15th Annual North Star Genealogy Conference
7-8 October 2022
Pre-Conference 6 October
Visit the Registration page for more information!
Schedule, speaker bios, session descriptions can all be found on the registration page hub.
Nicka Smith is a professional photographer, speaker, host, consultant, and documentarian with more than 20 years of experience as a genealogist. She has extensive experience in African ancestored genealogy, and reverse genealogy, and is an expert in genealogical research in the Northeastern Louisiana area, and researching enslaved communities. Nicka has diverse and varied experience in media with a background in audio, video, and written communications.
She's appeared on TODAY Show, CNN, MSNBC, was featured on an Emmy winning episode of the series Who Do You Think You Are, and has been interviewed by Oakland Tribune, The Undefeated, National Geographic, and TIME. She is the host of BlackProGen LIVE, an innovative web show with more than 125 episodes focused on people of color genealogy and family history. She is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, a member of two lineage societies (Sons and Daughters of the Middle Passage (SDUSMP) and the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)), and a past board member of the California Genealogical Society (CGS) and the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California (AAGSNC).
Nicka served as the chair of the Outreach and Education Committee for AAGSNC, and is the former project manager for the Alameda County, CA Youth Ancestral Project where more than 325 youth were taught the value of family history. Additionally, Nicka is the family historian and lead researcher for the Atlas family of Lake Providence, East Carroll, Louisiana, and guides and coaches an active group of family historians at the Who is Nicka Smith Patreon community.
Billie Stone Fogarty, M.Ed.
Billie Stone Fogarty has been active in advancing genealogical research and open records access on all levels from local, national, and even international. She has served as president of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Genealogical Speakers Guild, and the Oklahoma Genealogical Society, regent for her DAR chapter, state liaison for the Records Preservation and Access Coalition (RPAC), and as a state-wide elected board member for the Oklahoma Historical Society. She was selected as the recipient of the Grahame T. Smallwood Jr Award of Merit in 2020 for her personal commitment and outstanding service to APG.
An avid genealogist since 1979, Billie’s genealogical experience spans more than 40 years. While the advances, speed, and conveniences of the internet are wonderful, she values the experiences of on-site research in hundreds of cemeteries, courthouses, libraries, and archives. Her work as a full-time professional genealogist has brought amazing and unexpected experiences and surprises.
A frequent speaker at national and state genealogy conferences, her background as an educator shows through in her passion for leading others to discover their own family history. She has taught genealogical principles and research methods to learners of all ages and by a variety of means from writing lessons and books to recording presentations and appearing on live radio and television programs.
Treat yourself to your own DIY at-home banquet while J.H. "Jay" Fonkert speaks about "Genealogy Gems in Unexpected Records: Fonkert's Favorites" and add your virtual applause for MGS service and achievement award winners. Snap a picture of your home banquet and share it on social media, and tag #VirtualNorthStar2022.
Can't make it to the conference? No problem! All our videos will be on-demand until October 31!
And of course Door Prizes and more are in store for you at the MGS North Star Genealogy Conference!