Debbie Parker Wayne received the Certified GenealogistSM credential in 2010 and the Certified Genealogical LecturerSM credential in 2013. Debbie is a full-time genealogist experienced in using laws and DNA analysis, as well as more traditional techniques, for genealogical research. She previously worked in the computer industry doing support, training, programming, and Web design. Those skills are especially useful when analyzing a client’s DNA test results, but also help when doing traditional research in this technical age.
When she first attended the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) in 2003, Debbie knew she wanted to do professional-level research, but hadn’t yet decided whether she wanted to become certified or start a research business. Experiences on that trip, her first exposure to the world of professional genealogists, the techniques learned in Elizabeth Shown Mills’s Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis course, and discussions with credentialed genealogists convinced Debbie to work towards this goal. She started with pro bono clients and accepted paying clients as her knowledge increased due to self-study, institutes, and conference sessions.
Debbie’s business includes research clients, DNA clients, speaking engagements, and writing projects. She won two writing awards in 2012 for articles that were based on research done for her BCG portfolio. She was invited to present “Forensic Techniques for Genetic Genealogy” at the Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI). In 2013 she will be presenting sessions at the NGS and FGS conferences, “Genetic Genealogy for Clients” at IGHR’s Genealogy as a Profession course, and continuing her presentations for FGI and local societies.
Debbie has worked on several genealogical television series. In 2008, before the recent popularity of genealogy-related shows, Debbie worked on an episode of the Canadian series Ancestors in the Attic. This episode featured the descendants of a slave family in Smith County, Texas, who had migrated to Canada. In 2011 Debbie worked on an episode of the PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. featuring a descendant of another East Texas slave family. This episode with Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University, was broadcast on 29 April 2012.
Debbie is a Trustee for the BCG Education Fund and the Texas State Genealogical Society’s DNA Project Director. She is a past board member and Advocacy Committee Chair of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and past president of the Lone Star Chapter of APG. Debbie has completed many courses at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), including advanced methodology courses at both institutes and the Advanced Law Library and GovDocs course at IGHR. She is part of the core staff at Angelina College Genealogy Conference and spoke on DNA at the Texas General Land Office’s 2011 Save Texas History Symposium.