J.H. (Jay) Fonkert is a board-certified genealogy researcher, writer, and educator focusing on 19th-Century Midwest genealogy. His favorite research topics are the Fawkners of early Kentucky and Indiana, and the Tidballs of Southwest England. He also has done extensive research on Midwest Dutch immigrants and occasionally dabbles in Swedish and Norwegian research.
He is managing editor of Minnesota Genealogist, and he has published numerous articles in National Genealogical Society Quarterly, NGS Magazine, Minnesota Genealogist, APG Quarterly, Crossroads, and Family Chronicle.
Jay is a geo-genealogy enthusiast interested in migration and settlement patterns. He coordinated the Minnesota Genealogical Society’s Migration to and Through the Midwest “Minni-institute” course. He is a former director and past president of MGS, a past director of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and a former trustee of the BCG Education Fund.
He has taught and lectured at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, lectured at NGS and FGS conferences, and at the Ohio Genealogical Society’s annual conference and the Southern California Jamboree. He has enjoyed lecturing and teaching for genealogy societies in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ontario, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Jay has studied at the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research, the Salt Lake Genealogy Institute, the National Institute for Genealogical Research, and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. Jay received the 2009 Scholar Award from the American Society of Genealogists, and he placed first in the original research category of the 2010 ISFHWE writing competition.