Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gala Event: A Celebration of Family History

Hope everyone is enjoying the conference, learning new information, techniques and resources to aid them in their research. There is plenty to see and do!

Some reminders about tonight's activity at the conference center on North Temple

  • Arrive early to ensure your seats
  • Don't bring large bags with you

Come and enjoy the celebration!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Presenter Profile: Debra Mieszala

Debra Mieszala, Certified Genealogist(SM), has been involved in genealogical research for over 25 years. Much of her work involves locating family members of past war MIAs for the Army and Air Force. She formerly worked under court order as a certified Confidential Intermediary (CI) in Illinois, assisting people in adoption situations to reconnect. Debbie is earning a certificate in paralegal studies.

In addition to presenting at the national conference level, she has taught classes at SLIG. Her articles have been published in _OnBoard!_, _NGS Magazine_, and _The Digital Genealogist_.

Debbie was a host society representative for the NGS 2006 Chicago conference, and had an active role as Registration Chair. She created, maintained, and contributed much content for the CGC/NGS conference blog.

She is looking forward to another visit to Salt Lake City!

She is teaching "The Curious Case of the Disappearing Dude" on Thursday at 2:30, "Two Dan Dyes: Correcting Past Errors with Solid Evidence" on Saturday at 11 am and "Patently Unique: Locating Patent Records Online and Off" on Saturday at 4pm.

Presenter Profile: Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens

Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, Liz is the creator of the software program Clooz—the electronic filing cabinet for genealogical records. She is managing editor of the NGS Magazine. She authored the books Plymouth's First Century: Innovators and Industry, a photo history of Plymouth, Michigan, and Plymouth in Vintage Postcards, a postcard history of 20th century Plymouth. Liz is also the executive director at the Plymouth Historical Museum in Plymouth, Michigan.

Liz is teaching "Effective Internet Searching" Thursday at 9:30am, "Researching Your Irish Here Before Going There" Thursday at 2:30pm, and "Is My Writing Ready for the Popular Press?" Saturday at 1pm

Presenter Profile: Laura Prescott

Laura G. Prescott is a professional researcher, writer, and speaker. She worked for the New England Historic Genealogical Society for seven years before starting her own research business. Originally from Charleston, West Virginia, she has lived in New England for over thirty years.

Laura graduated with a B.A. in History from Dartmouth College in 1980, ultimately putting her degree to good use over a decade later when she discovered a latent passion for genealogy.

Laura is the president of the Association of Professional Genealogists, genealogy project manager for the Nickerson Family Association, and a consultant for She lectures and writes for national audiences on a variety of genealogical topics. Her specialties include the use of manuscripts in genealogical research, genealogy on the Internet, genealogy for Mac users, and merging history with genealogy.

Her articles have appeared in Ancestry, New England Ancestors, Genealogical Computing, NGS NewsMagazine, and Digital Genealogist.

Laura is teaching "Diving Deeper into the Unique Records on" on Saturday at 9:30 am.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Presenter Profile: Kory Meyerink

Kory Meyerink has been involved in nearly every aspect of genealogy and family history for the past 20 years, beginning as a record searcher while attending Brigham Young University where he received an Associate in Family and Local History, as well as a B.S. in Psychology. He later completed a Masters of Library and Information Science. Spending two years in Germany gave him a fluency that has served him well in his professional research. He became accredited in four areas (Germany, Midwest, Eastern and New England U.S.), specializing in tracing the origins of German and Dutch immigrants, before joining the staff of the Family History Library as a reference consultant.

Later, as the library’s publication coordinator, he developed instructional and reference material for the thousands of Family History Centers supported by the library. He also served as the primary content consultant for the PBS Ancestors television series. In his recent work developing electronic products, Kory’s tasks included serving as product manager for the LDS Family History Suite and also developed the largest genealogical gazetteer and largest genealogical bibliography available on CD-ROM.

As a teacher, Kory has spoken at many local, state, and national genealogical conferences throughout the U.S. and Canada, including NGS, FGS, GENTECH, and, since 1991, the annual BYU Family History Conference. Since 1991, he has also served as adjunct history faculty for that university’s Salt Lake Center. As the founding director of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, he developed one of the nation’s largest such institutes. He has written extensively, including chapters in The Library, both editions of The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, as well as 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.

He also writes for both Ancestry and Heritage Quest magazines. He is the author/presenter of Doing Genealogy: Foundations for Successful Research, an audio presentation with workbook. For his most recent book, Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records (Ancestry: Salt Lake City, 1998), he served as overall editor as well as primary author.

Kory is teaching "Documenting the Overland Journey with Diaries" Wednesday at 2:30 pm, "Has It Already Been Done? German Compiled Records" Friday at 8 am, and "City Directories: More than Just Census Substitutes" Saturday at 2:30 pm.

Presenter Profile: Patricia Shawker

Patricia O'Brien Shawker, CG is a professional genealogist whose interests are Maryland genealogy and research at the National Archives; certified since 1999. She is an alumna of the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR), she received a certificate of completion of the NGS American Genealogy: A Basic Course, and for the Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis at Samford University. She has lectured at numerous genealogy conferences including the annual meetings of the National Genealogical Society. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), the NSDAR, the National Genealogical Society, and the Maryland Genealogical Society. She is a past treasurer of the National Genealogical Society, and a past Assistant Director of NIGR and as been the Director of NIGR since October 2007.

Patricia is teaching "Before Statehood: Territorial Papers" on Wednesday at 2:30 PM, "ABCs of NARA Workshop" on Friday at 2:30 pm and "Passport Applications, 1795–1925" on Saturday at 11 AM.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Presenter Profile: Stephen Danko

Stephen J. Danko, PhD, PLCGS

Steve Danko is a Regulatory Affairs Professional and Professional Genealogist based in San Francisco, California. He is the author of Steve's Genealogy Blog, a daily genealogy research blog that was named one of the 25 Most Popular Genealogy Blogs for 2009 by ProGenealogists and one of the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs for 2010 by Family Tree Magazine.

Steve's genealogy research interests center on Eastern European Genealogy (especially Polish Genealogy), Immigration, and Naturalization. He has conducted research on site in Poland and Lithuania, where he has visited the villages of his ancestors, analyzed court records, census records, and church records at the Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw, the Lithuanian State Historical Archives, and at local parish churches.

Steve's research has led him to an appreciation of history and languages. He has formally studied Latin, German, and Polish, and has acquired a working knowledge of several other languages. He is the administrator for the Danko and Niedzialkowski One-Name Studies and the Danko and Niedzialkowski DNA Projects.

Steve is teaching "Polish Court Records and Census Records" Friday at 9:30 AM.