Meet Our Instructors
Our courses are taught by a team of experts who have been selected for their proven experience in their subject areas.
Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.
Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A., is a freelance writer, instructor, and internationally recognized lecturer, specializing in Eastern European genealogical research, writing your family history, and using the Internet to trace female and immigrant ancestors. She grew up in Duquesne, Pennsylvania and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1987 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. Lisa is the author of eleven books, including The Family Tree Polish, Czech and Slovak Genealogy Guide, and the award-winning Three Slovak Women, and hundreds of magazine articles. Lisa is a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine, has worked as an editor of many memoirs, and has been an online educator for over 20 years. She is a frequently invited speaker for national conferences, genealogical and historical societies, and webinars. Lisa developed Research, Write, Connect in 2018 to provide genealogists and writers with a more interactive educational experience. Learn more at <www.lisaalzo.com>.
Courses: The Write Stuff: Telling the Story; The Write Stuff, Advancing the Story; The Write Stuff: Selling the Story; Crafting Your Memoir; Mastering Scrivener (101); Finding Your Female Ancestors; Discovering Genealogy
Paula is a genealogical and historical researcher, lecturer, writer, and research coach. She is based in Minnesota and has done presentations on various topics for national, state, and local groups in the U.S., Canada, and on cruise ships. Her specialties include unusual records, analysis, research planning, problem-solving, manuscript and archival repositories, railroads, and Native American genealogy.
She has done extensive research at the National Archives in Washington DC, as well as other repositories. She has written books and many articles about family history and records and is an active volunteer in many organizations.
Her contracted research has assisted authors, law firms, television shows, historical societies, and others with projects.
Paula is a course coordinator and instructor at various genealogical institutes and has served on the boards of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and Minnesota Genealogical Society.
She has received many awards for her work, including the 2019 Association of Professional Genealogists Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service to Professional Genealogy.
Courses: Researching U.S. Government Records (101)
Diana Crisman Smith
Diana Crisman Smith has been researching her family history since grade school. She has been attending conferences, writing, teaching and presenting to genealogical audiences for over 40 years. Her research experience began with her own families in Denmark, Canada, and the US - including three Mayflower ancestors. She has added client research, aiding patrons at the local LDS Family History Search Center as a lay librarian for more than twenty years, and traveling to genealogical repositories around the country (and in Denmark) to explore family history resources. Diana has written articles for numerous publications, including FamilyTree Magazine, APG Quarterly, NGS NewsMagazine, and others. She was an instructor for FamilyTree University and is on the faculty of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.
Diana is past board member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG), the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE), the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and the Florida State Genealogical Society, as well as the Great Lakes Chapter of APG and various local societies.
She has presented a variety of topics at conferences throughout the U.S., at sea, and via webinar.
Courses: Using City Directories for Genealogical Research
Sunny Jane Morton
Sunny Jane Morton is an internationally-known genealogy educator and award-winning writer and editor.
She is a longtime Contributing Editor at Family Tree Magazine; Contributing Editor and Content Manager for YourDNAGuide.com; frequent contributor to FamilySearch’s blog; and Editor of Ohio Genealogy News.
Her books include How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records, with Harold Henderson, CG, and Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy, now in its 2nd edition.
Courses: Finding Your Family History on the Giant Genealogy Websites
Regina Negrycz began researching her family history when she was eight years old.
She wears many hats for her local genealogy society, is a member of seven other societies, serving as a proofreader on one of those societies.
Regina's interest in DNA has earned her a teaching role in Salt Lake City each December at the Salt Lake Christmas Tour. She recently spoke at the Genetic Genealogy of Ireland Conference in Dublin, Ireland in October, 2019.
Regina has also published two DNA quick guides with Family Roots Publishing. Her love of city directories has led to the acquisition of approximately 1,000 city directories which are being documented in a unique database. Regina is on the board for a Friends Group for a future library in her community.
Courses: The ABCs of DNA; Using Mirror Trees to Identify Ancestors
Cheri Hudson Passey
Cheri Hudson Passey is a Professional Genealogist, Instructor, Writer, and Speaker and the owner of Carolina Girl Genealogy, LLC.
Cheri works as a genealogical researcher, subcontracted by Eagle Investigative Services, Inc., for the US Army Past Conflict Repatriations Branch.
She also enjoys speaking and writing about the many aspects of family history and has spoken at local, and state workshops, organizations, and conferences.
Cheri is a member of the National Genealogical Society, Association of Professional Genealogists, The NextGen Genealogy Network, and many other societies. Her blog, Carolina Girl Genealogy has been instrumental in connecting with and sharing information about her family and the research process.
Courses: Beginning Genealogy: Starting Off Right; The Genealogical Proof Standard: A Guide for Your Genealogy Journey