Speakers at the 2017 Bucks County Ancestry Fair



  Claire Keenan After careers in publishing and law, Claire E. Keenan became a professional genealogist and lecturer almost twenty years ago. She specializes in Irish, Pennsylvania, New York City, and New Jersey research, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, and is currently accepting clients. Her most-requested lectures address Irish research, copyright, and New Jersey research. She has served on the boards of several genealogical societies, and is currently a Vice-President of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey. Claire is also the author of Research in the States: New Jersey, published by the National Genealogical Society.
  Gerald (Jerry) Smith Jerry Smith, CG is a full-time professional Certified Genealogist specializing in Pennsylvania research. He does regular on-site research at the Pennsylvania Archives, State Library of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State Law Library, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, military repositories (including David Library of the American Revolution and US Army Military History Institute), National Archives, religious & denominational repositories, county courthouses, and various county and local historical and genealogical societies. He is a speaker and educator for local, regional, and national events, and a faculty member at Samford University's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). He is the author of a number of books and journal articles, and an expert in Proprietor and Commonwealth land records, mapping, and land placement. His Southern border county research includes frequent on-site research at repositories in Annapolis, Baltimore, Maryland counties, West Virginia, and Virginia. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society and the Genealogists Speakers Bureau.
  Karen Melis Karen A. Melis, a chemical engineer and 2011-2102 Fulbright Scholar, is passionate about placing our Slovak ancestors in the very context in which they lived. Learning the language helped to prepare for living in Slovakia for 10 months. With over 25 research trips overseas, she actively seeks out new primary sources in the State Archives, land and civil registry offices, as well as records to better understand the very conditions under which so many of our Slovak ancestors decided to migrate. Combining 25 plus years of hands-on research from over 200 plus former Spiš village, along with digitizing records in the Polish Spisz, Podhale, she applies current academic methods of studying Slovak socio-economic and cultural patterns. As volunteer group administrator of three geographic DNA projects, she assists project members by combining traditional genealogy and DNA testing to understanding genetic matches. Based on her intimate knowledge, experience, and research capabilities, SlovakGenealogy, LLC was formed to help others find their Slovak roots. SlovakGenealogy, LLC has the unique advantage of being able to work on both sides of the ocean and especially in those villages that have not been microfilmed by the LDS. Please see www. genealogy.sk for more details.
  Melissa A. Johnson, CG(SM) Melissa Johnson is a board-certified genealogist specializing in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and British families. She focuses on genealogical research from the colonial period to the present; family history writing, editing and publishing; dual citizenship for Italy and Ireland; DNA adoption research, and lineage society applications. She is currently accepting clients. She is Reviews Editor of Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, Editor of the GSNJ Newsletter, and former Editor of NGS Monthly. Melissa is also on the Board of Trustees of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey and the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History.
  Sydney Cruice Dixon Sydney F. Cruice Dixon is a professional genealogy researcher, lecturer and instructor. She is the President of the Greater Philadelphia Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She serves on the Genealogy Advisory Committee of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and this year, she founded the Greater Philadelphia Genealogy Consortium. She is the coordinator for the Foundations of Genealogy courses currently taught at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. She also serves on the Planning Committee of the Main Line Genealogy Club. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State University and a Masters of Business Administration from Drexel University. She lives in Berwyn, Pennsylvania with her husband and two teenage daughters.
  Tammy Schane Tammy E. Schane is a public historian and development specialist who has worked for and volunteered with non-profits for more than 10 years. She has worked for Heritage Conservancy, a land trust located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania as the membership coordinator and lead docent of tours of historic Aldie Mansion. Currently she works for the Pennsylvania Land Title Association as the membership and programs coordinator in King of Prussia, PA. She volunteers as a tour guide at Doylestown Cemetery and has researched and written the tour about the site’s 19th-century tombstone symbols and their meanings. She contributed research to two other tours and served as the photographer for the book, "Stories from Beneath the Stones; A Walking Tour of Doylestown Cemetery," published in 2016. She lectures on her research of 18th- and 19th-century cemeteries to historical societies and other groups, and in 2016, she published a book called, “Engraved: The Meanings Behind 19th-Century Tombstone Symbols.”