Historian and folklorist, Georges Arsenault is a native of Abram-Village, Prince Edward Island


Historian and folklorist, Georges Arsenault is a native of Abram-Village, Prince Edward Island. He holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from Université de Moncton and a Master’s degree in Folklore Studies from Université Laval. He has published extensively on the folklore and history of the Acadians of Prince Edward Island. Arsenault also has a keen interest in Acadian genealogy as well as in family and local history. Although he writes mainly in French, he has published several articles in English in The Island Magazine and in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, and his major work on Acadian history was translated and is entitled The Island Acadians 1720-1980.

One of Georges’ latest articles, co-written with historian, Earle Lockerby, was published in Les Cahiers de la Société historique acadienne. It is entitled “Les Acadiens à l’île Saint-Jean et aux îles de la Madeleine dans les années 1760”, and is a detailed study of the Acadians present in Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Islands in the 1760s according to lists which were recently discovered.

From 1977 to 1982, Georges Arsenault worked as a cultural officer for the Saint Thomas Aquinas Society (PEI’s main Acadian and Francophone Society) and then became Visiting Professor in Acadian Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island for three years.

From 1986 to 2003, he was the host of Radio-Canada’s morning radio show for Prince Edward Island. He now works as a freelancer and lives in Charlottetown.

Georges is the president of the Sister Antoinette DesRoches Historical Society, a member of the board of the Société Promotion Grand-Pré, and of the Commission de l’Odyssée acadienne. He is also the president of the Arsenault Family Reunion to be held in 2019 during the 6th Congrès mondial acadien.

For his work, Georges Arsenault has received a number of distinctions, among them: Order of Prince Edward Island (2003); Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the Governement of France (2003); Honorary Doctorat of Law from the University of Prince Edward Island (2005) and Order of Canada (2016).

Georges will be presenting two sessions at the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit about Acadian ancestry: The Odyssey of Pierre Poirier/Perry During the Acadian Great Upheaval”, and What does Samuel Holland’s survey tell us about the presence of Acadians on the Island before and after the 1758 Deportation?”



    Dr. Isaac Saney is Director of the Transition Year Program at Dalhousie University

Dr. Isaac Saney is Director of the Transition Year Program at Dalhousie University, the ground-breaking program established in 1970 to redress the barriers and injustices that Mi’kmaq, other First Nations/Aboriginal and African Nova Scotian learners face when undertaking post-secondary education. He is also an adjunct professor of history at Saint Mary’s University.  His teaching and scholarship encompasses Africa, the Caribbean, the U.S. Civil Rights Movement Cuba, and Black Nova Scotian history. He is a longtime community activist and participant in the anti-war movement and the anti-racist struggle, and is the co-chair and National Spokesperson for the Canadian Network on Cuba.

Dr. Saney holds a PhD in History from the School of Oriental & African Studies – University London, a premiere world centre for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He is the author of the acclaimed book Cuba: A Revolution in Motion, and is currently finishing another book manuscript, Africa’s Children Return: Cuba, the War in Angola and the End of Apartheid. Dr. Saney’s roots lie in the Black Nova Scotian community and the Caribbean.

Dr. Saney will be presenting “Striving for Freedom: The Black Loyalist Sierra Leone Migration and the African Nova Scotia Struggle for Self-Determination” at the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit, on Saturday, October 14, 2017.



Dr. Patricia Roberts-Pichette volunteered to help the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa/Library and Archives Canada indexing projects of home children documents.

In 2001, Dr. Patricia Roberts-Pichette volunteered to help the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa/Library and Archives Canada indexing projects of home children documents. She could hardly foresee that participating in what became known as the Middlemore project, would virtually take over her life. Sixteen years later, after coordinating the production of the nominal Middlemore index for the BIFHSGO website with the help of about 50 volunteers, and writing and speaking on Middlemore aspects nationally and internationally, her book Great Canadian Expectations: The Middlemore Experience on John T. Middlemore and his agency, was published in November 2016 and is available through Global Genealogy.

Dr Roberts-Pichette will be giving three talks at the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit:

“Finding Your Home Child Ancestor Who Settled in the Maritimes”, “What John T. Middlemore’s Home Children Left Behind in Birmingham, England” on Saturday, October 14th and The Impact of John T. Middlemore’s Decision to Settle Home Children around Fredericton, New Brunswick from 1885 to 1891″ on Sunday October 15th



Mags is a Professional Genealogist specializing in Genetic Genealogy as founder of Grandma’s Genes in Ottawa. She is also a Leader with WikiTree

Mags Gaulden is a Professional Genealogist specializing in Genetic Genealogy as founder of Grandma’s Genes in Ottawa. Growing up in a family full of family historians, Mags was primed to become a Genealogist. After earning her Bachelors Degree from Columbia College, she began to work her own Genealogy as a “hobby”. This 16 (or 30 with breaks) year “hobby” eventually lead her to a Leader role with WikiTree where she currently leads the DNA Project as well as others.

