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TGP 46 – Melinde Lutz Byrne

Featured Guest

Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG, FASG

Melinde Lutz Byrne

Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG, FASG, is immediate past president of the American Society of Genealogists (elected 1993), and has been credentialed by the Board for Certification of Genealogists since 2010 (no. 1001). Trained as a cultural anthropologist (China, pre-Mao), invertebrate paleontologist, and archivist, she has written over fifty books and numerous articles. Her specialties have been identifying women’s maiden names and naming the 200 Africans in Massachusetts Bay Colony before 1680. This year is her fortieth as a practicing genealogist.

In 1976 she began research on a Midwestern family with a pattern of twins and triplets. In 1985, after a year as a stringer for Blake and Blake, Genealogists, she coined the term “forensic genealogy” research services. She became interested in forensic cold cases in 1990, took on apprentices, and continued historical work with, among other things, Robert Charles Anderson’s Great Migration Study Project. In 1992 she submitted research to Mary Claire King and Tom Roderick in early mtDNA lineage studies and through 2015 served on the now quiescent genetic genealogy standards committee.

Melinde has been editor of three state journals and president of four societies. She has served as co-chair of NERGC, Genealogy Symposium day for ALA, and a program chair for the Northwest Chapter of American Archivists. She is a graduate of the 2007 NIGR (now Gen-Fed). She teaches forensic genealogy for Boston University and a graduate genealogy practicum for Excelsior College. In 2011 she trained with Betty Pat Gatliff to do forensic facial reconstruction and learn why two artists had created such different images of her 1971 NH Jane Doe. She continues to work with cold case law enforcement on naming the unknown dead.

Currently, Melinde is Program Director for Boston University’s genealogy offerings in their Center for Professional Education; Program Director for Excelsior College’s genealogy offerings in their Center for Professional Development; and co-editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

Contact Links

Website – Center for Professional Development at Excelsior College

Website – Boston University Online Genealogical Research Program

Other Links   

New England Historic Genealogical Society

The American Genealogist (TAG)

National Genealogical Society Quarterly

The Great Migration Study Project

Lost Babes: Fornication Abstracts from Court Records, Essex County, Massachusetts, 1692-1745 by Melinde Lutz Byrne

American Society of Genealogists

The Donald Lines Jacobus Award

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

If [you] haven’t already taken a class, I would say take a class. If you have taken a class and you’re not a member of a society, join the society.

Recommended Book

Hannah’s Heirs: The Quest for the Genetic Origins of Alzheimer’s Disease by Daniel A. Pollen


“Take a class.

Action Item

For our action item today, it’s an easy one. I want you to take a class or a whole course. Don’t just research the possibilities, actually take a class. Before you start protesting, for this reason or that, there are lots of free online classes. If you can listen to this podcast then you have the ability to take a class. At the very least watch a free webinar.  There are lots of free webinars and you can watch them right from your smart phone. Go to the Geneawebinars.com website and you’ll see the full listing of them there.

Direct link to this post: http://www.thegenealogyprofessional.com/melinde-lutz-byrne/

TGP - 46 -Melinde Lutz Byrne


The call for presentations for the 2017 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree has been extended to September 2, 2016. This Call for Presentations pertains to the Jamboree conference, the SCGS Genetic Genealogy conference and the workshops, as well as the 2017 Jamboree Extension Series webinar program. Speakers must submit proposals through the online portal which can be found at http://2017callforpresentations.questionpro.com/

Many people might not know that there is always an open submission for Legacy Family Tree Webinars on their website. The live presentations are scheduled annually at this time of year but proposals are also welcome and considered for recorded member-only presentations. Go to familytreewebinars.com and scroll to the bottom of the front page to find the speaker webinar submission link.

Another Legacy news item – the Board for Certification of Genealogists has formed a partnership with Legacy Family Tree Webinars to host and produce future BCG webinars. Members of Legacy Family Tree Webinars will have access to the BCG recordings. The BCG webinars are held on the third Tuesday of the month when scheduled. The next webinar will be on September 20th and Rick Sayre will present Finding Evidence of Kinship in Military Records.

The APG Professional Management Conference is coming up at the end of September. It will be held at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It’s going to be a terrific professional learning and networking experience. There’s still time sign up. Just head over to http://www.apgen.org/conferences for more information.

During the interview we discussed the genealogy program at Excelsior College. There are new classes both in Genetic Genealogy and the Practicum in Genealogical Research starting on September 6, 2016. The deadline for enrollment is coming up on August 31st.

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