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About Us

The Center for Family History and Genealogy

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Project Employees:

Jill Crandell, Director

Jill Crandell is an instructor in the Department of History and the director of the Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University. She received her B.A. in family history and M.A. in history from BYU, and she is an Accredited Genealogist™ in Midwestern U.S. research. Her areas of specialty are U.S. family history, with emphasis in the Midwestern States, and LDS history. She is married to Bill Crandell, and they have five children.

Tyler Brinkerhoff, Project Supervisor

Tyler is from Mapleton, Utah and has lived there his whole life except for the time on hismission. His family has lived in Mapleton for five generations on the same farm that his pioneer ancestors settled it and that is part of why he loves family history. He grew up next door to his grandparents and helps his grandparents with their family history and feels the spirit of Elijah as he helps them and others. Because of helping others with their family history he has made it a life goal to help as many people as he can to feel the spirit as they search for their ancestors and plans to create his own family history consulting company in the future. Tyler served in the Great California Ventura Mission from 2011-2013. He is a Junior and a Family History at BYU. Besides family history, Tyler also enjoys the photography, hiking, and camping in the outdoors, running, singing, reading good books.

Mindy Jacox, Assistant Supervisor

Mindy is from Kaysville, Utah. Family history became her passion at a young age as she realized that with her aptitude for technology she could help others with their family history. She is now a family history major at BYU with a computer science minor, and is interested in how technology can be implemented and applied to family history research. She intends to focus on Germanic family history research, but has also found a love for early LDS church history as she has worked on the Nauvoo project. She also loves chocolate, hiking and backpacking with her family, and is an avid sports fan.

Angela Sellers

Angela was born in Walnut Creek, California, lived in Oakland, CA for 1 year, then stayed in Hayward, California for 10 years. Her family decided to move to Utah in 1978. She lived in Sandy, Utah till she got married in 1994. She has lived all over the Salt Lake Valley with her husband and daughter. She also had a son, Jamie that passed away 20 years ago as of March 25th. Her daughter Amy is 19 years old, and has turned in her papers to serve a mission for the LDS Church. Angela has always wanted to go back to college and when she heard of the BA in Family History and Genealogy, she knew she had to go back. Living in Clearfield, Utah has been a challenge for her every day to come to BYU. She is now a junior in the program and is excited to start her senior year next year, complete her internship, and to graduate from BYU.

Mary Bassett

Mary Bassett was raised in Fresno, California. She is a Junior at Brigham Young University studying family history. Her love for family history was developed at an early age as she spent hours poring over her grandparents old photo albums, and listened to their stories about the people in the pictures. This love was fostered as she helped others understand family history's importance while serving as missionary in the Virginia Chesapeake Mission. Mary loves the challenge that comes from working the Nauvoo Project and is excited to learn more about family history by being apart of it.

Italu Martinez

Italu was born in Southern Mexico and has been raised in the sunny Orange County, California since she was a year old. So, naturally, she enjoys amusement parks, the beach, dancing, hiking, and any outdoor activity. She has been attending BYU since the fall of 2012 and is majoring in Biology and minoring in Microbiology. Italu became interested in family history work when her bishop started to teach her how to do her own family history at the age of 16 and her interest sparked even more after taking a Family History/ Genealogy class at BYU. Ever since then, Italu has been working on her own family history and is thrilled to be working on a project that will benefit many people.

Kirstin Workman

Kirstin was born in Pensacola, Florida to a Marine Corps family. From Virginia to Japan, her entire childhood was spent moving to wherever her father was stationed. Being the only daughter in her military family, her father and brothers made sure she never got too 'girly'. She initially went to school at Southern Utah University in Cedar City after her graduation from Cibola High School located in Yuma, Arizona, where she was studying Illustration. When she got her associates at SUU, she then transferred to BYU, where she fell in love with the Family History classes she took for her 'fun class'. She eventually changed her major to Family History, and still incorporates her love of art in everything she does. She loves spending her free time drawing, laughing, cooking yummy treats, singing, playing video games, biking, hiking, traveling, and (of course) doing family history.

Carlyle Schmollinger

Carlyle was born in Oakland, California and spent her childhood in the Bay Area and other places before finally ending up in Dallas, Texas. She is currently a graduate student in the Art History and Curatorial Studies program. In her spare time--what little she can find--she dedicates her energy to working on her own family history with the hopes of expanding her family tree. Besides art and family history, she loves hiking, Fleetwood Mac, and summertime.

Calliope Scott

Calliope was born in Duluth, Minnesota and is the oldest of three children. Her love of genealogy happened by accident in Mesa, Arizona when she was thirteen. She loves to learn more about her ancestry and has even gone so far as to learn the languages of her ancestors: German and Finnish. She has two children who also take great pride in their roots and are learning Finnish as well. Though she loves family history, she is a Psychology major with a minor in Scandinavian studies. She currently volunteers in the BYU Family History Library, aiding others with Scandinavian ancestry as well as beginners. In her limited free time, she teaches others Finnish and can be found covered in paint, chalk, glue, or any other creative medium.

