Author Cathy O’Neil to discuss how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. Saturday, September 26
Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch will be closed Tuesday, September 29 due to the Presidential debate.

Cleveland Public Library Presents Family History Day 2019


June 29th, 2019
Main Library, Louis Stokes Wing

Don’t miss Cleveland Public Library’s first genealogy and local history conference! Choose from 16  genealogy workshops and presentations.


Meet The Presenters

AbbottDeborah A. Abbott, Ph.D

Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D. is a professional genealogist specializing in genealogical methodology, manuscript collections, and African American family research. She is a Trustee on the Board of the Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS), a member of the Cuyahoga County Ohio Archives Advisory Commission., and a member of the Board of Directors for the Federation of Genealogy Societies (FGS). She is an affiliate with the Kentucky-Tennessee Associates, past president of the African American Genealogical Society, Cleveland, Ohio and a retired professor of Counseling from Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. She holds both the BS and M.Ed. degrees from Tuskegee University in Alabama and the PhD degree from Kent State University in Ohio.


  • An Overlooked Source – Using City Directories at 1:15 in Conference Room E
  • An American Icon – Chef Boyardee at 3:25 in Conference Room B

PortraitCarla Cegielski

Carla Cegielski is a freelance family history researcher specializing in Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and West Virginia research. A former college instructor, Carla began lecturing on various genealogical topics in 2008. She has a special interest in exploring and teaching others about underutilized record collections.


  • Mining for Treasure in the Internet Archives at 11:40 in Conference Room C
  • Lifelong Learning – Enhancing Your Genealogical Skills at 1:15 in Conference Room C

portraitDr. Amanda Epperson

Dr. Amanda Epperson, freelance writer and history instructor at Cuyahoga Community College, has lectured on genealogy and history topics locally, at the Ohio Genealogy Society Conference, and at Family Tree University. She is the author of The Family Tree Scottish Genealogy Guide.

Her work has also been published in history journals and magazines, including Family Tree Magazine and Your Genealogy Today.


  • Who Lived Here? : How to Do a House Genealogy at 11:40 in Conference Room E
  • Who are the People in Your Neighborhood? : Ethnic Communities in Cleveland at 1:15 in Conference Room B
  • “Build a Wall of Brass”-When Your Ancestors Weren’t Wanted at 3:25 in Conference Room E

portraitShamele Jordon

Shamele Jordon is a professional genealogist, producer, writer, and lecturer. Her biographical highlights include: award-winning TV producer of Genealogy Quick Start; 2018 Best Independent Producer, Instructional/Training, presented by Alliance for Community Media; 2017 Learning Award Cammy presented by PhillyCAM, Philadelphia’s public access station; 2019 Lawnside Education Foundation honoree; researcher for the PBS series Oprah’s Roots: African American Lives I and II; NJ State Library grant recipient, researching Civil War Burials in Lawnside, NJ; board member and faculty at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, University of Athens, Ga, former president of the African American Genealogy Group in Philadelphia, workshop volunteer at the Family History Center in Cherry Hill, NJ.


  • Mapping Your Ancestors at 11:40 in the Learning Commons
  • Reconstructing 19th Century Lives : Antebellum to Reconstruction at 2:20 in the Learning Commons

portraitPeggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG, FOGS

Peggy is the author of several Legacy QuickGuides on Appalachia, she is an instructor at Ancestry Academy, Family Tree University, and columnist for Reminisce magazine. Peggy was named Fellow of the Ohio Genealogical Society and is the 2018 recipient of the Laura G. Prescott Award for Exemplary Service to Professional Genealogy. She is a full-time remote researcher for Ancestry specializing in Appalachia and the Mid-South.


  • Dearly Departed…Planning an Effective Cemetery Trip at 3:25 in Conference Room C

mortonSunny Morton

Sunny Jane Morton is an internationally-known genealogy educator. She is a Contributing Editor at Family Tree Magazine and past Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems Podcast. Sunny is especially known for expertise in tracing U.S. ancestors; her unique comparisons of the industry’s largest websites; and inspiring presentations on how to reconstruct and tell meaningful stories from the past. Sunny is the author of Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy, Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites, now in its 2nd edition, and the forthcoming How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records: A Genealogist’s Guide(Genealogical Publishing), co-authored with Harold Henderson, CG. She is the Co-Editor of Ohio Genealogy News and winner of the prestigious NGS Newsletter Competition (2017) and writing awards from the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors. She blogs at and holds degrees in history and humanities from Brigham Young University.


  • Comparing the Genealogy Giants at 11:40 in Conference Room B
  • Reconstruct Your Ancestors’ Neighborhood at 2:20 in Conference Room E

portraitTimothy N. Pinnick

Tim is a book author, article writer, and national speaker with more than 35 years overall research experience including all the major U.S. repositories. Since 2008 he has been an associate instructor in the biennial “Researching African American Ancestors” course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. He is at the intersection of history and genealogy having presented historical papers at 4 large conferences. Tim has served on the boards of the Association of Professional Genealogists and Federation of Genealogical Societies, and currently is serving as a director with the Genealogical Speakers Guild.


  • Newspaper Research Imperatives at 1:15 in the Learning Commons
  • Maximizing Your Reach: Research in University Libraries at 2:20 in Conference Room C
  • Examining African American Migrations at 3:25 in the Learning Commons