Stillagaumish Valley Genealogical Society
Northwest Genealogy Conference 2020: Speakers 
Thomas MacEntee
What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee , a genealogy professional based in the United States who is also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas has over 42 years of experience researching family history.
Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. Currently Thomas shares many of his articles and videos for free at Abundant Genealogy and also runs the popular Genealogy Bargains and DNA Bargains websites!
Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.
Anna Swayne
Anna Swayne started doing Genetic Genealogy in 2006 when she started working for a genetic research company that was pioneering the collection of DNA samples all over the world. That company got acquired by AncestryDNA and she spent six years there where she led efforts in developing education around DNA.  Today she is a teacher and personal DNA Consultant helping others understand how DNA can answer ancestral questions and assist with genealogical roadblocks. She has taught classes all over the US, Canada, and the UK at a variety of different conferences and loves teaching!   Anna is a strong advocate for DNA and the story it can unlock for each of us.
Kathleen Kaldis
Kathleen Kaldis (The Ancestor Finder, Genealogist, NERGC 2020 Director, Lecturer) A professional genealogist who is known as The Ancestor Finder.  Her interest in genealogy started at a young age when heard stories about how her great great-grandfather, who was born on Cape Breton Island, came to Boston to build Fenway Park.  Her enthusiasm shines through when she shares her passion of genealogy with her clients and audiences.
Amberly Beck
Amberly Beck is a professional genealogist with a passion for research, writing, speaking, and sharing old photographs. Her love for genealogy began as a child pouring over family photos with her grandmother and became a serious research endeavor over 20 years ago. Amberly is the mother of three incredible boys, holds a BS in Elementary Education, and lives in Utah with her family. She is the writer behind and a Genealogy Research Specialist for F.R.O.M. Research.
Daniel Earl
I got started in genealogy when I was 10 years old. I've spent the last 30 years studying my own family and helping others make history a part of their story. I'm a member of numerous genealogical societies and serve on the boards of directors for many of them. Outside of genealogy, I am an educator, writer, husband, and father to seven children.
Jay Fonkert
Jay Fonkert is a Minnesota-based genealogy researcher, educator, and writer, focusing on 19th-century Midwest research. He is a co-managing editor of Minnesota Genealogist and president of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. Jay is also a former trustee of the BCG Education Fund and a past-director of APG. He has lectured at numerous regional and national conferences, and lectured for genealogy societies in eleven states, and has published more than 80 research and teaching articles.
Laura Hedgecock
Laura Hedgecock is an author, speaker, and GeneaBlogger passionate about helping others tell stories which connect loved ones with their family and ancestry. Her book, MEMORIES OF ME: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO TELLING AND SHARING THE STORIES OF YOUR LIFE and her website and blog at provide practical advice on preserving and sharing memories and family stories.  Ms. Hedgecock is President of GeneaBloggersTRIBE and has also authored BLOGGING FOR FAMILY HISTORY.
Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG, FOGS
Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG, FOGS, has been involved in genealogy her entire life and is a well-known speaker at many genealogy conferences. In 2018, she was awarded the title of Fellow of the Ohio Genealogical Society and received the Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service in Genealogy. Peggy is an instructor at Ancestry Academy, Family Tree University, a columnist for Reminisce magazine, and a Professional Genealogist for Ancestry.
Jill Morelli, CG
Jill Morelli, CG is a writer, national lecturer, and founder of the Certification Discussion Group, an online series of discussions outlining her journey to receiving the credential Certified Genealogist. The goal is to demystify the process and reduce the angst associated with portfolio submission. She has written articles for many genealogical journals and magazines, is past president of the Seattle Genealogical Society, and is a member of other genealogical organizations.
Judy Muhn
Judy has been researching her family tree from the age of 12, specializing in French-Canadian, Acadian, Native American, and Michigan research.  Beginning as a professional genealogist in Europe in 1993, she has lectured at the National Genealogical Society’s conferences, as well as conferences in Europe and around the United States.  She is currently writing a book of the matrilineal descent of her oldest female ancestor in Normandy, France.  Traveling extensively around the world, Judy has visited and researched in the villages and archives of Germany, France, Quebec, and Ontario, where her or her husband’s family lived.  Owner of Lineage Journeys, she conducts research for clients and offers presentations in churches, libraries, and organizations.
Dave Obee
Dave Obee is a journalist and genealogical researcher who has written a dozen books and given more than 600 presentations at conferences and seminars in Canada, the United States and Australia since 1997. He is a member of the services consultation committee at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. Dave is a columnist for Internet Genealogy magazine and Your Genealogy Today magazine, formerly Family Chronicle.
Lisa Oberg
Inspired by the Bicentennial, Lisa began researching her family history at the age of 12, and she’s especially enamored with her Luxembourg ancestors. Lisa received her Master of Librarianship degree from the University of Washington (UW), where she is the Associate Director and History of Science and Medicine Curator for Special Collections in the UW Libraries. Lisa gives genealogy-related webinars and regularly lectures at the UW, Seattle Genealogical Society and around the Puget Sound region.
Mary Kircher Roddy, CG
Mary Kircher Roddy, CT, is a Certified Public Accountant in Seattle.  She tackles genealogy research and education in the same logical way she’d approach an accounting problem.  She has lectured internationally and written for numerous genealogical publications.  She currently serves on the board of the Association of Professional Genealogists.  Reach Mary at and read her blog, Searching for Stories, at
Michael L. Strauss, AG
Michael L. Strauss, AG, is a professional Accredited Genealogist and a nationally recognized speaker. A native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Utah, he has been employed as a Forensic Genealogist for 25 years. Strauss has a BA in History and is a United States Coast Guard veteran. He is also a qualified expert witness in court in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Strauss is a faculty member of IGHR (in Athens, GA), SLIG (in Salt Lake City, UT), and GRIP (in Pittsburgh, PA), and the Course Coordinator for the Military Course at IGHR and the Course Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Course at GRIP. He has been involved in Civil War reenacting for more than 25 years, serving in two units, namely; the 99th New York Infantry and Battery A., 5th U.S. Artillery, and most recently the Utah Living History Association.
Cari A. Taplin
Cari A. Taplin is related to Roy Rogers. Or at least that’s what her family told her. As a result, finding her true heritage has been her focus since the year 2000. Born in Wood County, Ohio, she has lived in Wyoming, Colorado, and now Texas. Cari holds the Certified Genealogist® credential and has served in a wide variety of volunteer and leadership positions for state, local, and national societies. As the owner of GenealogyPANTS, she provides speaking, research, and consultation services.