Conference schedule

Saturday, November 3rd


Doors Open for Registration and Refreshments




Recent Developments in Ukrainian Family Research (Virtual Presentation) by Valentyna Nagy


George and Anna Boyko: A Search for their Ukrainian Home (Virtual Presentation) by Leslie R. Karr

Creating a Lasting Family Storyline: The Role of the Self-Publishing Genealogy Editor by Brian Wilde

11:45-1:30 LUNCH


Galicia and Bukovina Genealogy Research (Virtual Presentation) by Valentyna Nagy


Hands-on Approach to Learning the Cyrillic Alphabets (Session A: 1:30-2:45pm)

by Prof. Jon Shea, AG




Hands-on Approach to Learning the Cyrillic Alphabets (Session B: 3-4:45pm)

by Prof. Jon Shea, AG


Each session is limited to 20 participants, and requires additional fee. Sessions A and B are repeats of each other, and will cover the same material.


Carpathian Ruthenia (Transcarpathia) Genealogy Research (Virtual Presentation) by Valentyna Nagy


Success: Using Social Media and DNA Together by Bruce Romanchak


Closing Remarks


5th Anniversary Dinner (requires additional fee)


Sunday, November 4th


Doors Open for Registration


Welcome to DNA Day


DNA and the Golden Rule: The Law and Ethics of Genetic Genealogy by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

1:15-2:15 LUNCH


Beyond X and Y: The Promise and Pitfalls of Autosomal DNA Testing by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL


A Matter of Standards: DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL


Closing Remarks & Door Prizes


A Matter of Standards: DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard

As a type of genealogical evidence, DNA is both unique and very mainstream. Despite its differences, we also need to apply tried and true genealogical criteria to the use of DNA test results in genealogy in order to meet the Genealogical Proof Standard. This begins with reasonably exhaustive research and incorporates good citation practices, thorough analysis and correlation of data, and resolution of conflicts, all of which are essential if we are to reach a sound conclusion.

Beyond X and Y: The Promise and Pitfalls of Autosomal DNA Testing

Autosomal DNA testing is the new kid on the block. Learn more about this exciting addition to the toolkit of 21st century genealogists. What's in it for you, and how can you make the most of this test?

Carpathian Ruthenia (Transcarpathia) Genealogy Research

Valentyna will present live from Budapest, Hungary about the region of Carpathian Ruthenia (Transcarpathia), which is challenging for research, having been part of many countries – Kingdom of Hungary, Austro-Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union and now Ukraine. It will help those with Carpatho-Rusyn heritage or other ethnic heritage from the region (Jewish, German, Hungarian etc.), to navigate their family research.

Creating a Lasting Family Storyline - The Role of the Self-Publishing Genealogy Editor

The presentation will focus on research results for the ancestral village of Muzylowice, Galicia, Austria Hungarian Empire (current day Muzhlovychi, Ukraine) including a cemetery dedication and reunion in Ukraine (September 2018). Brian will show participants how to create a book from research notes, photos and maps and what it requires to become a self-publishing genealogy editor. There is a fine line between an editor and author. Whereas the author is closest to the ancestor story lines, the family genealogy editor is more a technologist and project manager. The editor’s role will be described in creating content, resolving roadblocks, engaging genealogy experts and publishing an organized and readable end product.

DNA and the Golden Rule: The Law and Ethics of Genetic Genealogy

Whose permission is needed to test a child or an adult unable to consent? Who owns our DNA? What can we disclose about a cousin who has tested? The rules of the road for the ethical challenges facing genealogists interested in using DNA evidence as part of their family history research. Learn how applying the Golden Rule can guide us through many if not most of the situations in which we as genetic genealogists find ourselves.

Galicia and Bukovina Genealogy Research

Valentyna will present live from Budapest, Hungary and will focus on researching ancestors from two historical provinces of Austro-Hungary – Galicia and Bukovina. It will provide a brief historical context, including the religious and ethnic composition of each region, peculiarities of recordkeeping, finding jurisdictions and records, both in archives and online.

