. In 1979, he was a member of the founding board of the Association of Professional Genealogists. He owned and operated his own genealogical consulting business for years prior to joining ProGen.

     

    George's areas of expertise include Italy and all areas of U.S. research, especially military, immigration, and probate. He has taken several extended research trips to Italy, and he is the author of the “Genealogical Research Guide to Sicily.”  He has been involved with many specialty celebrity projects over the years.

  • Cheryl began genealogical research on her own family in 1974. The first ancestral line she researched was in Sweden, and she was able to trace her family back into the 1600s. With this success, she was hooked. Her interest in genealogy inspired her to pursue a degree in history and start her own genealogical research company while working as a director/creator for the Waldo County Archive. She helped with the Catholic Church register indexing for Nova Scotia and led the research on a Who Do You Think You Are? episode in season 5 (2014).

     

    Cheryl received a bachelor's degree in history with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine in 2002, then studied for an additional year at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, specializing in Celtic Studies. Her areas of research expertise include the United States, Canada, Ireland and Scotland.

  • Paul began his career as a title examiner and has been doing genealogical and historical research for clients since 2004. He holds both credentials relevant to U.S. genealogical research: Certified Genealogist and Accredited Genealogist.

     

    His undergraduate education was at George Washington University, and he has a master's degree in heritage preservation from Georgia State University. He also earned a professional certificate in geographic information systems. His work primarily focuses on the South, but he is experienced at documenting families across the United States.

     

    Paul's television credits include researching actor-comedian Chris Tucker for the television show African American Lives (2006), and he has led the research on multiple celebrities for Who Do You Think You Are? since 2012. He has also written several books and articles, primarily related to Georgia families and records.

     

  • As an avid traveler and the manager of Ancestry’s travel program, Kyle enjoys taking people on ancestral journeys, whether it is on a group heritage tour or to visit their exact ancestral homes. Kyle is an expert genealogist, lecturer, and author residing in Salt Lake City, Utah. He grew up in Juneau, Alaska, where he started researching his family history at the age of 9, under his grandmother’s tutelage. By age 16 he was working for a genealogy company in Salt Lake City. Kyle began traveling regularly to Europe for genealogy research in 1993. Kyle is one of the co-founders of ProGenealogists. His research interests include Ireland, Eastern Europe, Catholic research, and genetic genealogy.

     

    Kyle has appeared on the “Who Do You Think You Are?” television program with Bill Paxton, Trisha Yearwood, Chris Noth, and Scott Foley, among others, and he has worked on many other episodes, such as those for Matthew Broderick, Rosie O’Donnell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jason Sudeikis, Chelsea Handler, and Cindy Crawford. He was a co-editor of the popular genealogy journal The Irish At Home and Abroad, and he is co-author of A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Irish Ancestors. He lectures widely in North America and Europe.

  • Sherry has researched, written and lectured on genealogy for over 30 years. A descendant of Danish immigrants, her specialty is Scandinavia and the United States, as well as immigration.

  • Wade is a skilled writer and lecturer. He specializes in Austro-Hungarian Empire research and has more than 25 years of experience. He authored the book Land and Property Research in the United States.

  • Kathryn was introduced to family history for the first time when she was 15 years old, and she fell in love with it right from the start. Prior to joining ProGen, she owned her own genealogy research company. She loves to teach and has taught genealogy courses at various conferences throughout California and Utah.

     

    Kathryn has a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and completed additional training in American research at the National Institute of Genealogical Studies and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She also completed advanced training in DNA and adoption/unknown parentage research at the Forensic Genealogy Institute and Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She loves helping her clients connect to family that was previously unknown. During her time with ProGen, she has had the opportunity to work as a lead researcher for the Who Do You Think You Are? and Long Lost Family television shows. Her areas of research expertise include genetic genealogy, adoption/unknown parentage research, United States (emphasis on Midwest, Mid-South and Mid-Atlantic), and immigration research.

