FEEFHS The Foundation for East European Family History Studies Home Page

FEEFHS executive council

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Thomas Kent Edlund, Utah

Thomas K. Edlund, PhD, is a specialist in East European languages and manuscripts. As a professor of family and local history at Brigham Young University, he teaches curricula in East European genealogy, micro-regional history, and paleography. He has authored many books on language and genealogy, including The Lutherans of Russia, Die Ahnenstammkartei des Deutschen Volkes, Medieval Latin for Family Historians, An Introduction and Index to the German Minority Census of 1939, and A Compendium of Nahuatl Dialectology. He served as editor of the FEEFHS Journal from 1998 to 2008.

Milan Pohontsch, Provo, Utah
European Roots Genealogy

Milan Pohontsch, MLS, AG, is a native German and Wend at the same time.  He does genealogical research in both languages and has more than 10,000 hours of research experience in original records and microfilms. Milan is accredited in German research, and a constant guest presenter and keynote speaker at various genealogical conferences. He was the co-author of a lineage book and is author of a monthly genealogical newsletter. Milan is also owner of European Roots Genealogy.

Walt Knepper, Redington Beach, FL

Walter R. Knepper, CPA, is an accomplished tax partner with over 40 years of tax planning and business advisory experience with start-ups, entrepreneurial businesses, and public companies. Based out of Redington Beach, Florida, Walt is an active partner and member of the firm Board of Directors at Rubinbrown LLP in St. Louis, MO. Past awards include the Southern Illinois University Business School Alumni of the year 2012; Five Star Wealth Manager - Client Satisfaction, St. Louis Magazine, 2011; and the Accounting Today Gold Medal Award for Client Service, 1995. He has been actively involved as both chairman and board member of several charitable and civic organizations.

Board Member:
Joe Everett, Mapleton, Utah

Joe Everett, MLS  is a genealogy librarian at FamilySearch, responsible for patron services in international branches of the Family History Library.  Joe was previously the head of International Reference at the Family History Library and a technical services librarian, cataloging Slavic and Germanic records. He also spent several years as a content manager at Ancestry.com. Joe earned a B.A. in Russian Language and Family History/Genealogy (Germanic emphasis) from Brigham Young University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (Kansas). He has been involved in library and genealogical associations and has lectured and published articles on Central & East European research.

Board Member:
Kahlile Mehr, Bountiful, Utah

Kahlile Bliss Mehr, MA, MLS,  is a retired librarian and author. He published over fifty articles or book reviews and authored the book, Hearts Turned to the Fathers: A History of the Genealogical Society of Utah 1894-1994. He worked in the Family History Department for 32 years. For ten years Kahlile investigated genealogical records in East European archives to ensure the most valuable records were acquired for the Family History Library Collection. He has visited all of the countries previously part of the Soviet Bloc. Kahlile speaks Russian and Portuguese, and reads various Germanic, Romance and Slavic languages. He is the father of five children and grandfather of nine. He and his wife, Marolyn, lived in Bountiful, Utah.

Board Member, Past-President:
Dave Obee, Saanich, British Columbia
DaveObee.com | Volhynia.com

Dave Obee holds an honorary doctor of laws degree awarded by the University of Victoria, British Columbia, in recognition of his work as a journalist, historian and genealogist. He is editor-in-chief of the Times Colonist newspaper in Victoria. He is author of Destination Canada, guide to Canadian immigration records, and Counting Canada, guide to Canadian census records. He is a co-author of Finding Your Canadian Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide, and author of The Library Book: A History of Service to British Columbia, and Making the News. Dave has given more than 600 talks at genealogy conferences and seminars since 1997. He runs CanGenealogy, a Canadian link site, and Volhynia.com, for those with German ancestry in the northwest corner of Ukraine. Dave served as president of the Federation of East European Family History Societies (FEEFHS) from 2004 through 2007.

Board Member:
Joanne Sher, Duluth, Minnesota

Joanne M. Sher is a professional genealogist & historical researcher specializing in Northeastern Minnesota, Northwestern Wisconsin, American-Jewish research and World War I era records. She has presented numerous times at the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, FEEFHS, and Minnesota Genealogical Society conferences. Her articles have been published in the FEEFHS Journal, the Minnesota Genealogical Journal, and various genealogical society publications.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest.

Conference administrator:
Peg A. Ivanyo, Springville, Utah

Peg brings over twenty years of event and meeting planning experience to FEEFHS. She previously worked as Assistant Director of Conference Services at Utah State University; consulted in the meeting planning industry for eight years as owner of Convention Consulting Services; and is owner of All Things Related, where she blends her passion for family history research with her meeting planning experience. Peg enjoys learning about Eastern European research, with a focus on present-day Slovakia, her husband's ancestral land.

Charles M. Hall

Charles M. Hall was the founding president of two societies, Palatines to America in 1975 and the Federation of East European Family History Societies in 1992. He was a professional genealogist for 20 years, and compiled the 10-volume series of atlases entitled The Atlantic Bridge to Germany.

He gained bachelors and masters degrees in French and German from Brigham Young University. He later learned Russian, Esperanto, some Dutch, Spanish and Turkish.

As a professional genealogist, Charles specialized in Germanic research at the Family History Library and elsewhere in America and in Europe. He was a foreign language teacher for 12 years and was a professional translator, dealing with French, German, Russian, Norwegian, Esperanto and Latin.

At conferences, he has spoken on topics relating to German-speaking ancestors. He can provide an overview of resources for all of East Europe and introductory level lectures on Poland, Hungary and the former Soviet states.

Charles was born in Mountain View, Wyoming in 1930, and married Frankie Jane Taylor, of Richland, Washington, in 1957 in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple.

Charles died in Holladay, Utah, on March 15, 2010. He was survived by his wife Frankie, six children, 21 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Charles Hall obituary

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