Ancestry.com Operations Inc. (“Ancestry®”) established the AncestryProGenealogists® Scholarship Program to foster and support professional genealogists in their ongoing development efforts.

AncestryProGenealogists® Scholarship Program

 

Ancestry.com Operations Inc. (“Ancestry”) established the AncestryProGenealogists® Scholarship Program in 2017 to foster and support professional genealogists in their ongoing development efforts. For 5 years, we awarded scholarships to aspiring or practicing professional genealogists to attend one of five U.S.-based genealogical institutes:.

  • Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI), Ft. Wayne, Indiana
  • Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP)
  • Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), Washington, D.C.
  • Institute on Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR)
  • Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG)

 

The AncestryProGenealogists® Scholarship program is being paused and may resume at some time in the future. We congratulate our past scholarship recipients and are grateful to have had so many incredible applicants. The institutes have been wonderful to partner with and we encourage all aspiring or practicing professional genealogists to attend them and the various genealogical conferences held worldwide, to increase skills and areas of expertise.

 

2022 Winners

First Place

Specializing in Maryland and German research, Debra A. Hoffman is a professional genealogist, owner of Hoffman Genealogical Services, and was the coordinator of the Maryland course at SLIG in 2020. She earned a certificate in Family History from Brigham Young University and a Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies (PLCGS)-German Records. She is the co-author of NGS’ latest Research in the States Series: Maryland, released in August 2021. She currently serves as an At-Large Board Member of the Maryland Genealogical Society, is the Recording Secretary for the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society, and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Second Place

With New England roots going back 12+ generations and Italian ancestors who immigrated in the 1890s, Eva Holmes always has an interesting problem to solve. A life long researcher, Eva began exploring professional genealogy several years ago. She holds a certificate from the Boston University Professional Genealogy program and will graduate from ProGen this spring. She has passed the first stage of the ICAPGen accreditation in New England and will submit her BCG portfolio this year. She is thrilled with the opportunity to attend Gen-Fed.

Third Place

Jenny Irwin is a forensic genealogist with Stone House Historical Research, specializing in estate and property cases for attorneys and military repatriation cases for the U.S. Army. She is the founder of Generations Revealed, LLC, where she specializes in Italian and New York research. Jenny holds master’s degrees in educational psychology (Boston College) and criminal justice (University at Albany), and a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. She is a member of ProGen 53 and is currently working on her portfolio for submission to the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Jenny serves on the program committee of the New England chapter of the Association for Professional Genealogists (APG), on the board of APG’s Forensic Genealogy Special Interest Group (SIG), and as the syllabus coordinator for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG).

Fourth Place

Laureen Lee Alford is a Georgia native who holds a B.A. from Mercer University, a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law and an M.L.I.S. from the Florida State University College of Information. She practiced law as a plaintiff’s Employment Law attorney for six years. She managed the Ivy Room genealogy collection for the Oconee County Library in Watkinsville, Georgia for approximately three years. For the next fifteen years she managed the Dougherty County Law Library and created the Southwest Georgia Legal Self-Help Center, which is a pilot project of the National Center for State Courts. She returned to Genealogy in September, 2019 when the Dougherty County Public Library hired her as its genealogy librarian. In her spare time Laureen enjoys reading, making hand-crafted artisanal soap and restoring her mid-century home to its original 1960 style.

Fifth Place

A former information systems analyst, Jessica Horne Collins now documents ancestors rather than software bugs. Jessica serves as contributing editor for Stirpes, the journal of the Texas State Genealogical Society, and has published in other Texas and Louisiana journals.  She volunteers at Clayton Library, genealogy special collection of Houston Public Library, and serves on the board of its support organization, Clayton Library Friends. Jessica completed ProGen 48 and GenProof 67 and is working toward her goal of BCG certification. An eighth-generation Louisianan, Jessica’s research interests include her home state as well as Mississippi and locations across the Deep South.


2021 Winners

First Place

Desiree Funston is a reference librarian at Missoula Public Library in Missoula, Montana, where she helps patrons discover their family history. She earned the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate in May 2019 and is working toward the BCG Certified Genealogist credential. She is a proud seventh-generation Montanan who enjoys researching westward expansion, gold discoveries, and steamboat navigation on the Upper Missouri River. In addition to her career as a librarian/genealogist, she also owns and operates a farm growing hops for Montana's craft beer industry.

Second Place

Meghan Moran of Oak Lawn, Illinois, is a librarian and genealogist. She received her B.A. in English Literature from Loyola Marymount University, her Master's Degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University, and her certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. Her research focuses on Irish genealogy and genetic genealogy. She regularly teaches genealogy topics in the Chicagoland area, volunteers as a Search Angel, and is the Membership Chair of the Tinley Moraine Genealogists. She is currently a participant in the ProGen Study Group and hopes to attain Certification through the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Third Place

Alexa Corcoran After more twenty years as an entrepreneur, Alexa Corcoran brought her academic roots in history together with a passion for family research to launch her professional genealogy career. Founder of Archway Genealogy, Alexa enjoys working with clients and is particular focused on immigrant ancestry–seeking to find urban-dwelling families, share their stories, and layer in contextual social history. Alexa holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University, serves as Co-Chair of the DNA special interest group of UGA, and specializes in mid-Atlantic research. Her goal is to achieve certification from BCG, accreditation from ICAPGEN in the mid-Atlantic region and Ireland, and work in the field as a professional educator, author, and lecturer.

