Classes

Classes for our 2021 seminar will be added this winter.

Instructors

Meranda D. Bradley, Ph.D., is a member of Fayette county and Henry county historical societies and has been exploring her family genealogical history with her mother for over 15 years.  In the past few years, she has met other family members who also are doing genealogical research and their passion has inspired her to want to help underrepresented groups trace their family ancestors. Bradley received her bachelors’ degrees in microbiology and science education from the University of Georgia and was a high school biology, anatomy, and physical science teacher for over six years. Her students’ drive sparked her to go back to college and get her doctorate in science. Her dissertation work involved analyzing DNA using DNA microarray analysis (the Affymetrix platform, which is one of the companies that is currently used by many DNA testing companies) to explore gene regulation throughout the Escherichia coli genome.  In 2007, she was the second African American to earn her Ph.D. in Molecular biology from State University of New York (SUNY) Albany. For the past 12 years she has worked as a microbiologist and health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Janice E. Bryant is a retired educator, genealogist and family historian. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Northeastern University in Boston, MA and a Master’s Degree in Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She is a member of the African American Historical & Genealogy Society – ATL Metro Chapter (AAHGS) and the Georgia Genealogy Society (GGS).  Jan has attended three Institute of Genealogy and Historical Institute courses on Methods and Sources, African American Genealogy, and Genetics for Genealogist: Beginners DNA. She has researched her ancestors living in North Carolina and Virginia before the Revolutionary War. She recently made a connection to two ancestors who arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619, who are from Kabasa, Angola, Africa. She has also researched other ancestors in the other states of Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas as early as the 1820s.

Thomas Dorsey has been a resident of Fayetteville, Georgia for the past 25 years.  His love of family history began as a small boy listening to family stories told by his grandfather and other relatives.  Thomas was instrumental in researching the Dorsey family history which he has traced back to the late 1700s.  Thomas has shared this information through articles in several magazines, presentations at area genealogy events, the Holiday Dorsey Fife House and the Fayette County Historical Society.  Recently his research resulted in a display at the Holiday Dorsey Fife House featuring the Dorsey Family’s achievements and contributions to Fayette County.  Thomas serves on the Board of both the Holiday-Dorsey-Fife House and The Fayette County Historical Society.  He volunteers as a Blacksmith at Stately Oakes Plantation in Jonesboro and has participated as a presenter and guide at Fayette Historical Society’s Annual Cemetery Walk.

Clifton Fisher III is a Junior undergraduate student currently studying at Clark Atlanta University in the Isabelle T. Jenkins Honors and Scholars Program, where he majors in Business Finance and minors in Political Science. Since the age of 18, Mr. Fisher has served as President and CEO of the African American Alliance Inc., which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and the Executive Board for the Coweta County African American Heritage Museum and Research Center and historic Farmer Street Cemetery, located in Newnan, Georgia. Currently in the process of a rebirth since its inception in 2003, his organization is committed to the progression, preservation and education of African American History. In his other capacities, he is involved in philanthropic endeavors as well as promoting empowerment, inspiration, and education for the benefit of all people. Moreover, he is committed to building a strong social, political, and economic infrastructure for African Americans and others from the diaspora; as well as ensuring the telling of African and African American history throughout the world. 

Marilee Gardner is a wife, mother of three, grandmother of 10, a clarinetist and piano teacher. Several years ago she was able to visit the Balch House in Boston MA where her father’s family lived in early 1600’s.  She has been actively engaged in family history research ever since. Marilee was adopted as an infant and in 2019, her DNA results indicated ethnicity and meeting half-sisters provided much needed medical history.

Allison Hudgins is the Reference Manager at the Georgia Archives. Before working at the Archives, she worked at the Cobb County Public Library, and at Mercer University Special Collections while she was a student. Allison has a Master’s Degree in Library Science from Valdosta State University.

Maureen Smith Keillor was born in Germany as an Army brat, ironically in the region of her German ancestor. She was raised near Boston, MA surrounded by its history and is a product of that melting pot, having Irish, Italian, French, German and Scots ancestry. Her love of family history comes from listening to the stories of her ancestors from her grandparents.  She holds a BA in history with a minor in English and in May will finish her graduate studies in School Library Media. She has been employed by the Clayton County Public School System since 1990. She is the author of three books, a privately published family history as well as Naval Air Station Pensacola and The Blue Angels published by Arcadia Press. Married for 43 years, she and her husband are the parents of five children with 14.3 grandchildren.

Emily Kimbell is the director of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and McRitchie-Hollis Museum where she promotes the organizations’ mission to protect local historical narratives through community events, exhibits, and preservation efforts. Emily is also an English doctoral student and Graduate Teaching Assistant at Georgia State University. Her research is based in feminist rhetorical studies and primarily focuses on recovering and resituating overlooked voices of the field. Her master’s thesis, “‘For the Elevation of Women’: Recovering the Lost Voices of College Temple, 1853-1889”, uncovered the forgotten history of College Temple, a 19th-century women’s college in Newnan, Georgia which was the first to give master of arts degrees to women. As an active member of her community, Emily enjoys exploring the city’s historic spaces, acting in musical theatre productions, and working as a freelance writer for local media outlets. 

