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Speaker Bios for GNT

Genealogy Basics: Start Searching for Your Ancestors Today

Irene B. Walters came to Houston Public Library’s Family History Research Center at the Clayton Library Campus from New York in 1997 after receiving her librarian degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  Irene has given talks to many groups on various aspects of genealogical research including: computers, the internet, ancestors in the modern military, using newspapers for your research, passenger list searching, naturalization records, New York State, Irish, and French research.  Irene started her own genealogy research as a teenager and has taken her lines back into France, Ireland and recently Germany.  Her other German line and possible early Dutch ancestors are being more difficult.


Uncover Your Family's Story Using the Periodical Source Index (PERSI)

Elizabeth Hodges, MA, MSLIS, is a historian, former museum educator, and Senior Librarian in the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After receiving her BA in History from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, she pursued a Master’s degree in Irish and Irish American Studies at the New York University while working as an educator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. As a museum educator, Elizabeth’s love for family history grew exponentially through sharing the stories of immigrants, migrants, and refugees who once resided in a historic tenement in lower Manhattan. At the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center, she has helped countless patrons discover their family stories in addition to participating in dozens of speaking engagements . While her specialties and interests lie in Irish migration/immigration, house history, the experiences of immigrant women, and local history, she is always eager to learn and help others find their family’s story.

Linking the Generations with Court and Land Records

The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell is a genealogist with a law degree who provides expert guidance through the murky territory where law and family history intersect. An internationally-known lecturer and award-winning writer, she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist® and Certified Genealogical Lecturer℠ from the Board for Certification of Genealogists®. Her blog is at

Placing Your DNA Matches on Your Tree

Ryan Russell is a genetic genealogist with Open Door Genetics, Break Investigative Group, and United Data Connect. Ryan specializes in using DNA to solve unknown parentage and law enforcement cases. He hopes to play a small part in restoring the world to the way things should be, whether through reuniting families or seeking justice for victims of crimes and their loved ones.

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