George and Anna Boyko — A Search for their Ukrainian Home

Leslie will present live from Belgium on how variations of a simple surname, Boyko makes finding a 1910 immigrant in census & immigration records difficult. Without these records, identifying his Ukrainian origins is also a challenge. Alternative sources create a cluster of individuals indirectly pointing to an area in Ukraine. Common Rochester street addresses thread together the life of the immigrant enabling identification of immigration records and a Ukrainian origin & place of birth.

Recent Developments in Ukrainian Family Research

Valentyna will present live from Budapest, Hungary and will review the evolution of genealogy research in Ukraine since the 1990s, and focus on the new developments in the past years. Valentyna will present the recent legislation changes in archival sphere, in particular, opening of the KGB documents for researching victims of Soviet repressions. She will explain how to access these records, both online and from archives and also review the best new Ukrainian online databases and resources.

Success: Using Social Media and DNA Together

A presentation on the use of group comparisons of autosomal DNA testing and social media to support genealogical research. The presenter has had success in using Facebook to recruit descendants of Lemkos to join a group discussion, share resources and contribute to a DNA database. DNA testing and the use of 3rd party comparison tools has allowed us to identify likely candidates, link family trees and expose non-paternal events.



Hands-on Approach to Learning the Cyrillic Alphabets

This 75-minute workshop will acquaint participants with the letter symbols of the Cyrillic alphabet and the sounds represented by each letter symbol. Everyone will practice writing and pronouncing the sounds. Additionally participants will learn to recognize both printed and cursive versions of the letters and read portions of nineteenth century vital records. Upon completing the workshop those who attended will no longer fear doing research in records written in the languages that utilize this writing system.



Leslie R. Karr, a retired telecommunications executive and professional genealogist, who enjoys the challenge of solving genealogy problems since 2009. He is a Certificate Holder of Boston University's Genealogical Research Certificate Program; a member of Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and National Genealogy Society (NGS); and moderator, NGS Quarterly Study Group A.

Valentyna Nagy is a professional genealogist, specializing in Eastern European research with focus on Ukraine, Hungary, Romania and Russia. She holds a M.A. degree in Central European History from Central European University (Budapest, Hungary) and has worked in probate research and on several occasions served as an expert witness at Surrogate Court hearings in the US. Valentyna is the owner of Kinship Genealogy Research ( based in Budapest, Hungary, where she works on requests from genealogical companies and private clients. She speaks Ukrainian, Russian, English, Hungarian and Romanian.

Bruce Romanchak is a semi-retired educator whose paternal grandparents were Lemko immigrants. His maternal western European grandmother left him an extensive family tree but he had little knowledge of his paternal ancestry. Following a break through three years ago he has made great progress in filling out his Lemko tree, visiting his ancestral villages and meeting ‘cousins’. Presently he spends much of his time helping to manage the Lemko Ancestry & DNA Facebook group. Much of his work is in the area of creating a Lemko DNA database.

A genealogist with a law degree, The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, provides expert guidance through the murky territory where law, history, genealogy and DNA come together.

Prof. Jon Shea, AG a native of New Britain, Connecticut, is a professor of foreign languages in the Connecticut Higher Education System. In addition to being a foreign language educator, Shea is a trained archivist and professional genealogist with specialization in Eastern Europe and Ireland and frequently lectures and presents workshops internationally on the topics of document translation and other linguistic issues, immigration history and European archival resources. He has over twenty years of experience in the field of genealogical research, documenting his own family (with roots in the former provinces of Łomża and Grodno, Poland, and Counties Offaly and Mayo, Ireland) as well as the families of others. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has recognized him as an Accredited Genealogist in the field of Polish research. His most recent publication Going Home: A Guide to Polish-American Family History Research is a comprehensive reference work on genealogical research methodology. He has also co-authored with William Fred Hoffman the three volume series In Their Words: A Genealogist’s Translation Guide, Volume 1: Polish, Volume 2: Russian, Volume 3: Latin and Volume 4: German.

With an interest in keeping family stories alive, Brian Wilde was fortunate to hear firsthand pioneering stories from his Aunt who kept scrupulous genealogy notes on their Galician and Canadian heritage. Applying his technical management background, they were able to create and publish a family genealogy book, which exceeded what each of them could do on their own. And through the process, they became closer as a family. Their family book, "Wilde Genealogy: European and Canadian Heritage 1800-1945" (ISBN: 978-1986355926) was published in March 2018.