Eve Olsen is a wife and a mother of 5 children. Eve is a professional in the visual arts, painting different subjects from landscapes to portraits. Genealogy is a hobby and passion of hers and she has been researching and helping others seek out their family history. She is currently serving as a genealogist at the Coweta County African American Heritage Museum in Newnan, GA.

Jennifer Petrino is a professional genealogist who specializes in researching families of Italian or Sicilian origin. Over the last 20 years, she has helped countless clients learn more about their family history, solve interesting family mysteries, find living relatives before life-changing trips to Italy and Sicily, discover unknown relatives through DNA research and she has also helped many clients achieve Dual Citizenship status (simultaneous Italian and US citizenship). She is delighted to be teaching a class on Using Family History Centers, because she has been working and volunteering at Family History Centers in Pensacola, Florida and in Newnan, where she now lives, for 20 years. Family History Centers have so much to offer and she hopes to see those taking her class discover their ancestors at the Newnan Family History Center! 

Stephanie Powers has researched family history for more than 20 years. Her research interests have grown from her own family to helping others understand African-American genealogy and DNA. Stephanie is a member of the Georgia Genealogy Society and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) where she created and edited the chapter newsletter. She established and coordinates the AAHGS DNA Group where she hosts events to help researchers use DNA tests to answer genealogy questions. Stephanie is also editor of the AAHGS Journal, a nationally distributed publication documenting African American family history and genealogy research. Stephanie’s academic achievements include: a bachelor’s degree in business administration, an MBA, and a certificate in nonfiction creative writing. In her spare time she enjoys golf, gardening, outdoor adventure, and international travel.

Susan Sloan is a professional genealogist whose areas of concentration are teaching family history classes, conducting private lineage research, and preparing lineage applications. She also speaks on historical topics to lineage societies and historical groups. She has authored articles in several genealogical publications in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. She holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Georgia State University. Susan is a member of seven lineage societies where she has served in various officer positions. At present, she is Recording Secretary of James Waldrop Chapter DAR in Fayetteville, 1st Vice Regent of Thomas Wingfield Chapter Colonial Dames Seventeenth Century, Organizing Chapter President for Organizing Chapter #503 US Daughters of 1812, and Honorary Regent and Vice Regent of James Edward Oglethorpe Chapter Daughters of the American Colonists. Susan is a member and past President of Georgia Genealogical Society and the Georgia Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She has given over one 150 presentations and classes at more than 50 different venues. She and her husband, John, have lived in Fayetteville since 1982. They worship at White Oak Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Senoia, GA where Susan teaches Sunday school class for 4 & 5 year olds, Vacation Bible School, and Good News Club at a local elementary school.

Christa Stalcup was an early adopter in the field of genetic genealogy. Testing in 2011 in the hopes of solving her unknown father mystery, she has spent nearly a decade learning, mentoring, and being an active member in the genetic genealogy community solving unknown parentage and misattributed paternity cases. Having attended Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI) in 2015 for Advance Genetic Genealogy and Unknown-Parentage Cases. Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI) in 2016 for Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy and Genealogy Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) in 2018 Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy for the 21st Century. As a recognized expert in this emerging field, not only has Christa worked with individuals to fill in the missing branches of their family tree, she has consulted with and trained others in the techniques and methodologies of genetic genealogy. Christa is the Co-founder of Innovative Forensic DNA, which is an investigative genetic genealogy firm providing services to various agencies.

Discover Your Roots 2020 Class Schedule

Rm. 1Rm. 2Rm. 3Rm. 4
9:30 – 9:50Introduction
10 – 10:50 a.m.DNA & Genetic Genealogy (Beginners)
Jan Bryant & Marilee Gardner
Using Family History Centers
Jennifer Petrino
Recording Family Stories
Thomas Dorsey & Meranda Bradley
Personal Genealogy Help
11 – 11:50 a.m.Discovering Your DNA with AncestryDNA Test Results
Christa Stalcup
Family Search Incl. Freedman Bank Records
Maureen Keillor
Georgia Archives & Slave Ship Manifests
Allison Hudgins
Personal Genealogy Help
Noon – 12:50 p.m.Advanced DNA Research: Chromosome Mapping 
Stephanie Powers & Meranda Bradley
Overcoming Research Obstacles
Susan Sloan
Coweta County History
Emily Kimbell, Clifton Fisher & Eve Olsen
Personal Genealogy Help
1 p.m.Lunch, Q&A with InstructorsPersonal Genealogy Help
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