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 http://immigrants.byu.edu and http://script.byu.edu (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 Amy Harris is the current Family History Program Coordinator at BYU and an associate professor in the History Department.  Her research focuses on families, women, and gender in eighteenth-century Britain, though she has also written on family and genealogy in the LDS context.  Her first book, Siblinghood and Social Relations in Georgian England (2012) explored sibling relationships and their connections to political and social ideas of equality. More recently her article “Early Mormonism’s Expansive Family and the Browett Women” received the 2018 Mormon History Association Best Article Award. In 2018 she also published “A Genealogical Turn: Possibilities for Mormon Studies and Genealogical Scholarship” in Mormon Studies Review. Her latest book, A Single View: Family Life and the Unmarried in Georgian England will be published by Oxford University Press in 2023. Dr. Harris has a professional genealogical credential in English research and, along with Dr. Christopher Jones, teaches the English language paleography course at BYU.

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. 

Sarah Reed

Sarah Reed is Assistant Professor of History at BYU. She joined the department after completing a PhD in German with a minor in Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she wrote a dissertation on Mormonism in nineteenth-century German literature. Her research areas include German-American studies, Scandinavian-American studies, Mormon literature, and women writers. She has published on the Austrian writer Sidonie Grünwald-Zerkowitz, the Norwegian-American author Nephi Anderson, and on German-American studies topics. She lives in Provo with her husband Matt and a foster pipe organ.

Joe Everett

Joseph B. Everett, MLS, AG, is the Family and Local History Librarian at the BYU Library. He has over 25 years combined experience in the genealogical field at BYU, FamilySearch, and Ancestry.com. Joe manages the collections and patron services of the BYU Family History Library and serves as a faculty liaison to professors in BYU's Family History program and others involved in family history on campus. He is an Accredited Genealogist in German and Russian research and has a breadth of experience in other geographic areas.

 Recent Publications:

Since 2020, Joe has been the associate editor of Dr. Roger Minert’s German Immigrants in American Church Records series. He has published articles for the Association of Professional Genealogist Quarterly, including one for a forthcoming 2022 issue titled “DAR Revolutionary War Grave Indexes.” He has published in library journals as well including articles on Eastern European genealogy in Slavic & East European Information Resources and a 2021 article on experiential learning for student employees in Journal of Library Administration which incorporated family history projects.


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

Brittney Condie*

Jennifer Wenyi








Lauren Wake

Eulalia Miles

Miriam Brown







Amy Stoddard*


Larissa Vecchi

Eulalia Miles

Elisabeth Cupp

Jacob Badal*






Emily Bakly


1031 Joseph F. Smith Building

Provo, UT 84602

Phone: 801.422.1968

Email: cfhgoff@byu.edu