Mags travels and lectures on and currently produces and hosts weekly LiveCasts for WikiTree.

She will be presenting An African-Canadian Family History Mystery” on Sunday October 15th. 





Louis Kessler is a programmer and a genealogist.

Louis Kessler is a programmer and a genealogist. He developed the genealogy software Behold and built the

GenSoftReviews site where genealogists go to rate and review their software. In 2016, Louis got into DNA in a big way and developed his Double Match Triangulator program for autosomal DNA analysis which won third prize in this year’s RootsTech Innovator Showdown.

Louis will be giving two talks at the Conference:

How to Best Use DNA Tests for your Genealogy Research  on both Saturday October 14 and Sunday October 15 and Using Autosomal DNA Analysis to Help Find Your Relatives  on Sunday October 15.









is a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies,

Cheryl Levy, PLCGS, is a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, having earned Professional Learning Certificates for Methodology and Canadian Records, and is currently pursuing courses in the Professional Development Certificate to further expand her research skills. She has also completed courses in the Facilitator of Adult Learning Certificate from Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario.

Researching her family history since the 1970s, Cheryl has discovered many fascinating stories about her ancestors and their place in history. Her passion for genealogy continued to grow into a desire to help others discover their own forgotten family connections through her family history research business, Footprints to Heritage.

Cheryl’s genealogical research interests include the Quinte region of Ontario, in particular, Hastings and Prince Edward counties, Loyalist research, and British Home Children.

Cheryl’s ancestral roots are in Nova Scotia with ancestors originating from Scotland, England, Germany, and France, including Foreign Protestant founding families of Lunenburg, Colonial New England Planters, Scots-Irish Cobequid Planters of Truro, Loyalist to Shelburne, two British Redcoats, as well as other settlers.

Cheryl is a member of several genealogy groups and societies, including the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia, the South Shore Genealogical Society, and Quinte Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, where she holds the executive positions of Webmaster and Social Media Coordinator. She enjoys presenting lectures and workshops, and is actively involved on social media for genealogy. Cheryl is married with two grown sons and three grandchildren.

Cheryl’s session about immigration and migration, Taking Root in a New Land will be presented at this year’s Summit on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia.



Christine is a member of the Société historique des Filles du Roy,

From a young age, Christine Landry Matamoros was introduced to volunteering in all spheres of her rural village in Eastern Ontario. Digitizing the cemetery’s registry and participating in the landscaping, and burial ceremonies brought Christine ever closer to her community.

Creatively sharing family knowledge has now motivated Christine to initiate workshops on family pioneers in her area.  She has strived to connect historians with local residents to bring family stories to the forefront. Once uncovered, these family stories are preserved through various media like quilting or as wild as the participant’s inspiration.

A graduate from Glendon Campus, York University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies with a History Major, Christine researched rural development by comparing death records of the late 19th century of her Eastern Ontario community.  The disparity Christine found between the French and English-speaking communities for infant mortality encouraged her to continue sharing her passion to understand social issues through history.

Fluent in French, English and Spanish, Christine has interpreted a 17th century French pioneer as a member of the Société d’histoire des Filles du Roy. Her passion for genealogy was rekindled when she was introduced to matrilineal genealogy. Christine left her family’s construction business to join the diverse group of passionate genealogists by specializing in tracing French Canadian ancestry in Ontario, Quebec and the northern state of New York.

Christine will be sharing her knowledge of Acadian family history through her presentation Acadian Bastion in Canada West? at this year’s upcoming Great Canadian Genealogy Summit in October at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia.



Brian is a member of the New England Genealogy and Historical Society, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, and the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.

Brian was born on the naval base in Esquimalt, BC, but raised in Ontario and Nova

Scotia before attending Carleton University, where he received an Honours Degree in History and Political Science with post-graduate work in International Affairs (Economics). His first career was working on strategic planning and funding for

heritage non-profits, becoming the Director of Heritage Services and Senior

Planning Advisor at the Department of Canadian Heritage. A quarter of his time was in the field working directly with clients, including a number of Mi’kmaq, Malasett, Acadian and Black heritage projects throughout the Maritimes – meaning he has travelled to every corner of Canada. Brian co-developed the first book in the world on museum planning and co-authored a review of Indian museums of North America for the Smithsonian.

Brian is a member of the New England Genealogy and Historical Society, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, and the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa. Genealogical research has taken him to major research centres such as the Family History Center in Salt Lake City, the NEGHS library in Boston, and The Genealogical Society Library in London, England, plus numerous smaller archives. His primary focus has been the United Kingdom and early New England.

