Katherine R Willson
Professional Speaker, Genealogist, Artist

Katherine R. Willson of Ann Arbor, MI is a highly acclaimed and professionally trained national public speaker.  She gives keynote addresses and conference presentations, facilitates workshops and conducts training on the topics of genealogy, art and military family support.

Her genealogy interests began when she was a Junior Girl Scout working towards a “My Heritage” badge, and her passion was fueled when, in her 20’s, both her mother’s and father’s relatives gave her binders containing generations’ worth of family information.  

Katherine’s continued research evolved into teaching Genealogy 101, Genealogy 102 and Computer Genealogy classes for Ann Arbor Rec & Ed for the last 12 years, as well as taking on multiple private clients, for whom she compiles family history books for publication.  

Her recent successes with using Facebook to break down genealogical brick walls (both personally and in her classroom) inspired her to compile a list of 5,200+ Facebook genealogy links.  She’s now writing a book about the use of Facebook as a genealogical research tool, and with these materials, has created an engaging presentation geared towards genealogical societies, seminars and conferences (click here for a list of additional presentations available for your society, seminar and/or conference). 

PS:  A little bird told us that Katherine’s started ANOTHER list!!!  This one’s a compilation of instructional genealogical videos on YouTube!  :-)

Her passion for genealogy combined with practical and creative strategies keeps Katherine’s audience fully engaged and actively participating in her energetic and entertaining presentations.  Participants leave with the tools necessary to do their own research, as well as the inspiration to do it!

An Army Reserve wife of almost 20 years, Katherine supports military families as a member of the Cadre of Speakers for the Dept. of Defense’s Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program since 2010, traveling regularly across the country to speak at conferences for military members in the deployment cycle and their loved ones.  

In addition to her love for genealogy and public speaking, she is also a community leader and mixed-media artist, serving on the board of Ann Arbor Women Artists (established in 1953) since 2003 as Archivist/Historian, Juried Exhibits Chair, Treasurer, Vice President & President.   

Katherine was born and raised in Michigan, descending from ancestors from Germany who settled in Gratiot Co, Ingham Co and Wayne Co, MI; and ancestors from England who settled in Jackson Co, Livingston Co and Shiawassee Co, MI.   

She is a member of:
Association of Professional Genealogists
Great Lakes Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists
Genealogical Speakers Guild – Newsletter columnist
Federation of Genealogical Societies – Membership Committee
National Genealogical Society
New England Historic Genealogical Society
Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan
Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society
Downriver (MI) Genealogical Society
Clinton County (MI) Historical & Genealogical Society

Dearborn (MI) Genealogical Society – Newsletter Editor & Delegate to the Michigan Genealogical Council
Detroit (MI) Society for Genealogical Research – Corresponding Secretary
Flint (MI) Genealogical Society
Ford (MI) Genealogy Club – Vice-President & Delegate to the Michigan Genealogical Council)
Gratiot County (MI) Historical & Genealogical Society
Ingham County (MI) Genealogical Society
Jackson County (MI) Genealogical Society
Livingston County (MI) Genealogical Society
Michigan Genealogical Council – Vice-President
Genealogical Society of Monroe County (MI)
Oakland County (MI) Genealogical Society – Volunteer indexer of quarterly newsletter
Stockbridge Area (MI) Genealogical & Historical Society
Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County (MI) – Director-at-Large & newsletter columnist
Shiawassee County (MI) Genealogical Society (society disbanded in 2013)
Western Wayne County (MI) Genealogical Society

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