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About this Project

BYU’s paleography tutorial has been a key piece of the Center for Family History’s online presence since its beginning. Initially, faculty members Professor Ray Wright and Professor George Ryskamp, along with student assistants, including Leandro Soria and Bradley York, constructed tutorials and information on German, English, and Romance languages.

By 2012 it was clear the website needed some updates and that it could be expanded to be more interactive ​and supportive of the Family History program’s curriculum. The Department of History, the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, and the university were generous in their support to allow for that work. In 2012-13, Professors Amy Harris and George Ryskamp were awarded the David O. McKay Research and Creative Works Grant to support an expansion of the online tutorials. This was further supported by Professor Harris being awarded the Family, Home, and Social Sciences College Teaching Initiative Grant in 2013-14.

In addition to stellar technical support from Ken Millard and the FHSS college computer programmers, student assistants, particularly family history/genealogy students, have been instrumental in adding and refining the tutorials’ content.

Portuguese and Latin tutorials were added in 2019; work will continue throughout 2020. Additional languages will be added in the future.


George Ryskamp

Professor of History
(801) 422-8047 | 2105 JFSB

Professor George Ryskamp specializes in Hispanic Family history.

Amy Harris

Associate Professor of History
(801) 422-2276 | 2150 JFSB

Dr. Harris specializes in British, Women & Gender, Family History.

Professor Harris uses both her historical and genealogical training to study family relationships of the past, particul​arly in early modern Britain. Her first book, Siblinghood and Social Relations in Georgian England (University of Manchester Press, 2012), examines the impact sisters and brothers had on eighteenth-century English families and society. Using evidence from letters, diaries, probate disputes, court transcripts, prescriptive literature, and portraiture, it argues that although parents' wills often recommended their children "share and share alike," siblings had to constantly negotiate between prescribed equality and practiced inequalities.

Recent Publications:
Her most recent work, Family Life in England and America, 1690-1820 (co-edited with Rachel Cope and Jane Hinckley) will be published by Pickering and Chatto in 2015. This four-volume collection of original sources (manuscript and print) brings together sources from both sides of the Atlantic and from a wide variety of regional archives. It is the first collection of its kind, allowing comparisons between the development of the family in England and America during a time of significant change.



Amy Wallace

Junior at Brigham Young University

Amy Wallace is currently a student at Brigham Young University working on her BA in Family History. She began working on the project Spring of 2015 by transcribing and organizing documents for the English site. She also assisted in the cataloging of the Land Indenture Collection, now known as Lands, Leases and Litigations. Amy plans to graduate April 2016.

Abbie Lee Black

BA Family History with a British research emphasis

Abbie Black participated in the project from April 2012 to June 2013. She worked extensively creating content for the tutorial. She generated content for the introduction, as well as the exercises for the English tutorial. After her work on the website, she participated in an internship at the Society of Genealogists in London during the summer of 2013. She continued transcribing British documents from the Society’s archives, specifically with records from the late 16th century of the late 19th century. She graduated from Brigham Young University in August 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Family History with a British research emphasis. She participated as a speaker at Rootstech in 2014 with Dr. Amy Harris to showcase the Script Tutorial. Abbie worked at Ancestry ProGenealogists for a year as a Research Assistant, where she continued to pursue her passion for research.

Kate Olson

Senior at Brigham Young University

Kate Olson was a student at Brigham Young University and received her BA in Graphic Design with a minor in Family History. She started working on the project with Dr. Amy Harris in the Fall of 2013 by participating in the creation of the new design of this website. Kate graduated April 2015.

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