His most recent project, on behalf of a British estate executor, was the creation of a family tree to identify those represented in over two dozen historical portraits from the past 300 years of his client’s family, and identifying any remaining family lines who might inherit them.

Brian will be speaking on New England Planters & Loyalists on Sunday October 15th.



Betty Dobson has been a genealogist since 1990, beginning as an amateur and becoming a professional in 2014.

A lifelong Nova Scotian, Betty has deep roots in the province. Her ancestry encompasses a variety of cultural backgrounds, including English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, French, German, and Mi’kmaq.

As part of the Yorkshire 2000 planning committee, Betty helped organized a multi-family reunion in Sackville, New Brunswick, in July/August 2000. She established Heritage Writer in 2014 and the affiliated Family Tree and Me in 2016.

Betty will be presenting “The Forgotten Loyalists of Guysborough County” on Saturday, October 14, 2017.





He is a member the Alberta Family Histories Society, as a director and also chair of the computer group.

Jim’s interest in family history started back when his mother had to downsize from her home to a residence and he inherited the trunk-full of family photos and the dog-eared family history book. Having a spare weekend, he decided to key in the family tree into the computer and just scan and file away the photos. Just how hard can that be? Some fifteen years later and he is still plugging away, finding more relatives to dig up.

He is a member of his local genealogy group, the Alberta Family Histories Society, as a director and also chair of the computer group. As well, he is a member of the Guild of One-Name Studies, a global organization whose purpose is to promote and to preserve studies of surnames.

Jim is a native Calgarian, born there in 1944 of parents Winnie and Albert. His dad was also born in Calgary and his grandfather came out from Ontario in 1903. For most of his life, Jim has worked in the electrical engineering profession, working on power generation plants, propane terminals, aerospace satellites and Canadian Arctic facilities. In the past three decades, he has owned and managed a software company specializing in rail fleet management services.

Jim has been married to Joan for 47 years and counting. They have one son, Jason, married with two children. Jim has been a very happy grandfather for a dozen years now.

Jim is giving two presentations at the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit: The Twisted Thread on Saturday October 14 and A Dark and Stormy Night on Sunday October 15th.



Christine Woodcock is a genealogy educator with an expertise in the Scottish records. She began researching her family history following the death of her mother and grandmother who were the storytellers of the family. Christine’s mother was one of 21 children and although Christine and her parents emigrated to Canada when Christine was quite young, she grew up immersed in Scottish culture. Every summer saw family visiting from Scotland. Her home was the gathering place for fun, card games, parties, celebrations and Hogmanay. Christine was completely immersed in Scottish culture as her parents were keen to maintain as much of their heritage as they could.

Christine’s foray into genealogy was putting together a family history book, a record of her grandfather’s 349 descendants. This has become a treasured heirloom in the family. She also edited a family newsletter for 11 years to keep the family connected throughout the world. Currently she is the editor and webinar co-ordinator for the International Society of British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH)

When not organizing genealogy research tours to Scotland, Christine lectures on Scottish genealogy, hosts webinars, authors blogs and articles. She also writes and instructs courses on Scottish genealogy. She has recently authored a special Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors issue magazine for Moorshead

Along with her business partner, Kathryn Lake Hogan, Christine is one of the co-organizers for the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit, a weekend genealogy conference featuring Canadian Genealogy Speakers.

Christine is well connected in the Scottish Canadian Community. She is a member of the Scottish Ancestral Tourism Group (Scotland), a member of the Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada (CASSOC) and will be hosting the Scottish North American Leadership Conference in Guelph in 2017.

Christine will be giving two presentations at the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit:

From the Highland and Islands to Canada and Military Men, Covenanters and Jacobites: Historic Events that Led to Mass Emigration. Both presentations are on Saturday, October 14th.



It all started when Ontario native, Kathryn Lake Hogan, UE, PLCGS, wanted the girls in her local Girl Guide group to learn about their heritage. Why not teach them about researching their family history? To do so, Kathryn first had to learn how to research her own Canadian, English and Welsh ancestry.

That was over 18 years ago, and today, Kathryn is an author, educator, speaker and professional genealogist specialising in finding your ancestors in Canada. She is the owner of the Canadian-based genealogy business, Looking4Ancestors.

The author of Digging Your Canadian Roots, as well as fifteen mini-research guides featuring Canadian genealogy, Kathryn has also written articles for FamilyTree magazine, and The In-Depth Genealogist.

Kathryn is the past Dominion Genealogist of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, and a past Director-at-Large with the Association of Professional Genealogists. Currently, she is the Canadian virtual chat coordinator with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, as well as one of the founding partners of The Great Canadian Genealogy Summit. Kathryn continues to lecture about Canadian and Loyalist research throughout Canada and the United States.

Kathryn will be presenting her 2-hour Loyalist workshop at the Summit on Friday, October 13, 2017.