Fourth Place

Suzanne Hoffman – Chicago, IL “The Genealogy Maven” has been working as a professional Forensic Genealogist for the past three years and a specialist in Eastern European research and heir identification. After completing a 30-year career in the high-tech industry, her zeal for research and family mysteries took hold and presented the opportunity to indulge in her passion. She has done extensive research in early Illinois and Virginia families, and in Poland and Lithuania ancestry to the mid-1700s. A graduate of the Boston University Genealogical Research certificate program, a current member of ProGen 46, and a past participant in SLIG, IGHR, and GRIP, she is looking forward to expanding her horizons with the curriculum offered by MAAGI.


2020 Winners

 

First Place

Kristin Wenger, of Lititz, PA - SLIG Academy January 2021. Kristin Wenger, founder of Roots & Wings Research, LLC, is passionate about giving others the gift of experiencing fulfillment and inspiration through discovering, preserving, and sharing their family histories. A lifelong Lancaster County resident, she specializes in Pennsylvania research, particularly Anabaptists and Moravians. As a teacher and librarian for nearly two decades, Kristin loves to provide both individual coaching and engaging group instruction. She volunteers as the in-house genealogist for the Lititz Historical Foundation, serves on the Lititz Public Library Board, and is involved in teaching and music ministries at her church. Kristin will attend SLIG Academy for Professionals in 2021 as her next step toward earning the CG and CGL credentials.

Second Place

Adina Newman of Sharon, Massachusetts – IGHR summer 2020. Adina Newman will attend the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) in Athens, Georgia, this summer to take the course, “Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis.” As the founder of My Family Genie, Adina assists clients with their family research and blogs about her own family history. She has a doctorate in educational leadership and has completed the Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research and the SLIG Virtual All-DNA Advanced Practicum. She also volunteers as a Facebook moderator for a Jewish genetic genealogy group and is the Social Media Coordinator for NextGen Genealogy Network. She aspires to become a credentialed genealogist and genealogy educator, presenting and writing to educate others and help them with their own genealogy goals.

Third Place

Franchesca Werden of Cathedral City, CA – GRIP summer 2020. Franchesca Werden has been working as a professional genealogist for the past three years, specializing in forensic genealogy and Italian genealogical research. She holds a B.S. from Boston University in Broadcasting and Film and is a graduate of B.U.'s Certificate in Genealogical Research program. She is currently on the teaching team for both of the Boston University genealogy courses. Franchesca sits on the board of DNA Doe, a non-profit that uses genetic genealogy to identify John and Jane Does. She is committed to continuing education and professional development. Franchesca is currently completing the ProGen Study Group and has attended both GRIP and SLIG in the past. Her goal is to achieve Certification through the Board for Certification of Genealogists so that she can pursue a career in military repatriation.

Fourth Place

Katherine Huffman of St, Peters, MO – GenFed summer 2020. Katherine Huffman of St. Peters, Missouri, is the owner of her own genealogy business and hopes to apply for certification with the Board for Certification of Genealogists within the next two years. She earned her B.A. in anthropology from the University of Missouri in 2013 and her certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University in 2019. In her spare time, Katherine is an active member of her local DAR chapter, serves as an ambassador for her local tourism bureau, and is currently writing a book about her paternal ancestry.

Fifth Place

Suzanne Myers of Phoenix, AZ – MAAGI summer 2020. Suzanne Kelting Myers, D.O. has been been involved in her family's genealogical research since the 1980's but began again in earnest preparing for a trip to Ireland ten years ago. She has since located and visited ancestral homes for her Irish, Bohemian and Jewish Bavarian ancestors. Stateside, her interests include everything Old West where rustlers, wranglers, and ruffians braved the frontier and the Great Plains where farms were carved out of grassland and homes were built of sod. Her education in anthropology, educational theory and medicine provide her a unique approach to genealogical research and interpretation. Her business, Expedition Genealogy, founded in 2017, does traditional family history, DNA analysis, unknown heir services, adoption reconciliation and mentoring of family historians. She serves as editor for Tidbits, the monthly newsletter for West Valley Genealogical Society of Youngtown, Arizona, and is actively involved in transcribing burial card data for the San Francisco Bay Are Jewish Genealogical Society. When not totally immersed in genealogy, Suzanne enjoys distance running, dog agility, sewing and writing.

