East Texas Genealogical Society Photo: Smith Co Family

Family History Fair 2020 Speakers

We have an exciting line-up of speakers for the Family History Fair 2020.  Below are some biographical details.
Click here to return to the Family History Fair 2020 information page.
►♦  David Rencher, Family Search   
David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS, is employed as the Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch. A professional genealogist since 1977, he is one of the rare few who have earned both credentials: Accredited GenealogistCM with ICAPGenSM in Ireland research and Certified Genealogist® with the Board for Certification of Genealogists®. He is the Irish course coordinator and instructor for the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) in Athens, Georgia.

Rencher graduated from Brigham Young University in 1980 with a BA in Family and Local History. He is a past-president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 1997-2000, a national genealogical society umbrella organization, a past-president of the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) 1993-1995 and a Fellow of that organization. He is a fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, London and is a vice-president of the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU). He is the past Chair of the joint Federation of Genealogical Societies, National Genealogical Society and International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies committee for Record Preservation and Access; serves on the board of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and as a trustee for the Umpstead, Jr. and Elizabeth Jemima Philpott Rencher and the Winslow Farr, Sr. Family Organizations. He is a Trustee of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History and an instructor for the British Institute.
►♦  Bob Taylor, The Family History Guide   
Bob Taylor has been actively doing family history for over 25 years. He has combined his passion for genealogy with his background in instructional design to produce a new learning resource for family history—The Family History Guide.

Bob earned his BA degree from Brigham Young University and MA degree from Calif. State University, Los Angeles, both in Music Education. He has been a featured presenter at RootsTech 2016, 2018, and 2019; as well as at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Pikes Peak Library (Colorado) Fair, Riverton FamilySearch Library, UVTAGG, and the BYU Family History Conference, in addition to numerous Family History Fairs in Utah.

A career change led Bob to instructional design and technical writing, where he has worked for large technology corporations such as Novell, Intel, and Western Digital. At Intel University, he redesigned key training courses for employees and managers worldwide, as well as teaching management courses in Washington, Arizona, Oregon, California, and Utah. He has authored many online and written learning systems, helping others accelerate learning in technology, music, and family history.
►♦  Kevin Klaus, Texas General Land Office   
Kevin Klaus developed a love of history from an early age listening to stories told by his Great Grandparents and Grandparents who grew up in East Texas. Over the past 30 years he has collected and researched his own family, using government records, letters, photographs, family Bible information, and stories. Beginning in 1990, he served eight years in the United States Army. In 1998 honorably discharged from the Army in New Mexico, and returned home to Central Texas where he grew up. Kevin has a background in Anthropology, Archaeology, and Public History from the University of New Mexico, and currently working towards becoming a certified genealogist. For the last 14 years he has served as one of the lead researchers in the Texas General Land Office Archives and Records Program Area. During his time at the Land Office he has searched the early Court of Claims files, German Collection and archival collection to learn more about the history of Texas and discover the amazing collection of personal letters of early soldiers and pioneers who helped settle our great state.

Over the last few years he has focused his attention and research on the German Collection and the early German settlers that came to Texas under the Adelsverein in the 1840’s. In the process he has honed his research skills by tracing his own family line that came to America in the late 1800’s. This research is ongoing as he is still sleuthing records in Germany to discover the history of past lives.
►♦  Tami Osmer Mize, Relatively Curious about Genealogy   
Tami Osmer Mize specializes in using new and innovative technology for quality genealogy research and to help simplify and streamline research processes. Her presentations are filled with useful strategies, tips, tricks, and always some new “cool tools” like Joyflips. She writes the blog RelativelyCurious.com and manages the ConferenceKeeper.org genealogy calendar of events website.
►♦  Kelley Snowden and team, Voices from Small Places   
Voices from Small Places is a project that focuses on documenting and preserving the history of small places (population under 100) found throughout East Texas. It uses a unique combination of methods to create a multidimensional history including photovoice, oral history interviews, a site survey, and the development of a digital collection. Through these methods the history of these small communities is documented and made available to the public. In addition to providing information for research, by documenting the history of these small places and placing them back into the larger historical narrative, East Texas is better understood as a region.

Currently the research team consists of Dr. Perky Beisel, History Department and Linda Reynolds, East Texas Research Center both from Stephen F. Austin State University and Dr. Kelley Snowden, Center for Social Science Research from University of Texas at Tyler.  Arcadia, Texas, the pilot project originated as a collaborative project with the Center for Regional Heritage Research at Stephen F. Austin State University. 
►♦  Ken & Tina Bond
This married couple will teach as well as entertain you about their experiences with family history. They have many years of experience in training one-on-one as well as in a group setting. They have helped numerous people begin and continue their journey of learning about their ancestors. They recognize the value of the family more than the genealogy.
►♦  Andy Fancher, Andy Fancher Presents
Andy is a young man already making his mark on the world by recording veterans' stories for posterity. Andy has been passionate about capturing the stories of WWII, Korea and Vietnam veterans on camera since he was sixteen.  His YouTube channel, Andy Fancher Presents, shares that history with the world. Since AFP started in 2016, the testimonies of over eighty veterans have been captured and archived. Andy is currently pursuing a Broadcast Journalism degree.
Click here to return to the Family History Fair 2020 information page.