Team

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, President

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS is a nationally known and recognized genealogical author, lecturer, and researcher and a frequent speaker at family history events across the globe. Passionate about family history, Joshua is a host on the popular PBS series, Genealogy Roadshow. An active member of the genealogical community, Joshua is the previous president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and was a member of the team at the New England Historic Genealogical Society for more than five years. He holds an MLS (Archival Management) and an MA (History) from Simmons College.

What's your New York story?

My second-great-grandfather was born in Cornwall, New York. While he made his way out west in search of gold, his family history can be traced back to New York in the early 1600s.

 

Jennifer Davis, Director of Development and Membership 

While living in Richmond, VA , Jen began volunteering at the Virginia Historical Society, which soon turned into a job and then a 20-year career in development and education.  After moving back to New York she worked at a variety of nonprofit organizations and is excited to be able to combine her love of history and helping others by joining the team at the NYG&B.  Jen was born on Long Island and is an avid Mets fan.

What's your New York story?

Both of my parents were born on Long Island to children of immigrants from Ireland and Germany.  My father fought in World War II; after returning home he worked more than 30 years at Newsday, the Long Island newspaper.

 

Susan R. Miller, Director of Programs and Outreach 

A NYG&B member since 1993, Sue is the Director of Programs; editor of the NYG&B’s award-winning magazine the New York Researcher; and was a managing editor of the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer. She has researched her New England and New York families for more than 25 years. She is the co-organizer for the New York State Family History Conference and has presented genealogical lectures on a regional and local basis. Beyond genealogy, Sue is a life-long sailor (racing and cruising); Past Commodore of the Manhasset Bayt Yacht Club; and a US Sailing race officer.

What’s your New York story?

To avoid polio during the summer months in Queens, New York, my father’s family leased a bit of beach on West Meadow Beach, Stony Brook, where the cottage survived both the 1938 and 1944 hurricanes. I’m still researching prior Miller generations from the early 1800s in New York State (Hudson Valley).
 

 

Frederick Wertz, MA, Director of Digital Services

Frederick has worked in digital media for the past eight years, with a variety of non-profit and commercial entities, both inside and outside the genealogy industry. He earned a Master's Degree from Fordham University in 2011, with a concentration in American History and Journalism. His thesis, Redefining Suburban History: The Effect of Industry on 20th Century Suburbanization focused on the unique history of suburban development and immigration in Westchester County. Frederick manages all of the NYG&B's social media accounts, blog, website and digital resources. In his personal life, he is an avid student of political and economic history, and a major New York Giants fan.

What's your New York story?

My family tree is absolutely overflowing with New Yorkers - my great, great grandfather on my dad's side immigrated to New York from Germany in 1865, and each generation of his family has, at one point or another, resided in the Bronx. My mother's family immigrated to New York from Ireland earlier in the 19th century, also lived in the Bronx for a while, and eventually moved to Dutchess County to work as as farm hands and servants. 

 

Pamella Campbell, Accounts Coordinator

Pamella manages the daily operations of the NYG&B offices, directs incoming inquiries, and helps members get answers to their questions and solve any problems they encounter. She also manages all accounts of the Society, including the NYG&B online store. She has been with the NYG&B for 10 years. 

What's your New York story?

My family first came to New York from Jamaica decades ago. My sister was the first one to come over, and she did so about 40 years ago. I have been living in New York for 28 years, first in the Bronx and now Westchester County. 

 

Anna King, Office Administrator

Anna does not have to travel far from her Hell’s Kitchen home to her job as office administrator at the NYG&B. After ten years working in the nonprofit sector as a program manager, she made a professional shift guided to work for jewelry and clothing designers managing their small business operations. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine both backgrounds in her role at the NYG&B while simultaneously learning about the field of genealogy.

What’s Your New York Story?

Before working at the NYG&B I would have said my family is from Texas and New Jersey. But I’ve since learned that my mother’s side of the family came to Cattaraugus County, New York, from Eyrecourt, Ireland. Now I want to know, and look forward to discovering, what exactly pulled them westward.

 

Meryl Schumacker, Genealogist

Before she joined the NYG&B team, Meryl worked independently as a genealogist, writer, and speaker in New York City. She has written for the NYG&B's New York Researcher and its peer-reviewed journal, The Record. She earned her Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University and completed continuing education at the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) in Athens, Georgia. Meryl is a recipient of the Association of Professional Genealogists' Young Professional Scholarship, the Birdie Monk Holsclaw Memorial Scholarship, and the Walter Lee Sheppard Jr. Prize. She is an alumna of Carleton College. 

What's your New York story?

Years ago, I found a Civil War draft registration for my Brooklyn-based ancestor and his brothers online. It was moving to see all three names listed in a row, and that they signed up together. When I looked at the record more recently, I realized that they registered on the first day of the New York City Draft Riots in 1863. Knowing what was going on in New York on that day brought my ancestor's experience to life and made the record even more meaningful.

 

Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG®, FGBS, Editor of The Record

Laura is past president and former trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). While a BCG trustee she assisted in the preparation of the organization’s Genealogy Standards, published in 2014. A member of the NYG&B for about two decades, she served on the Education Committee for approximately ten years and participated on the team that reviewed the New York State Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer. She is a member of the NGS Publications Committee and the NGS Magazine advisory team. She is former editor of NGS Monthly. Laura wrote the New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County volume in NGS’s Research in the States series of guidebooks.

What’s your New York story?

I was born in Brooklyn and grew up on Long Island, where I still reside. My father was born in Manhattan’s “Gas House district” to immigrants from County Louth, Ireland. My mother is a Brooklyn native with ancestry that includes New Englanders who migrated to New York, early residents of Dutchess and Ulster counties, and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Irish and Scottish immigrants.