 


2019 Winners

 

First Place

Linda Tseitlin of Peabody, Massachusetts, is one of our winners of this year's AncestryProGenealogists™ institute scholarships. Linda will attend the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) in Athens, Georgia, this summer to take the course "DNA as Genealogical Evidence." Linda became interested in genealogy more than 35 years ago, and has been pursuing in-depth education with an eye to making it her career for the past couple of years. She has completed the Boston University Certificate Program, the ProGen Study Group, and has attended the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). Her next goal is to apply for the Certified Genealogist(R) credential through the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Congratulations, Linda!

Second Place

Lynn Tenney of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, is one of our winners of this year's AncestryProGenealogists™ genealogical institute scholarships. Lynn, who has been interested in tracing family history for more than 30 years, hopes to teach genealogy to others through community education, local societies, and conferences. She also hopes to attain the Certified Genealogist(R) and Certified Genealogical Lectruer(SM) credentials. Lynn will attend the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) this summer and take Blaine Bettinger's "Advanced DNA Evidence" course.

Third Place

Amber Oldenburg of Indianapolis, Indiana, is one of our AncestryProGenealogists™ institute scholarship winners. She will attend the "Introduction to Genetic Genealogy" track at next year's Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) in January 2020. Amber recently earned her associate's degree in Family History from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She lectures and volunteers locally for genealogical organizations and is on the board of the Indiana chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She plans to continue to work with clients and educate the public, and she hopes to get on the speaking circuit at national conferences. She also has a goal of earning the Certified Genealogist(R) credential through the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG).

Fourth Place

Donna Weathers of Norcross, Georgia, is one of our AncestryProGenealogists™ institute scholarship winners. Donna's attendance at the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed) in Washington, D.C., will figure into her five-year education plan preparing her to seek the Certified Genealogist(R) credential through the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Donna is an AncestryProGenealogists™ contractor and a genealogy trip planner. She enjoys genealogical lecturing and hopes to do more of it in the future. Her special research interest is the U.S. Lifesaving Service.


2018 Winners

 

First Place

Julie Cahill Tarr will be attending the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Julie is a professional genealogist, who provides research, writing, editing, and graphic design services to help clients discover and share their family history. An award-winning author, she also educates others on genealogy research techniques and methods by writing articles, guides, and course materials. Julie currently serves as the managing editor of FORUM, a quarterly magazine of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. Participating in the course You Be the Judge: A Practicum Using Standards to Evaluate Genealogical Work at GRIP will help Julie excel at her work as an editor, writer, and researcher.

Second Place

Laura Jones will be attending the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records in Washington, D.C. As a former Civil War reenactor, Laura Jones gained a deep appreciation for family lore, and while working towards her B.A. in history, she became interested in learning about her colonial ancestors.  For more than 20 years, Laura researched her own ancestors and those of many friends.  As her passion for genealogy grew, she expanded her expertise through webinars, conferences, and seminars.  In 2015, Laura founded Blue Tree Legacy to help clients discover their own lost history.  Seeing the wonder in her clients’ eyes when they discover an ancestor is a delight that never grows old.

Third Place

Peg A. Ivanyo will be attending the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Athens, Georgia. Peg is a meeting planner by trade and a genealogist, family historian by passion. She presently works as the director of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). She has previously served as a member of the Utah Genealogical Association Board of Directors, administrator of the Eastern European Family History Conference, member of the Springville Family History Center Training committee, and spent eight years teaching classes and consulting with local church members.

Fourth Place

Leah Larkin will be attending the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in Salt Lake City, Utah. Leah Larkin is originally from southern Louisiana, where she grew up in the heart of Cajun country, steeped in culture and history.  She earned her Ph.D. in biology from the University of Texas at Austin, where she used DNA to study how species are related. After working in both academia and scientific publishing, she turned her skills to solving unknown parentage cases using DNA. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children.

 


2017 Winners

 

First Place

Jan Joyce Ahrens of Los Altos Hills, California, will be attending the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Ahrens has researched her personal genealogy since 1998 focusing on the geographies of Ohio, Pennsylvania, England, and Norway. She is pursuing her genealogy education professionally to teach and write.

Second Place

Jennifer Stone Randolph of Hanover, New Hampshire, will be attending the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records in Washington, D.C. Ms. Randolph is the managing genealogist for Touchstone Genealogical Services, based in New Hampshire. Jennifer has over ten years’ experience in the field.

Third Place

Denyce Porter Peyton of Cincinnati, Ohio, will be attending the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Athens, Georgia. Ms. Peyton has engaged in genealogical research since 1994, working as a professional researcher since 2004. She serves a diverse clientele, including a specialty in African American research. Her geographic focus areas include Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and the southeastern states.

Fourth Place

Kristin Harms of Alpharetta, Georgia, will be attending the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ms. Harms is a professional genealogist based just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She has colonial roots in Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts, and immigrant ancestors from Germany, Switzerland, England, Scotland, and Ireland. She has been chasing the evidence of her ancestors’ lives for over 15 years.

 

 

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