Walter W. Woodward is the fifth person to hold the position of State Historian, which was created in the 1930s in preparation for Connecticut’s 300th anniversary. The State Historian is appointed by the trustees of the University of Connecticut, and is a faculty member in the UConn Department of History. He or she is also assigned by the legislature to serve on a number of boards and commissions that promote, preserve, and/or research state history. In addition, the Office of the State Historian provides information on historical matters to the media, public, and legislature, and maintains active programs of historical research & public outreach, conducting lectures, programs, and teacher education seminars throughout the state.
Brenda Sullivan has been studying and presenting on the art, history, and symbolism of gravestones for more than 30 years. A lifelong Massachusetts resident, she has spent many hours in graveyards all over the world. An education in Art History and restoration led to the creation of Gravestone Girls from a hobby to a full-time vocation. Gravestone Girls’ mission is to “Keep Our Dead Alive” through educational lectures, tours, classes, and creation of art replicas of New England gravestones. Annually, Brenda works with many libraries, historical societies, genealogy groups, museums, and other institutions nationwide to raise awareness and teach residents what history lies buried in their own back yards.
Marian Burk Wood
Marian Burk Wood is the Connecticut-based author of the Amazon best-selling genealogy book, Planning a Future for Your Family’s Past. A popular genealogy speaker and an active family history blogger (at https://climbingmyfamilytree.blogspot.com), she has used cousin bait to connect with dozens of cousins in the past decade.
Dan got his start in family history at age 10 when my father took me to the grave of my great-grandfather; that sparked a lifetime of interest in family history. Dan has spent the last 25 years researching my own family history and helping others make history a part of their story.
On-Demand Seminar Presenters
Diane MacLean Boumenot holds a B.A. in History and English from Wesleyan University. She co-authored, with Maureen Taylor, the NGS Research in the States volume on Rhode Island and offers genealogical tips and courses on her website, One Rhode Island Family. Diane lectures around New England and on Legacy Family Tree Webinars. She is a graduate of ProGen 28 and coordinator of ProGen 40.
Nora combines her professional work in Connecticut and Irish research and genetic genealogy with activities in local genealogy societies. In her past career as a biologist, Nora worked in laboratory research for a pharmaceutical company and as a high school biology teacher.
Bryna O’Sullivan is a Middletown based professional genealogist and French to English genealogical translator. A graduate of Boston University’s certificate program and holder of a PLCGS from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, she specializes in lineage society applications. She has assisted clients with applications to the Society of the Cincinnati, the Sons of the American Revolution, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and more.
John is a native of Western Massachusetts where he grew up on a farm; attended public schools, and attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he earned his BA in Government/Political Science.
John’s interest in genealogy started at a very young age when his two grandmothers would tell stories about the family. As a twelfth generation New Englander, there were many stories to be told. His Putnam ancestors lived in Salem/Danvers, MA where they were very involved in the Salem Witchcraft incident. John is the past President of the Pikes Peak Genealogical Society and serves as their delegate to the Colorado Council of Genealogical Societies.
Ruth Shapleigh-Brown – Executive Director and founder of the Connecticut Gravestone Network, a non-profit volunteer organization. She has lectured widely throughout CT, and gives tours of the Ancient Burying Grounds in Hartford. She is the recipient of many awards for her work, including from the Daughters of the American Republic, the Society of Colonial Dames, the State of Connecticut and the Forbes Award from the Association of Gravestone studies.