Associates in Action

Welcome to Associates in Action! This monthly feature highlights BCG associates’ news, activities, and accomplishments. Contact Alice Hoyt Veen to include your news in an upcoming post.

Activities & Projects

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, was quoted as the BCG president in the New York Times news article, “A Personal Sort of Time Travel: Ancestry Tourism,” by Amy Zipkin, 29 July 2016.

Catherine Desmarais, CG, with Michael Ramage, CG, taught Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy at GRIP in June. Catherine will be coordinating The Coaching Lab: Forensic Genealogy from Inquiry to Affidavit at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) in January 2017.

David McDonald, CG, was featured in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel business news article, “Genealogist digs deep to unearth family roots.”

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, CG, JD, LLM, was the featured speaker at the 15 July 2016 Genealogical Institute on Federal Records Alumni Association Banquet. Her topic was “Including African American Genealogy in the American Mosaic.”

LaBrenda will conduct a workshop on 13 August 2016 for the Central Maryland Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., at the Miller Branch Library in Ellicot City, Maryland, entitled “Analysis of Probate Records and Study of the Probate Process.” She will make two presentations at the 37th Annual National Conference of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia: on 14 October 2016, “A Forum on the Board for Certification of Genealogists”  and on 15 October 2016, “Researching African American Families that Came Out of Slavery: Application of the First Component of the Genealogical Proof Standard.”

Melanie D. Holtz, CG, coordinated and taught a course at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) in July. Resources and Strategies for Researching Your Italian Ancestors included additional course instructors Suzanne Russo Adams, MA, AG, and Paola Manfredi, AG. Melanie has also completed work on a four-year family history book for the surname Mattei.

Awards & Achievements

Amy Larner Giroux, PhD, CG, CGL. Congratulations to Amy and her team on their second place tie in the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Chronicling America Data Challenge. Amy’s team developed Historical Agricultural News, a search tool site for exploring information on the farming organizations, technologies, and practices of America’s past. The site describes farming as the window into communities, social and technological change, and concepts like progress, development, and modernity.

Career News

Dawne Slater, CG. Ancestry ProGenealogists has promoted Dawne from Associate Genealogist to Genealogist Researcher. The new position reflects her years of experience in the field and acknowledges the work she has done at Ancestry since joining the firm last fall.


LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, CG, JD, LLM, A Guide to Researching African American Ancestors in Laurens, South Carolina, and Selected Finding Aids (Bloomington, IN: Xlibris Pub., 2016). LaBrenda’s book is both a locality guide, with tips on where to look for sources, and a “how to” manual for those who have not mastered genealogical methodologies. It provides background information applicable to all South Carolina counties and includes references to “modern” finding aids and websites. She offers practical advice and research strategies based on her experience and formal studies. LaBrenda will discuss her new book on the blogtalk radio program Research at the National Archives and Beyond,, 25 August 2016. The book is available at, Barnes & Noble, and Xlibris.

2 thoughts on “Associates in Action

  1. Along with Catherine Desmarais, CG, Michael Ramage, JD, CG, and Melanie Holtz, CG, who are already mentioned, the over 300 students attending the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) this past June and July were also very grateful for the education provided by the following course coordinators and instructors:
    Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, (Mastering the Art of Genealogical Documentation in June; Advanced Research Methods, Practical Genetic Genealogy, and From Confusion to Conclusion: Writing Proof Arguments in July),
    Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL (Women and Children First: Researching the Hidden Half of the Family, and Family Archiving: Heirlooms in the Digital Age in June and Advanced Research Methods in July),
    Harold Henderson, CG and Melissa Johnson, CG (From Confusion to Conclusion: How to Write Proof Arguments),
    Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, (Women and Children First, and Pennsylvania Research in June, and Advanced Research Methods in July),
    Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL (Advanced Research Methods),
    Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, and Debbie Mieszala, CG, (Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper),
    Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, Patti Hobbs, CG, and Karen Stanbary, CG (Practical Genetic Genealogy),
    Pamela Stone Eagleson, CG (Family Archiving: Heirlooms in the Digital Age),
    Diane Florence Gravel, CG, and Catherine Desmarais, CG (Diving Deeper into New England: Advanced Strategies).
    In addition to the Forensic Genealogy course, Catherine Desmarais, CG, and Michael Ramage, JD, CG, also gave classes in the Women and Children First course.

  2. Pingback: Favorite Reads of the Week: 15 August 2016 – Mexican war soldiers database, online photo collections, heirloom quilt – Family Locket

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