Our Family History Experts

  • Joe leads the Irish research team from our office in Ireland. He is the author of Finding Your Irish Ancestors in New York City and uses his expertise in U.S., Canadian and Irish genealogy to help people discover where their ancestors came from.

    Joe is a Master’s degree qualified researcher and 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. 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. His extensive studies of Irish immigrant communities in the United States and Canada culminated in the highly regarded genealogy website Townland of Origin.

     

  • 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. Janette serves as a Board member of the International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies (IAJGS). She has been president of a Jewish Genealogy Society; was lead co-chair of the 2016 IAJGS conference and for over 6 years was the Coordinator of the JewishGen Ukraine SIG. 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. She has traveled widely in Eastern Europe doing onsite archival research and accompanying clients on ancestral home visits.

  • Brian hails from the pretty good state of Minnesota, and 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 AncestryProGenealogists since 2012.

    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 eastern Switzerland taught him to approach records with an open mind in order to find the subtle clues that lead to new discoveries. He has also performed research and appeared onscreen as an expert genealogist for the Ginnifer Goodwin, Molly Ringwald, and Matthew Morrison episodes of "Who Do You Think You Are?"

     

    His areas of research expertise include Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Japan, the U.S. Midwest, and immigration cases. He also has a passion for planning ancestral travel.

  • 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 over 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 is an Accredited Genealogist ® specializing in Irish research. Quentin is a Chicago native, and his mother was born and raised in Ireland. He has made frequent trips to Europe and maintains dual Irish-American citizenship. Quentin 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 JD degree in law from Valparaiso University School of Law, Indiana. He is a former instructor in political science and history at East-West University, Chicago, Illinois. 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.” He also has research expertise in 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 over 18 years. She has conducted professional genealogy research since 2002 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, Angie Harman, Melissa Etheridge, Lauren Graham, and others. She also worked with episodes of My Family Secrets Revealed a UK television series.

     

    She obtained a bachelor's degree from BYU in 2005 with a major in family history and  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.

     

    Before joining the AncestryProGenealogists team, Sherry worked as a Research Specialist at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  She also worked as a freelance researcher for several genealogical firms before founding her own successful firm, which she operated for several years. Her service has included the board of directors of the Utah Genealogical Association, board member of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, supervisor of patron instruction at the Brigham Young University Family History Library, assistant director of a large FamilySearch Center, blog writer for a popular family history website, and a family history consultant.

  • 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 37 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, is a native of Western New York and has over 40 years experience as a professional genealogist.

Shalyn Schmelter

Biography

When one of your favorite things as a child is to fill out pedigree charts – you know you’re meant to be a genealogist! Scrawling the names of her ancestors on pedigree charts in handwriting much too large and messy to fit on the lines was just the beginning of Shalyn’s life-long passion for family history. Raising four children and other priorities came first over the years, however, genealogy always remained a favorite pursuit. Working as a volunteer indexer was a great help in learning to decipher antiquated handwriting and provided hours of satisfaction. Researching her British ancestry brought new challenges to overcome as she worked to bring accuracy to her family tree with archival records, newspaper articles, and cemetery research. In 2013, she decided it was time to return to college after many years, but what to study? Genealogy, of course! In 2016.

Shalyn graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Family History/Genealogy from Brigham Young University and started working for AncestryProGenealogists. She specializes in immigration research, helping clients make that critical leap from the United States to their ancestral homes in Europe with a focus on Eastern European immigrants and urban genealogy. She is honored to help clients discover their ancestors and to accompany them on their journeys of family discovery.

Degrees and Credentials

Family History/Genealogy - Bachelors

Region Specialties

United States Regions

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

British Isles

England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland

Research Type Specialites

28, 31, 36, 37, 38

Language Specialties

English, Spanish

Get Started Today.

Gift Certificates are available upon request.

Take it from our customers


  • DNA Unknown Parentage Research

    "You have no idea how much I appreciate what you and your team have done for me. I've been on the phone almost every day with my sister and both of my cousins. Carol and I are traveling to Tennessee to see my cousins and their families and friends. I can't thank you all enough!"

    - Wayne


  • Family History Book Ancestral Travel

    "We all enjoyed very much our ancestral home visit with Gabriele this morning. It gave us exactly what I wanted it to do, to put some ‘flesh on the bones’ of the vital records, and put my wife’s ancestors in the context of what they did and where they lived and what their world was like when they were in Palermo. Gabriele himself was a pleasure to spend time with and I was impressed by the work he did preparing for our tour."

    - Mark


  • Genealogy Research Genealogy Research

    "Our sincere thanks for the expertise of your team. The extent of their research shows why professionals are needed when lay persons reach the end of readily available resources or miss what is or should be obvious."

    - Ronald


  • Family History Book Family History Book

    "The writing and editing of my book went better than expected. Your entire team made the process very enjoyable. Your patience, cheerfulness, and professionalism helped create a beautiful legacy for me and my family."

    - Greg


  • Genealogy Research Genealogy Research

    "I want to thank all of you for your time, effort, and focus on our ancestry project. We have reviewed the summary, journal and supporting documentation and I wanted to write to you to express how very happy we are with the end product that the team has produced for us. AncestryProGenealogists truly went above and beyond to make our project come out right, and in the end, you far exceeded our expectations - thank you!"

    - Amy