The series, initiated in 2007, honors Helen F. M. Leary of North Carolina, Certified Genealogist Emeritus and a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, known for her richly informative and entertaining lectures on methodology, law, writing, and the art of lecturing.

Helen Leary 150x150Throughout her distinguished career, Helen F. M. Leary has worked to educate all serious genealogists. Helen embodies personal and professional work standards that the BCG Education Fund seeks to emulate and to instill in those practicing the art and science of genealogy.

Helen served twenty-three years as a Trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. She served as President from October 1989 to October 1994 and again from October 1998 to October 1999. She designed the certification logos used today by Board-certified associates. With Thomas W. Jones, Helen edited the BCG Genealogical Standards Manual. She developed and coordinated the Professional Genealogy Track at Samford University Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. She was editor and contributing author of North Carolina Research, a unique publication existing only for the state of North Carolina, which provides genealogical research guidance transcending geographical boundaries. Helen wrote several chapters of Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians including the chapter on lecturing. Her extensive scholarly publications include the seminal National Genealogical Society Quarterly study “Sally Heming’s Children: A Genealogical Analysis of the Evidence.” Interviews with Helen are featured in the National Genealogical Society’s popular video series “Paths To Your Past” at


RencherDavidDavid E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS will be the featured speaker at the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2021 family history conference either virtually or in Richmond, Virginia.

David will present "Collaborate for the Best Results in Genealogy."

Whether it's peer review or laying the foundation for excellent conclusions, collaboration expands the opportunities for your best work-it's time to up your game!

David E. Rencher, AG®, CG®, FUGA, FIGRS, Director, Family History Library; Chief Genealogical Officer, FamilySearch, an NGS board member and former president of FGS.