Mission Statement

Connecting history to the present generation

Areas of Expertise

                • Family History Research
                  Having issues with “brick walls”? Exhausted your resources and not sure where to look next? I research and compile family trees, focus research on a specific branch, or complete in-depth research on a particular individual.
                • Document Searches 
                  Looking for a particular document or obituary? As a resident of Northern California, I have access to several repositories including the California State Library which holds one of the largest collections of California newspapers. I do record look-ups for a flat fee.
                • DNA consulting
                  Confused about DNA and its use in genetic genealogy? Undecided on which test to take? Wondering how to use the results to extend traditional genealogy research? I assist in the comprehension, evaluation and organization of DNA data.
                • Family History Writing
                  Looking for someone to write a well-documented family history narrative? Having trouble with writing citations? In need of an editor or proof-reader? I will write your story for you or review your manuscript.
                • Lineage Papers
                  Trying to organize lineage papers? Not sure if you have the proof or documents needed to meet lineage society requirements? I review and organize documents, as well as assist in obtaining documents.

I provide individualized research for an hourly or package rate. Use the contact form for a free consultation.


I am currently available to present lectures throughout Northern California and western Nevada. Lectures will include a power point presentation and a paper/electronic (PDF) syllabus.

Rates may vary due to travel expenses and accommodations required.

I am currently in the process of developing several lectures, which will be available in 2016. I can develop new lectures, based upon the needs of your society or organization.

Available Lectures (or in Developement)

  • Why Genealogy?
    Genealogy is one of the largest and fastest growing hobbies in the United States. However, many people still believe that genealogy is not for them or their families. Traditionally, genealogy has been an elite hobby for people trying to prove descent for lineage societies, like the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) or the Mayflower Society. Shows like Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots, and Genealogy Roadshow are proving these assumptions to be incorrect. Every person should know and understand their ancestry and how their family fits into history. Find out why genealogy is for everyone and how to get started researching your family’s story.
  • A Genealogist’s Guide to DNA and Genetic Genealogy
    DNA is one of the newest and most exciting tools in genealogy research today. Genetic genealogy is now recognized as a necessary component in conducting a reasonably exhaustive search and building a complete genealogical proof. Genealogist Deborah Sweeney will break down the basics of genealogy research using DNA. In this lecture, she will introduce the different types of DNA, discuss the pros and cons of the three leading DNA companies, and present a case study on how DNA has been used alongside traditional genealogy research to break through one of her own family’s brick walls.
  • Help! I Just Inherited over 1,000 Letters, and Other Family Documents
    What do you do when you suddenly get all of Aunt Suzy’s genealogy research from the last 30 years? How do you preserve family documents? How do avoid being overwhelmed with piles and boxes of family momentos? Learn some basic preservation techniques as well as how to share these treasures will other family members. Explore WordPress (blogging site) and CreateSpace (self-publishing company), as ways to collaborate and share research.
  • Dear Mother, Love Daddy
    I inherited over 1,000 letters written by my grandparents during WWII. Learn about my WWII letters project and how I became a blogger and self-published author. Be introduced to Roscoe and Gladys Yegerlehner, and the lasting legacy that they left for their family, friends and acquaintances. Books will be available for sale and signing after the lecture.
  • Fashion and Photography
    Do you have any unlabeled photographs in your collection? Are you perplexed on how to figure out how to date them? This lecture focuses on fashion and learning to identify clothing styles as well as finding resources to aid in identification.
  • Beyond Ancestry
    Most people think of when using the Internet for genealogy research. Did you know there are many, many great genealogy websites available for free? Join genealogist Deborah Sweeney as she shares some of her favorite genealogy websites. This lecture focuses on resources available at Family Search, online newspapers, and digital books.
  • Finding Your Civil War Ancestors
    Waged between the years 1861–1865, the American Civil War was the bloodiest of our nation’s wars. The war profoundly shaped history and affected the lives of our ancestors for generations. Like most historical events, the Civil War generated many types of records, particularly for those who served. The presentation discusses some of the different types of records available for finding your Civil War ancestors, with a focus on the military and pensions.


Genealogy Lady Brochure