Genealogy Conference and Cruise - 2013

Speaker Biographies (alphabetical)

Laura G. Prescott is a professional researcher, writer, and speaker. She graduated Dartmouth College with a B.A. in History in 1980, ultimately putting her degree to good use a decade later to pursue a latent passion for genealogy. Originally from Charleston, West Virginia, she has lived in New England for over thirty-five years. She worked for the New England Historic Genealogical Society for seven years before starting her own research business in 2005. Her company, Laura Prescott Research Services, LLC, promotes the highest standards in genealogical education and research.

Laura is past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and a consultant at and She speaks at regional, national, and international conferences, and writes on a variety of genealogical and historical topics, including the use of manuscripts in genealogical research, genealogy on the internet, genealogy for Mac users, and weaving history into genealogy. Her work has appeared in Ancestry, NGS NewsMagazine, Digital Genealogist, and New England Ancestors.


David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA, is employed by the Family History Department in Salt Lake City as the Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch. A professional genealogist since 1977, he is an Accredited GenealogistCM with ICAPGenSM in Ireland research and a Certified GenealogistSM with the Board for Certification of Genealogists®. He is the Irish course coordinator and instructor for the Samford University Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) in Birmingham, Alabama. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1980 with a BA in Family and Local History. He is a past-president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 1997-2000, a national genealogical society umbrella organization, a past-president of the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) 1993-1995 and a Fellow of that organization. He is a fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, London and is a vice-president of the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU). He is currently serving as the Chair of the joint Federation of Genealogical Societies and National Genealogical Society committee for Record Preservation and Access and serves as the Secretary for the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and as trustee for the Umpstead, Jr. and Elizabeth Jemima Philpott Rencher and the Winslow Farr, Sr. Family Organizations. He is vice-president of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History and an instructor for the British Institute.


Judy G. Russell is a Certified GenealogistSM and Certified Genealogical LecturerSM with a law degree. She writes, teaches and lectures on a wide variety of genealogical topics, ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. A Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother's side and entirely in Germany on her father's side, she is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society and numerous state and regional genealogical societies. On the faculty of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research in Alabama, and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and has written for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the National Genealogical Society Magazine.


Pam Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, is a professional researcher, educator, author, and lecturer. She has developed, coordinated, and taught the Techniques and Technology course at Samford University's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research since 2007. She also coordinates and teaches in the Researching in Washington, DC, without Leaving Home and the advanced land course at Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She has taught in Boston University's Professional Certificate Program in Genealogy, and she developed an NGS self-paced Social Security course for family historians. Pam is former NGS director of education and publications, former board member of NGS and FGS, co-author of Online Roots: How to Discover Your Family's History and Heritage with the Power of the Internet (2003) and Research in Missouri (1999, 2007), former FGS FORUM Digitools columnist, and past editor of APGQ. She is a popular seminar presenter who has spoken at genealogy conferences and seminars in thirty-one states.


Rick Sayre, CG is a long-time researcher and instructor in genealogical topics. He coordinates the Using Maps in Genealogy course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University. He also instructs in the Advanced Methodology course, the Techniques and Technology course, the Advanced Military courses, and a variety of other IGHR courses. Rick and his wife Pam coordinate the advanced land course and Researching in Washington, DC, without Leaving Home offered by the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in Salt Lake City. He also lectures at national conferences such as those held by the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). His areas of expertise includes records of the National Archives, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Rick's areas of concentration include military records, land records, using maps in genealogy, urban research, and government documents. Rick is experienced in the localities of western Pennsylvania and Ohio.


Craig Scott, CG is the author of The 'Lost Pensions': Settled Accounts of the Act of 6 April 1838 and Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury, Inventory 14 (Revised). He has co-authored several books relating to records in Northern Virginia. He has authored articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and Family Chronicle and many other genealogical publications. He is the President and CEO of Heritage Books, Inc., a genealogical publishing firm with over 3,000 titles in print located in Westminster, Maryland. A professional genealogical and historical researcher for more than twenty-four years, he specializes in the records of the National Archives, especially those that relate to the military. He was the Clan Scott Genealogist (1985 - 2000). He is a member of the Company of Military Historians, recently a Governor-at-Large of the Virginia Genealogical Society, on the editorial board of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, and a former Director of the Association of Professional Genealogists. A faculty member for several years of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, Samford University he was the coordinator of the 2007 Advanced Military Records Course about the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

Bob Velke
is the president of Wholly Genes, Inc., the makers of popular family history software tools since 1992, and Archive CD Books USA. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Genealogical Society, a former Board member of GENTECH, Inc., a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, a participant in the Lexicon Working Group, and a co-author of the GENTECH Genealogical Data Model (GDM). He has been involved in the Member Ancestor Chart (MAC) and other NGS projects. Bob received a B.A. in Criminology in 1985 from the University of Maryland, where he later taught that subject and trained police departments on research and analysis techniques. He has been a frequent lecturer at family history conferences on technology issues and is a genealogical researcher of some 30 years, with a special interest in the Civil War and southwestern Virginia.



CG or Certified Genealogist and CGL or Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by Board-certified genealogists after periodic competency evaluation, and the board name is registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office.

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