Juliene Heiner

Juliene grew up in Lerna, Illinois (about 4 hours from Nauvoo). She always knew she wanted to follow in her grandparents’ footsteps and be sealed to her future spouse in the Nauvoo temple, which she was in December 2013. She has lived in Ohio, Illinois, Idaho, Pennsylvania, and Utah. She is a family history major at BYU and intends to focus on the Northern United States. Her greatest passion is for her family- whether they are with her or have gone on before. Her goal is to use her knowledge in family history to help others feel the same passion for the work as she does.

Jassica Stutton

Jessica is from a small town called Lander, Wyoming. On a whim, she became a Family History Major at BYU after serving a full-time mission in the beautiful country of Chile. She joined as a novice, mostly in pursuit of improving her writing skills, but fell in love with discovering and sharing the lives of her ancestors. A junior emphasizing in Latin American research, Jessica plans on becoming a professional genealogist to better make people aware of their heritage while pursuing her passion for writing. She finds it the ideal major and career for someone who eventually wants to be a stay-at-home mother because of the opportunity it gives to build a business straight from home. Jessica loves sports and exercise as well as being with friends and family.

Shalyn Schmelter

Shalyn was fortunate enough to be raised in Brigham City, Utah, home of the world's best peaches! She graduated from Weber State University with an AS degree in 1998. The next fifteen years were focused on raising her four children and gradually discovering her love of genealogy. After learning that BYU offered a bachelor's degree in family history, she returned to school in 2013 and is looking forward to graduating in April 2016. As a descendant of Nauvoo pioneers, she is thrilled to be working on the Nauvoo project and hopes to help others discover and appreciate their Nauvoo ancestors.

Shawnee Hawkes

Shawnee was born and raised in Franklin, Idaho, and grew up learning about early Church History and her pioneer ancestors. She has a love of learning about Family History and early Church History, and has just recently completed a Summer Internship for the Mormon Texts Project. Shawnee is in the American Studies Major and hoping to minor in History at Brigham Young University, and further continue her education and understanding of both Family and American History. Some of her interests and hobbies are researching, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and camping. As well as consistently visiting and volunteering at the Franklin Relic Hall, her hometown's museum and historical site, and learning about her hometowns' early pioneer history and studying the pioneer artifacts that are on display there.

Wendy Brimhall

Wendy Brimhall is from West Jordan, Utah. She learned to love family history at an early age by watching her mother and great-aunt research their ancestors. Wendy believes that every individual is important – young, old, rich, poor, married or single – and she wants to make sure that no one is forgotten. She also loves music and received an Associate of Arts degree in Violin Performance from Snow College. Besides family history and violin, Wendy enjoys quilting, piano, organ, cooking, travel and spending time with family and friends.

Mary Elizabeth Bassett

Mary-Elizabeth Bassett is a Senior at BYU studying History Teaching. Mary was raised in Fresno, California and has a deep love fresh produce and the mountains. She was introduced to Family History while serving as a full-time missionary in the Virginia Chesapeake Mission, and was instantly hooked. When reflecting on this experience she says, "I think it was the old photographs that really did it. It was fascinating to realize that these people had distinct identities and personalities. It made them real to me." In addition to family history Mary loves cooking vegetarian meals, singing karaoke, and interpretive dancing. Her favorite song is currently "Kiss on My List" by Daryl Hall and John Oates.

Daniel Bittner

Daniel was born in Rose Park on the West Side of Salt Lake City, but grew up in Centerville, UT. Daniel has Family History in his blood as a son of a professional genealogist who would often drag him to the Family History Library in Salt Lake, but now he enjoys researching his ancestors' lives. After serving a full time mission in the California San Diego Mission, he came home and decided to major in Mechanical Engineering. Daniel cherishes his family and loves spending time with them. He loves fishing, reading, and drawing.

Kaitlyn Larsen

Kaitlyn is from Rochester, Minnesota, although she was born in Ohio and lived in Colorado for 6 years. Kaitlyn grew up hearing stories of her ancestors and being taught at the hand of her grandparents the importance of knowing their stories and of finding the missing pieces. She fell in love with family history work at a very young age and has been teaching classes in genealogy for over 6 years. Kaitlyn also serves as Secretary for the Samuel Rose Parkinson "Roots and Branches" family group. Currently, her plan is to double major in Human Development and in Family History. As a descendant of Nauvoo pioneers, Kaitlyn is super excited to be a part of the Nauvoo Community Project and to help others discover their own rich ancestry.