Ruth Campbell is a professional genealogist researching for over 40 years. She currently teaches a monthly free community class called, “Let’s Talk DNA” in Fayetteville, Georgia. She specializes in Canadian, English, U.S. research and DNA. Recently, Ruth solved two DNA research projects on her maternal line dating back to the 1800’s.
Facebook: Let’s Talk DNA – private account (please email me if interested in joining the Facebook group and attend the once a month class held on a Wednesday night off Redwine Road in Fayetteville, GA). Feel free to email her at

Laura W. Carter – MEd, MLIS, SLIS, spent forty years working in libraries helping people find information. In 1997, she became the Heritage Room Librarian at the Athens-Clarke County Library and began attending IGHR (Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research) annually as the best way of helping her library’s genealogy patrons. Carter was elected a Fellow of the Society of Georgia Archivists in 2012 due to her advocacy for genealogical and historical collections and her efforts teaching other professionals how to work with genealogists and family historians. Laura still loves learning and teaching others. She is a member of multiple genealogical and historical societies.

Byron M. Coleman is a retired educator, born in New Orleans and specializes in recording the ‘stories’ of families of African Americans and Creoles. After earning a degree in Accounting and Finance from Southern University at New Orleans and a successful career in Corporate America, owner of several businesses, he was ‘appointed’ by his great uncle, Wade to “keep up with the family” in 1985. Now, his family’s historian and a Fayetteville Master Gardener Extension Volunteer, he grows many types of things including family trees. He will be helpful in writing, sharing and storing the important stories from the volumes of photos, documents, records and recollections that results from your family research.

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.

Allison Gardner Kotter is a professional genealogist pursuing accreditation through ICAPGen in the Southeast United States. Her professional genealogy skills and processes have been honed through a variety of genealogical education including the Research Like a Pro Study Group, Research Like a Pro with DNA Study Group, the ICAPGen Level 1 Study Group, the Becoming An Accredited Genealogist Professional SLIG course, multiple Family History courses as BYU, and work as an heir investigator for Lauth Investigations. She has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in psychology with a minor in statistics. She loves using the research skills she learned in college to solve family mysteries. When she is not doing genealogy, she is focused on spending as much time with her three little kids as possible.

Mary Jane Saylor has served on the Board of the Utah Genealogical Association with responsibility for the DNA Special Interest Group, an online gathering for learning DNA research techniques. She has also served as the Registrar for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She has also served as Registrar for her local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mary Jane specializes in genetic genealogy research and has trained at the Forensic Institute of Genealogy, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research of Georgia. Mary Jane has used FamilySearch software, in its many forms, since 1995. She has served two Family History missions for her church. For 30 years, Mary Jane has volunteered at various Family History Centers across the United States teaching others the joys of family history. She also takes private clients to assist them with genetic genealogy research, helping them to solve their family mysteries. Mary Jane stays abreast of the latest genealogical techniques and software through research and practice. For the past two years, Mary Jane has resided in northwest Georgia with her husband and her two dogs. She can be reached at

Tamu Taylor is a family historian and genealogist who is passionate about telling the stories of her ancestors, family military veterans, and using DNA to expand her family history. She jumps at the chance to help others get started in their own family history and encourages them to make it a life-long journey. What began as a fourth grade family history project has turned into years of avid research of the branches of her family tree and African American history. She is a member and current recording secretary of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society Metro Atlanta Chapter. She was recently elected as the Recording Secretary for the national Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. When Tamu is not connecting with her roots, she is a career IT professional and a loving mother of two.

Previous 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.

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.

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.

Gwendolyn Redwine is a graduate of the University of West Georgia with a degree in Political Science and a minor in History. She was director of Lagrange Child Development center for 25 years. As a Lagrange native, she served with The Troup County Historical Society for 33 years. She also served as a member of the Lagrange Historic Preservation for 24 years. She has completed extensive research for the community, including history on the famous bridge builder Horace King. Her love for family history started in 1988 when she began researching her parents’ family history. She has been very influential in helping others with their family research and it has inspired her to work on a book to be published in the near future.

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.

Fred Ross Smith IV is a retired employee of the Federal Bureau of Prisons after 29 years, in positions as a teacher, Recreation Specialist, Supervisor of Recreation, Inmate Activities Coordinator, Wellness Coordinator, and Employee Development Manager. During that tenure he experienced some traumatic life and death situations while working at USP Atlanta including
the 1987 Cuban Detainee Riot (longest seizure with hostages in the United States). He also testified in the largest death penalty case the government has ever held in 2006, six years after retiring, for a murder that took place in 1979 at USP Atlanta. Forty people were indicted for the RICO Act (racketeering) and sixteen of then were facing the death penalty. Following his time in the prison system, he retired a second time after 18 years as an employee of Kohl’s Department Stores.

Approximately 3 or 4 years ago he started doing genealogy while trying to expand his family tree. As he found the stories of his ancestors quite interesting to read and share, he started writing and adding to his family history some of his experiences within the last several years and has found it to be very rewarding.

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.

%d bloggers like this: