Minnesota Genealogical Society

1385 Mendota Heights Road, Suite 100
Mendota Heights, MN  55120-1367
(651) 330-9312 • info@mngs.org

North Star Speaker Biographies


Amber Oldenburg

Amber Oldenburg is a genealogist and lecturer with a degree in Family History research from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She currently serves as an online instructor in the family history research program at BYU-Idaho. She specializes in United States Midwest research and is currently working toward accreditation in the Great Lakes region.

Bert Jones

Bert Jones is a graphic designer and is the current Marketing & Communications Chair. Bert has been passionate about collecting family stories and charting his family history since he was very young. Bert enjoys finding new tools to keep his research efficient and easily accessible. Bert is also the co-host and producer for the NicEnough Show, Steve & Nicole Show and Co-host of the Super Chunky Podcast.


Brian Rhinehart

Brian Rhinehart is a professional genealogist and speaker, specializing in Civil War and War of 1812 soldiers. A direct descendant of six Civil War soldiers,  Brian has spent countless hours at the National Archives in Washington DC, and has retrieved military files for hundreds of clients there.


Bryna O'Sullivan

Bryna O'Sullivan is a Middletown, CT based professional genealogist and French to English genealogical translator. As proprietor of Charter Oak Genealogy, she specializes in lineage society applications.


Cathi Weber

Cathi Weber has been researching family history since 1978 and has been teaching genealogy classes and helping others with their research for about 25 years. She is a past member of the MGS board and  member of the Anoka County Genealogical Society.


Dannell (Danni) Altman-Newell

Dannell “Danni” Altman-Newell is a native Kansas Citian. She began her family history research at an early age, courtesy of spending summers watching her maternal grandparents indexing at the local Family History Center. Danni is currently employed as Director of Operations at the National Storytelling Network and serves as an enthusiastic volunteer for the National World War I Museum and Memorial. A graduate of ProGen and proud member of OES, DAR, APG, and the APG Heartland Chapter, Danni specializes in the Great War, Fraternal Organization, and Midwest research. She can be contacted at danni@talkingboxgenealogy.com.


Diana Crisman Smith

Experienced researcher, speaker, writer, teacher; current online courses are at Research Write Connect Academy. Numerous articles & columns. Served on the boards of international, state, and local genealogical societies, and has presented to national, state, and local conferences (and at sea).


Elizabeth Williams Gomoll, CG®

Elizabeth Williams Gomoll, CG, is co-editor of the Minnesota Genealogist, past president of the Association for Professional Genealogists Northland Chapter and has served as Director for the Minnesota Genealogical Society. She is a member of several national genealogy societies, and researches professionally as Red Bird Genealogy Services.


J. H. ("Jay") Fonkert, CG®

Jay Fonkert, CG researches Norwegian Morstads, Swedish Falks, German Römbkes, English Tidballs, Kentucky Fawkners, and Dutch Fonkerts. A past president of MGS, he is co-editor of Minnesota Genealogist. He has lectured in a dozen states and has taught at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.


Lauri Jean Swett

Lauri Jean Swett is a presenter, researcher, writer and volunteer.  Member of the Association of Profession Genealogists since 2009. ProGen Study Group graduate. Holds a certificate in written storytelling. Researches in the United States, Canada and Scandinavia.


Nancy E. Loe

Nancy E. Loe, MA, MLS, is a professional archivist, genealogist, and librarian. Her website, sassyjanegenealogy.com, features a blog, newsletter, and ebooks on her specializations: US and European research skills and organizing genealogy research. Nancy has appeared at NGS, Rootstech, and genealogy conferences and webinars in the US, Canada, and Australia.


Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA, FMGS

Genealogical educator, researcher, and consultant on unusual resources, manuscripts, methodology, analyzing records, Midwestern research, and Native American research. Instructor SLIG, GRIP, Ancestry Academy, and seminars nationwide. Volunteer for many organizations including MGS.


Rue Lynn Galbraith

Rue Lynn was reared in Blanding, a small rural town in Southeastern Utah. His interest in genealogy began as a child as he sat on his mother’s lap looking over a large volume of family records.   He began monthly research trips to the old LDS Genealogy Library in Salt Lake City. At the age of fifteen, he was asked to be the Area Genealogy Youth Leader for his church - conducting lessons and speaking at genealogical seminars. His passion for genealogy and family history has continued to the present day. This quest has taken him from the Mormon Colonies in Mexico to the British Colonies of America.

As a Professional Genealogist, he has conducted research in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic States, researched Civil War military records, and delivered lectures on the different aspects of genealogy and Family History. 

Rue Lynn is a graduate of the College of the Royal Academy of Dance, London, England; his subspecialty was in Ballet History.

Rue Lynn is currently the President of the Brandon Area Genealogical and Historical Society, the Secretary of the Florida Genealogical Society, and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

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