NGS 2023 Speaker Spotlight—Kate Townsend

January 31st, 2023 by Teresa Kelley

Kate Townsend is a professional genealogist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and she owns Family History Investigations, LLC. Kate started her professional career as an investigator at a large financial institution and two consulting firms. She brings these investigative techniques to her genealogical records research. Kate completed Boston University’s Certificate in Genealogical Research in the Spring of 2020 and graduated from ProGen 58. She is the Program Chair for the North Hills Genealogist and the Chair of the NGS Delegate Council.

Kate is excited to speak at the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Family History Conference for the first time where she will present two sessions.

Session: F228  TRACK: Writing  TITLE: A Beginner’s Guide to Family History Books

This session includes tips for designing a family history book, some ideas on what to include, and how to start writing the book. The type of family history book discussed in this lecture is not your traditional 500-page narrative on a whole family line or a book that details all of your family in the United States from 1750 to the present. Instead, this lecture will focus on ideas to create a high-quality, primarily visual, family history book with stories, photographs, and records that will be treasured by generations to come.

Session: S314   TRACK:  Methodology TITLE: Beyond the Computer Screen: Planning for Repository Visits.

In this session, Kate discusses three components for planning a repository visit: (1) identifying the records you need and from which repository; (2) prepping for the repository visit; and (3) what you need to know for the actual visit. Most of the work that goes into a repository visit happens even before you enter the repository. This lecture provides ideas on how to plan for the visit, the questions to ask before you go, and how to get the most out of your time in the repository. If you have never ventured beyond your computer screen for genealogical research, then this lecture will motivate and prepare you to do so. And even if you have been to a repository, sure to learn some new planning tips.

Registration is now open at