2024 New York State Family History Conference Speakers

Speaker Bios


Jamie Brinkman has worked as an archivist with the Researcher Services unit at the New York State Archives for more than five years. Her focus is on reference, digitization, and indexing.

Jamie Brinkman



Iain H. Bruce

Iain H. Bruce is a retired finance executive who has been researching family history in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain for three decades. He is currently a candidate for an MA degree in history at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Mr. Bruce is a New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (NYG&B) Trustee and former Board Chair.



Alice Childs, AG®, is an Accredited Genealogist (AG) professional specializing in U.S. mid-Atlantic states research. In addition to client work, she authors the GenealogyNow blog at https://alicechilds.com/.

Alice Childs



Michelle (Shell) Tucker Chubenko

Michelle Tucker Chubenko, AG®, is the International Research Team Manager with Legacy Tree Genealogists, specializing in New Jersey and Eastern European research. She hosts a monthly Q&A Zoom session “Roots in NJ” and serves as a Trustee for the Genealogical Society of New Jersey.



A professional genealogist, Skip Duett specializes in Upstate New York research and Y-DNA analysis. He is actively researching and writing about the full spectrum of land records in Upstate New York.

Skip Duett



Alec Ferretti

Alec Ferretti is a professional genealogist who specializes in 20th-century research and Italian dual citizenship. He is a director of the Association of Professional Genealogists and Reclaim the Records.



Ryan Gleason oversees the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society’s (NYG&B) digital properties, including the digitization and maintenance of record collections and their corresponding search tools. Prior to the NYG&B, Ryan was the Director of Digital Strategy for New York Institute of Technology, one of the State’s premier STEM institutions.

Ryan Gleason



Rhonda Hoffman

Rhonda Hoffman, MLIS, is a genealogy librarian in Buffalo, New York, and a board member of the Western New York Genealogical Society. Rhonda has attended numerous genealogy institutes and is a ProGen 57 graduate.



Dedicated to genealogy since 1986, Daniel Horowitz was the teacher and the study guide editor of the family history project "Searching for My Roots" in Venezuela for 15 years. He is involved in several crowdsource digitization and transcription projects, and he holds a board-level position at The Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA). Since 2006 Daniel has been working at MyHeritage, liaising with genealogy societies, bloggers, and the media as well as lecturing and attending conferences around the world.

Daniel Horowitz



Kalyn P. Loewer

As the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society‘s (NYG&B) Manager of Digital Collections, Kalyn P. Loewer, MA works to digitize documents from all over New York State and makes materials available to researchers via the NYG&B’s online collections. She also educates communities about how to access and maximize these collections. Kalyn was the recipient of the John. C. Gorman '38 Medal for Excellence in History from St. Francis College in 2021.



Annette Burke Lyttle loves teaching people how to uncover and share their family stories. She is past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists and editor of The Florida Genealogist.

Annette Burke Lyttle



Melanie McComb

Melanie McComb, Senior Genealogist at American Ancestors, is an international lecturer who teaches a variety of topics, including American military research, genetic genealogy, and Atlantic Canadian and Jewish genealogy.



Stephanie O'Connell, CG®, is a professional genealogist who holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. She began researching her own family secrets as a young adult and has been discovering their true stories ever since. She has expertise in English, Scottish, and Irish records and is passionate about incorporating social and women’s history into family narratives. Stephanie is a SLIG faculty member, ProGen mentor, and RootsTech and National Genealogical Society presenter.

Stephanie O'Connell



Bryna OSullivan

Bryna O'Sullivan, PLCGS, is a professional genealogist based in Middletown, Connecticut. She is a French-to-English genealogical translator.



Pam Ricciardi Paschke is a speaker, author, and DNA project administrator with more than 40 years research experience. She concentrates on colonial and early U.S. conundrums, immigration, and DNA relationship analysis.

Pam Ricciardi Paschke



Robert Raymond

Robert Raymond is a deputy to FamilySearch Chief Genealogical Officer David Rencher. Robert is a genealogical technologist with more than 40 years of experience in technology and genealogy.



Janice M. Sellers is a professional genealogist specializing in Jewish, Black, dual citizenship, and newspaper research. She has taught at events locally, nationally, and internationally. Her site is ancestraldiscoveries.com.

Janice M. Sellers



Jeanette Sheliga

Jeanette Sheliga of Jeanette’s Genealogy lives in Lockport, New York. She has been researching her family tree since 2002 and lecturing since 2011, speaking on behalf of societies and libraries locally and all over the world. Jeanette is the President of the Virtual Genealogical Association and holds positions in local, state, and national societies. She has completed the study groups of ProGen 49 and ProGen Practicum 02 as well as has attended many genealogy institutes.



Edward J. Swierczewski Jr., MA, has been a genealogist for almost 30 years, and a professional educator for more than 30 years. He has completed multiple courses from GRIP Genealogy Institute and Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and is a ProGen alum. He founded Integrative Genealogy LLC and serves as the Chief Genealogical Officer. He has presented at genealogy webinars locally and nationally, including at RootsTech 2023.

Edward J. Swierczewski Jr.



Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz

Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz has been researching her family’s origins in Poland, Germany, the United States, and Canada for nearly 30 years. She is President of the Polish Genealogical Society of New York State, administers several genealogy-related Facebook groups, and writes a blog, “From Shepherds and Shoemakers.”



D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, FUGA, is the President and CEO of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (NYG&B), an organization dedicated to preserving, documenting, and sharing family history and stories from across New York State. A nationally known and recognized genealogist, Joshua was named President of the NYG&B in 2016 and is an Officer, Trustee ex Officio, on the NYG&B’s Board of Trustees.

D. Joshua Taylor



Pamela Vittorio

Pamela Vittorio, MA, PLCGS, is a professional genealogist with a background in history and foreign languages. Her interests include migration patterns, transportation, and researching the family histories of laborers and travelers on New York State canals.



Jane E. Wilcox serves on the New York State Archives Advisory Committee and the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society’s (NYG&B) Family History Advisory Committee. She wrote the forthcoming book New York State Archives Guide: For Family Historians, Biographers, and Historical Researchers.

Jane E. Wilcox