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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.

Work on each of the current languages has been progressing over the years and continues in 2021. Additional languages will be added in the future.


George Ryskamp

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

George Ryskamp, J.D., AG, has served as Director of the Center for Family History and Genealogy at BYU (2003-2007); the Basque Family Heritage USA, University of Nevada, Reno (2005-2008); and Director of the Immigrant Ancestors Project and its Spanish, French and Italian sections, found at and (2003-present).

Recent Publications:
Dealing with historical issues of transnational immigrant identity in nineteenth century Mexico; inter-colonial family identity among sixteenth century Spanish settlers; Anglo-Mormons in the Mexican Civil Registration 1885-1912: Developing a Triangular Transnational Identity; and the role of Meliton G. Trejo in establishing patterns during the introduction of Mormonism into Mexico that contributed to it ultimately moving from a sect to a denomination. He is currently working on a biography of Melitón González Trejo which will explore his life and contributions to Mormonism in Mexico, and Latin America generally. See here for further information. 

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. See here for further information. 

Student Employees and Interns


* Supervisor


Noel Coleman

Amy Wallace

Abbie Lee Black

Kate Olson






Kajsa Marie Bradley

Fabio Carnline


Brandon Baird

Nathaniel Jensen

Leandro Soria*

Pablo Higueros*

Jensen Cordon*

Rachel Fullerton

Camilo Valderas Munoz

Kayla Gomez


Paul Ahlstrom


Tatum Frampton

Ariel Munyer

Jennifer Wenyi

Brittney Condie*








Lauren Wake

Eulalia Miles

Miriam Brown







Amy Stoddard*


Larissa Vecchi

Eulalia Miles

Elisabeth Cupp

Jacob Badal






Emily Bakly