  • Kevan's first exposure to genealogy was from his grandfather. As a teenager, Kevan made many trips with his grandfather to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. He learned that it wasn't just collecting names, but learning the stories and history surrounding his ancestors, that brought them to life.

     

    Kevan is a former president of the Salt Lake Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. He specializes in German research, has lived in Germany, and is the author of 54 volumes of the Map Guide to German Parish Registers. Other areas of research expertise include France, Luxemburg, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, the United States (New England and Mid-Atlantic), U.S. colonial, and immigration records.

  • Krysten developed a passion for family history as a child, as she spent time with her great grandmother. This passion turned into a career in 2004 when she joined Ancestry.com. Before she was a research manager, she was a genealogist with the Ancestry.com Public Relations team, where she specialized in finding celebrity connections such as Barack Obama being related to Brad Pitt and Warren Buffett.

     

    Krysten is an avid U.S. genealogist, with expertise in the West, Mid-West, and South, as well as African-American, colonial, and military records and lineage society applications. She also led a team of genealogists in research for Helen Hunts's, Cynthia Crawford's, and Cynthia Nixon's Who Do You Think You Are? episodes. No matter who she is working with, she loves helping people find their own stories.

  • Kory began his career in genealogy as a record searcher while attending Brigham Young University, and he has been involved in nearly all aspects of the field for almost 40 years. He served on the staff of the Family History Library as a reference consultant and later as the editor of the library's publications. He is the founding director of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and he has written extensively, including chapters in The Library, all editions of The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, and numerous articles and book reviews for the Genealogical Journal, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, Genealogical Computing, New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and The Genealogist. His book, Printed Sources, received a “Reference Book of the Year” award from the American Library Association.

     

    Kory received both a bachelor of science degree in psychology and a master's degree in library and information science from BYU. He is an accredited genealogist and fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association, and has served as an officer of the Association of Professional Genealogists as well as the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. His areas of research expertise include the United States (Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and New England) and Germany, with a specialization in tracing immigrant origins. As one of the original founders of ProGenealogists, he is pleased to be continuing this work as a part of Ancestry.

  • Sherry discovered her love of genealogy as a college student in 2005 and soon changed her major to family history. After working on her own family lines and in various professional capacities involving genealogy for a few years, she began working at ProGen in 2009. Since then she has become more skilled in a wide variety of geographic regions and time periods.

     

    Sherry earned a bachelor's degree in family history with a minor in communications from Brigham Young University in 2007, and she became a Certified Genealogist (SM) in 2014. Her areas of research expertise include the United States (Midwest, South, West, colonial), African-American, Native American, and adoption cases.

  • Eva Goodwin grew up in Upstate New York and is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, but her undergraduate degrees in philosophy and German could not have predicted her eventual career path. She has had a life-long fascination with history and genealogy, and began documenting her own family’s genealogy as a teenager. With one side of her family coming from one county in Nova Scotia for up to eight generations, and the other side full of migrants through New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the Midwest, and eventually California, she brings to her professional work a broad range of personal research experience. She lived in Munich, Germany, for two years and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost a decade.

     

    Working professionally since 2012, Eva specializes in breaking down ancestral “brick walls” and investigating long-held family mysteries. Since joining AncestryProGenealogists in January 2015, Eva has also done a significant amount of genetic genealogy research, including adoptions, and she has contributed to research for the Who Do You Think You Are? TV series. She was the 2015 recipient of the Association of Professional Genealogists’ Young Professional Award for excellence in the field.

  • Jeffery grew up in the Mission Valley of northwestern Montana, but he moved across the country to attend the University of Memphis, earning a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems/Decision Sciences. Before college, he had already realized his passion for genealogy when he started to research his own family history at the age of 18.

    Jeffery's ancestors provided him with an intriguing cross section of cultures to investigate—from Northern Germany and Denmark on his father’s side to French-Canadian and Native American lineages on his mother’s side, in addition to roots in England, Scotland and the Netherlands. For more than 30 years now, he has been fortunate to share his knowledge and love of genealogy by professionally researching the families of others as well as his own.

