2022-2023 Speaker Series - Speaker Bios

Plan now to join us online for these outstanding live presentations by top genealogy speakers from across the U.S.!
September 6: Jeff Haines
Jeffrey L. Haines is the owner of Haines Research Services. He has worked on his own family history since the 1970s and has over thirty years of professional experience. His ancestors lived in U.S. states from Pennsylvania to Florida and various islands in the West Indies. They came from all walks of life, including a few pirates of the Caribbean!
Mr. Haines was a board-certified genealogist from 1996 to 2019. His educational background includes successful completion of courses offered by the National Genealogical Society and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. He has attended numerous genealogical conferences and workshops, both in this country and abroad.
Jeff wrote the North Carolina volume of the National Genealogical Society's Research in the States series. His articles have been featured in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, OnBoard (published by the Board for Certification of Genealogists), and the North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal. He has spoken at conferences and workshops hosted by the National Genealogical Society, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and numerous state and local societies. He served as Editor of the North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal from 2006 to 2011.
November 1: Sarah Cochran
Sara is a full-time professional genealogist with over twenty-eight years of research experience. Her research has taken her into nearly every State in the USA and Ireland, Italy, Austria, and Britain. She especially enjoys breaking down brick walls for her clients, discovering the stories of black sheep ancestors, and helping individuals preserve their photographic legacy.
Sara holds a Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate, a Bachelor's Degree in Library Science, and is an alumnus of the ProGen Study Group.
She is a member of multiple lineage societies, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the Genealogical Speakers Guild. She also volunteers at the National Archives Riverside office.
You can find her online at TheSkeletonWhisperer.com.
December 6: Paula Perkins
A 6th generation Texan, family history interest began for Paula when parents took her to visit “cousins” and her maternal grandmother shared stories and letters. A genealogy lecturer and genetic genealogist, Paula currently volunteers with TxSGS as District I Representative, Collin County Genealogical Society as eNewsletter Editor, as past President Collin County Genealogical Society, and as FamilyTreeDNA and TXGenWeb volunteer project administrator.
January 3: Cari Taplin, CG®
Cari A. Taplin is related to Roy Rogers. Or at least that’s what her family told her. As a result, finding her true heritage has been her focus since the year 2000. She is a native of Wood County, Ohio but now lives in Longmont, Colorado. Cari holds the Certified Genealogist® credential and has served in a wide variety of volunteer and leadership positions for state, local, and national societies. As the owner of GenealogyPANTS, she provides speaking services. She also lends help and shares her expertise as an administrator on the highly popular Facebook Group “The Genealogy Squad.” Cari currently works for Ancestry ProGenealogists. Cari’s personal research focuses on Midwestern and Great Lakes states. When she’s not working on her genealogy, she is a wife, and a mother of two young adults.
February 7: Debra M. Dudek
Debra M. Dudek is Head of Adult and Teen Services at the Fountaindale Public Library District in Bolingbrook, IL. She holds a post graduate certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic & Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. Ms. Dudek is the Book Review Editor of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, a board member of the Illinois State Historical Society, and is the author of the World War I Research Guide: Tracing American Military and Non-Combatant Ancestors, which will soon be published in its third edition.
March 7: Diane Richard
Diane L. Richard, MEng & MBA, Mosaic Research and Project Management (MosaicRPM), www.mosaicrpm.com, has been doing genealogy research since 1987 and since 2004 professionally focused on the records of North Carolina and southern states. She has authored over 500 articles on genealogy topics. In 2019 she published, Tracing Your Ancestors — African American Research: A Practical Guide, via Moorshead Publications. Since 2016, she has been editor of the North Carolina Genealogical Society (NCGS) Journal.
As a speaker she has delivered webinars and in-person talks about the availability and richness of records documenting southerners, pursuing formerly enslaved ancestors and their descendants, genealogical research tips, techniques, tools and strategies, under-utilized resource collections [online and on-the-ground], and much more. She has appeared on Who Do You Think You Are? (Bryan Cranston episode). She is co-leader of Tar Heel Discoveries, www.tarheeldiscoveries.com, started in 2018, which offers guided North Carolina genealogical research programs providing participants targeted, focused, research assistance leading to new family discoveries.
April 4: Lori Thornton
Lori Thornton, MLS, professional genealogist and academic librarian, resides in Morristown, Tennessee. The Mississippi native specializes in Southern States research and religious records. Lori speaks to librarians and genealogists locally, regionally, and nationally. Her own ancestry includes early New England settlers who migrated to the Midwest, Amish who immigrated to Pennsylvania and beyond, and Southern ancestors.
Lori holds master’s degrees from Cincinnati Bible Seminary and University of Kentucky and studied at Institute for Genealogical Research (IGHR) and Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). She serves as a director for North Carolina Genealogical Society. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, and several state and local societies.
She authored Research in Mississippi in National Genealogical Society’s Research in the States series in 2017. She wrote articles appearing in several genealogical publications. She hosts Zoom genealogy chats twice a month, providing networking opportunities for attendees.
May 2: Kim Richardson
Kim Richardson began her genealogy journey out of her love of family history.  She is passionate about her work as a professional genealogist and enjoys serving the genealogy community by teaching and enabling others to do their own research successfully. She speaks often to genealogists across the country. In her role as a genealogist, she not only helps her clients achieve their own genealogy goals, but she has also researched for various authors and for Finding Your Roots and Who Do You Think You Are?
Richardson lives in Oxford, Mississippi, and graduated from Mississippi State University in 1996 with a BA in Communication. Since then, she has been serving the state of Mississippi, working in highway safety programs and as an advocate for victims of violent crimes.