Minnesota Genealogical Society Logo 1385 Mendota Heights Road
Suite 100
Mendota Heights, MN  55120-1367
(651) 330-9312
Minnesota Genealogical Society

2019 North Star Conference Breakout Session speakers

Kim Ashford
Kim Ashford has a degree in Family History from Brigham Young University and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She is a board member of the Germanic Genealogy Society and the International German Genealogy Partnership.
Association of Professional Genealogists
The Northland Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists was formed in 2010. The chapter promotes the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in the genealogical field and offers opportunities to network, learn and grow as professionals.
Alice Eichholz, CG
Alice Eichholz, Ph.D., CG is a nationally known family history researcher, writer, adult educator, genetic genealogist, and faculty emerita at Walden University. She is known for her publication: Ancestry’s Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources.
J.H. Fonkert, CG
Jay Fonkert will never be finished researching Norwegian Morstads, Swedish Falks, Dutch Fonkerts, German Rombkes, English Tidballs, and Kentucky Fawkners. He has lectured in a dozen states, taught at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and published more than 75 research and teaching articles.
Shirleen Hoffman
Shirleen Hoffman is a professional genealogical researcher and instructor. She is vice president of the Minnesota Genealogical Society and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She currently serves as APG Northland Chapter Liaison. Shirleen has published articles in several genealogical publications.
Robert Johnson, CG
Bob Johnson is an attorney who holds the Certified Genealogist® credential. As a professional genealogist, he has specialized in Nordic, Germanic, and U.S. genealogical research for more than forty years. He has studied in Sweden and is active in many genealogical societies.
Bert Jones
Bert Jones is a graphic designer and photographer and a past Director of MGS. He is the current MGS Marketing & Communications Chair. Bert has been passionate about collecting family stories and charting his family history since he was very young. He enjoys finding new tech tools to keep his research efficient and easily accessible. Bert is also the co-host of the Super Chunky Podcast.
Nathan Machula
Nathan Machula is a professional genealogist in Salt Lake City, specializing in German, Scots-Irish, and DNA research. He has researched his family for 25 years, earned degrees in history and engineering from the University of Minnesota, and attended 11 week-long courses at GRIP, SLIG, and IGHR.
David Moberly
In a former life, David C. Moberly presented lectures on Shakespeare at conferences in Vancouver, London, and across the US. Based in St. Paul, he is a professional genealogist and a blogger at The Handwritten Past. He specializes in Civil War, immigrant, and genetic genealogy research.
Tommy Platek
Tommy Platek is a two-time Upper Midwest Regional Emmy recipient for his work on documentary shorts about preserving family and cultural history. He runs his own business, TP Productions, and helps families capture and preserve the stories told by their loved ones.
David Rencher, CG, AG
David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA is the Chief Genealogical Officer of FamilySearch. He is the course coordinator for the Irish genealogy course at the Institute for Historical and Genealogical Research, and he is an instructor for British Institute, sponsored by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History, which he serves as vice-president. He is a past-president and a current director of the Federal of Genealogical Societies and the Utah Genealogical Association. David is a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association and the Irish Genealogical Research Society, London. He has a B.A. in Family and Local History from Brigham Young University.
Tom Rice, CG
Tom Rice, CG®, is a professional genealogical researcher, lecturer and writer. He is a past director of MGS, a past officer and director of the Irish Genealogy Society International, managing editor of the IGSI journal, The Septs, and a Minnesota Historical Society genealogy help desk volunteer.
Allison Spies, MLIS
Allison Spies, MLIS, is a professional archivist and family history enthusiast. As Archives Program Manager for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, one of her favorite duties is helping to connect individuals to their personal heritage through research with Catholic records.
Kristie Strum
By day, Kristie Strum is a 20-year State of Minnesota employee, whose current responsibilities include policy analysis and administering state aid programs. She has been a member of the Minnesota Genealogical Society’s Board of Directors since April 2016 and currently serves as secretary. Kristie has a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota and earned Boston University’s Certificate in Genealogical Studies in the fall of 2011. Kristie is also the co-host of the Super Chunky Podcast.
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG
Paula Stuart-Warren is a genealogical and historical researcher, lecturer, and coach. Her specialties include unusual records, analysis, research planning, problem-solving, manuscript and archival repositories, railroads, and Native American genealogy. She is an instructor at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and a former board member of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and MGS.
Cathi Weber
Cathi Weber has researched her family for more than 40 years. She started her business to tach classes and help others with their research. She is president of the Anoka County Genealogical Society. She has researched and compiled a number of charts and books for family, friends, and clients.

CG is a service mark for Certified Genealogist®, a registered trademark of the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

PLCGS is a post-nominal awarded by the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (Canada).