     

    He later earned a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in technology management from the University of Phoenix. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and has taught family history research for Salt Lake City’s Continuing Education Program.

     

    Jeffery's areas of expertise include French-Canadian, Eastern United States (New England and Southern), German, Scandinavian, French, Italian, English, Native American and African American research.

  • Lindsay Jackson has had an interest in genealogy for years and honed her research skills while earning a bachelor’s degree in international studies, with a minor in history, from the University of Utah. She participated in a study abroad program in London, England, during college, and she has continued to focus on genealogy in the British Isles.

     

    Lindsay’s specialty is Irish research, including tracing Irish immigrants in the U.S. back to their place of origin. She has worked extensively on research in the U.S., Canada, England, Scotland, and Mexico, and she also has experience with DNA research and Jewish immigration. She helped set up the Dublin and London offices of AncestryProGenealogists, and she also spent time researching in local archives there, including the National Archives of Ireland, The National Library of Ireland, and the National Archives of the United Kingdom.

     

    She worked on and is credited for several episodes of the “Who Do You Think You Are?” television series, including those involving Helen Hunt, Kelly Clarkson, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Chris O’Donnell, Sean Hayes, and Scott Foley. She also spent several years on the board for the Utah Society of Mayflower Descendants.

  • Nathan Murphy grew up in Kentucky, inheriting his father’s passion for genealogy at a young age. Southern United States, colonial immigration, and English research are his specialties. In 2016, he was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists.

  • Dawne Slater has been a Certified Genealogist® for more than 20 years. Before coming to AncestryProGenealogists, she was a librarian at the renowned Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and French and masters’ degrees in American History and Library Science. 

  • As one of the most sought after genetic genealogists and internationally recognized educators in the field, Angie Bush combines years of experience in biotech with a passion for genealogical research and a unique ability to solve seemingly impossible cases. Her primary research interests include cases of unknown parentage, such as recent adoption and donor conception; triangulating answers to tough genealogical questions using traditional records and genetic evidence; non-traditional families and the LGBTQ community. Currently Region 1 Director for the National Genealogical Society and chair of its Genetic Genealogy Committee, Angie is an active player on the national stage, presenting frequently on new trends in genetic genealogy. Behind her passion for research lies the belief that genealogy is an opportunity to connect with people from around the world and to enable them to connect with each other. Angie is a Utah native and lives in Sandy, Utah with her husband and two descendants.

  • Lindsay was raised in the small (and curiously-named) town of Parachute, Colorado. She left for the big city in order to earn her bachelor’s degree in history, English literature, and Russian language from the University of Denver, then moved to Washington D.C. where she earned her master’s degree in history from Georgetown University. With ancestors from Germany, Poland, Belarus, England, Wales, and pre-Revolutionary War America, Lindsay has years of experience conducting research in many different countries, languages, and time periods. She is particularly passionate about the former Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires, including Jewish research. Lindsay contributed to research on the Josh Groban and Katey Sagal episodes of Who Do You Think You Are?, and has worked for AncestryProGenealogists since December 2013.

  • Gordon L. Remington, FUGA, FASG a native of western New York State, has 39 years’ experience as a professional genealogist. He is a nationally and internationally known author and lecturer on New York State records and research.

David McDonald

Biography

Dr. David McDonald conducts research throughout the United States and Europe. His particular interests are in New England, the mid-Atlantic, the Midwest, the upper South and the Great Plains. Dave also conducts research for lineage society applications. His Wisconsin location means he often works on Norwegian and French-rooted/Native American families. Dave’s research often focuses on tracking multi-generational migrations of families across the United States. A retired Protestant minister, Dave teaches at genealogy institutes on advanced methodology, U. S. Government Publications, religious records, and English research.

Degrees and Credentials

History - Bachelors
Theology - Masters

Region Specialties

United States Regions

Great Plains States Region, Mid Atlantic States Region, Mid South States Region, Midwest States Region, New England States Region, Pacific States Region

United States

Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Europe

France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland

British Isles

England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales

Research Type Specialites

16, 17, 19, 24

Language Specialties

English