Session Speakers

26 posts


Stephen Little

Steve Little is the AI Program Director for the National Genealogical Society and has lifelong passions for language, technology, and genealogy. He completed graduate-level courses in applied linguistics, specializing in natural language processing and computational linguistics, two pillars of today’s large language models of AI; his first career was spent […]

Paul Jones

Paul Jones has been researching his own and others’ families for more than 30 years. He is a regular speaker at Toronto Branch events and has been the “Roots” columnist for Canada’s History magazine for the past decade. He is a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, a former chair of […]


Sher Leetooze

Sher has been researching her family for about 45 years, since long before Find My Past and Ancestry were ever thought of.  She has written many books about the history of the area where she lives (and other places), as well as a family history for one branch of her […]


Linda Corupe

Linda Corupe, U.E., has authored over 50 books on genealogy and history over the past 40 years. The descendant of a United Empire Loyalist from the Napanee, Ontario area, her early publications mainly concerned the Quinte area. More recently, however, she has expanded her focus to include records from all […]

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Pooran Bridgelal

Pooran Bridgelal is a Trinidadian born genealogist, researcher, author, and speaker residing presently in Toronto, Canada. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A. (Hons) in Caribbean Studies, Religion and Aboriginal Studies. Pooran has spearheaded genealogy lectures in the UK, Toronto, and Trinidad. Several genealogy corporations such as […]

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Lynn Palermo

Lynn Palermo is a seasoned writing and accountability coach who specializes in helping family historians transform their research into engaging and shareable narratives. Known widely as the ‘Armchair Genealogist’, Lynn brings 15 years of rich experience in coaching countless students through her signature writing programs offered at the Family History […]


Gwyneth Pearce

Gwyneth Pearce, BA, LLB, PLCGS (she/her) is an Ontario lawyer with a passion for family history. She has spent more than 30 years doing legal research and writing legal publications in the area of poverty law. Gwyneth has earned certificates through the International Institute of Genealogical Studies (formerly National Institute […]


Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson is a professional genealogist and educator who specializes in genetic genealogy and researching personal family archives. He uses genetic and traditional genealogical research methods, combined with a deep understanding of information technology and analysis, to help his clients shed light on their family histories and mysteries. Mark is […]


Pamela Vittorio

Pamela Vittorio is a historian, professional genealogist, and an Associate Teaching Professor (Research & Writing) in the English Language Studies Dept./Parsons School of Design, at the New School University, in NYC. She holds an M.A. from NYU, a genealogical research certificate from B.U. and a PLCGS in Canadian Studies and […]


Johanne Gervais

Johanne Gervais worked for over 25 years at various large companies in Montreal, Québec implementing computer business systems. She has her own company, Quebec Family Search (, providing research assistance in heir searches and tracing families in Québec back to their country of origin. She does contract work for various […]


Arun Konanur

Arun Konanur is an avid genealogist based in London, Ontario. In 2020 he founded Discovering New Ancestors (, to bring the methodologies developed in the course of his own investigations to bear upon the challenges faced by others, and to develop new tools to facilitate further investigations in genetic genealogy. […]

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Jane MacNamara

Jane E. MacNamara, Toronto, is a long-time member of the Ontario Genealogical Society. She teaches courses for Toronto Branch OGS and runs its websites. A familiar speaker at many OGS branches and other organizations, she also provides guidance through her blog As a graphic designer, she helps others tell […]


Sunny Morton

Sunny Jane Morton is known internationally for her astute comparative analyses of major genealogy websites and inspiring historical storytelling strategies. She is a longtime Contributing Editor at Family Tree Magazine (US); Content Manager at; past contributor to Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems Podcast; and contributor to the blog at […]


Ken McKinlay

Ken McKinlay’s foray into his family tree research started with three simple family stories that he wanted to confirm or refute. He has now been researching his family tree for over 20 years and discoveries are still being made. He has given talks for branches of Ontario Ancestors, the British […]


Daniel Horowitz

Dedicated to Genealogy since 1986, Daniel was the teacher and the study guide editor of the family history project “Searching for My Roots” in Venezuela for 15 years. He was a board member of The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) for 10 years, now is involved in several crowdsource digitization […]


Dave Obee

Dave Obee is the honorary librarian and archivist at the University of Victoria, which also awarded him an honorary doctorate for his work as a journalist, historian and genealogist. He is the editor and publisher of the Times Colonist newspaper in Victoria, and is the author of twelve books, including guides to […]


Dennis Scott

Dennis owns and operates a business-consulting firm where he provides consulting services for recruitment, executive coaching and strategic planning.  As a principal in the firm, Dennis’ lifelong focus for finding the positive in all situations shines through with clients and colleagues alike.  Dennis has applied this philosophy to his role […]


Mary Crosby

Mary Crosby, MBA is the newsletter editor for the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society’s AAHGS News, a national quarterly publication. Mary is also the founder and editor of, a gospel music industry website. She is active locally as a member of the Detroit-based Fred Hart Williams Genealogical Society and […]


Stephen Young

Stephen, a native of London, Ontario, has been actively researching his family history for 45 years in the province where his paternal lines resided for five generations, first arriving in Toronto in the 1830s. He earned a BA at Brigham Young University in Family and Local History (1985), and an […]


Drew von Hasselbach

Drew von Hasselbach is a lawyer and journalist who has been doing genealogical research for more than 30 years. He received a Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies from the National Institute of Genealogical Studies in October 2022.   Drew has experience researching records in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Germany, and Eastern […]


Kelli Bergheimer

Kelli Bergheimer is a writer, teacher, editor, and international genealogical speaker. Kelli holds a Bachelor’s in Biology, a Master’s in Education: Curriculum and Instruction, and a Master’s in Business Management. Kelli is the Director of Curriculum and Assessments for a K-12 textbook company. She also works as a DNA researcher and report […]


Michael Nettleton

Michael Nettleton is an avid family historian with a flair for research and a penchant for storytelling. His forebears began migrating to North America over 400 years ago, blazing trails as pioneers, publishers, provisioners, publicans, postmasters, public officeholders and pot-stirrers. For more than two decades he has been following their […]

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James F.S. Thomson

James Thomson has designed and led many Toronto Branch OGS courses, as well as giving presentations at workshops, conferences and meetings of Toronto Branch, the OGS (including five previous OGS conferences), BIFHSGO, JGS Toronto, and other organizations and groups. James is a University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies instructor, […]


Mags Gaulden

Mags Gaulden is a genetic genealogist based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She has dedicated decades to researching family histories and exploring the role of genetics in genealogy. Born and raised in the United States, Mags developed an early interest in family history and genealogy. She started researching her own family […]


David Bruce McCowan

As a kid, Bruce McCowan enjoyed looking through his grandmother McCowan’s stash of Scarborough history – an old scrapbook, a family photograph album and so on. But he only took a history course up to grade 10.  Sporting a Canadian flag on his backpack and hitchhiking in the UK in 1974, he told a […]


Janice Nickerson

Professional genealogist Janice Nickerson loves a good challenge whether it’s identifying elusive ancestors, tracking disappearing descendants or telling richer family stories. In addition to helping her private clients discover the richness of their ancestral heritage, Janice does heir searching, writes and lectures on a variety of genealogical topics. Her specialties […]