Gather. Connect. Belong ™

Traci Wilson-Kleekamp

Traci Wilson-Kleekamp has been a neighborhood and community activist for over 20 years, advocating for public parks, transparent/responsive local government, and sustainable urban planning.  She is a collaborating leader for the newly formed group called Race Matters, Friends. Traci was formerly the Director of Diversity and Outreach for the MU School of Medicine and continues to be an engaged advocate for equity and inclusion.

In her spare time, she is an avid genealogist and Family History Research Consultant who explores local, state and national historical repositories to help family historians discover more about their African-American heritage.  She is currently featured on the Missouri State Archives website: African-American Genealogy: Putting Together the Pieces of Your Past: A Five-Part Series with Traci L. Wilson-Kleekamp.  She also hosts a blog at Tracilizz’s Genealogy Blog & Diversity’s Gleanings.

Traci is a graduate of California State University-Long Beach and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, Public Relations.


Erica White

Erica White is the Museum Manager of The Atkins-Johnson Farm and Museum in Gladstone, Missouri. She has over 8 years of experience working with museums, historic sites, and archives.  Erica has a master’s degree in textile history from Iowa State University and has worked on freelance textile conservation projects and textile research for years.  She currently serves on the board of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City and is the Vice Chair of the Advisory Committee for Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. Recently, she was the MC and cohost of Kansas City Public Television’s production of “Street Style”, a Civil War fashion show in conjunction with the season 2 premier of Mercy Street.  In her free time, she is involved in numerous living history organizations and enjoys researching and collecting 1860s-era textiles, jewelry and accessories.


Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor, CEO of The Family History Guide, L3C, has been actively doing family history for over 25 years. He has combined his passion for genealogy with his background in instructional design to produce a new learning resource for family history—The Family History Guide.

Bob earned his BA degree from Brigham Young University and MA degree from Calif. State University-Los Angeles, both in Music Education.  He has been a featured presenter at RootsTech 2016, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Pikes Peak Library (Colorado) Fair, Riverton FamilySearch Library, UVTAGG, and the BYU Family History Conference, in addition to numerous Family History Fairs in Utah.

A career change led him to instructional design and technical writing, where he has worked for large technology corporations such as Novell, Intel, and Western Digital. At Intel University, he redesigned key training courses for employees and managers worldwide, as well as teaching management courses in Washington, Arizona, Oregon, California, and Utah.  He has authored many online and written learning systems, helping others accelerate learning in technology, music, and family history.

Bob and his wife Susie have five daughters and five grandchildren. He has run a number of marathons in Utah, still plays the trumpet, and is a confirmed crossword puzzle addict.


Lauri Jean Swett

Lauri Jean Swett is a professional genealogist with a BA in Sociology and serves as a volunteer at the Platte City Family History Center.  She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Heartland Chapter.  She is a past Family History Center director and former volunteer at the Midwest Genealogy Center.


Barbara Scanlon

Barbara Scanlon is the Genealogy Specialist at the Kansas City Irish Center.  In addition to that role she is the Genealogy Committee Co­-Chair of the Kansas City Irish Festival. Barbara was born in Lexington, Nebraska, attended grade and high school in Overton, Nebraska, then graduated from Kearney State College, and was later married in Kearney.  Her work in genealogy started at age 12 with an interview of her grandfather there in her grandparents’ living room in Eddyville, Nebraska. The curiosity of a 12-year-old grew to a life’s passion for genealogy.  Barbara has learned so much about her family history in the past 10 years.  Her father was 100% Irish with Church of Ireland, Roman Catholic and Irish Quaker ancestors.  Her mother has three Irish lines: Roman Catholic, Irish Quaker, and Scots­ Irish Presbyterians, discovered in January of 2013.  With Barbara’s Irish heritage and her husband Ed’s Irish roots, Irish genealogy and history has grown to a labor of love.  Barbara is a member of the National Genealogy Society.  She also is a member of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History.  For the past six years she has attended the “British Institute” in Salt Lake City which is a weeklong class on Irish genealogy.  Barbara has also traveled to Ireland twice to attend the Ancestral Connections weeklong conference at the University College Cork.


The Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC)

The Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) is one of the nation’s preeminent resources for family history, providing access to almost three-quarters of a million on-site materials. The Genealogy Center features 52,000 square feet of space to house all of the free resources and technology needed to research family history.  The MGC is part of the Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL) system.  MCPL has a long history of providing outstanding genealogy resources, and the Genealogy Center has been a major step in the growth of the system.  Among its many features, MGC houses a uniquely expansive circulating collection and almost completely open stacks. New technology is also a major attribute of the building.  Microfilm reader-printers, a self-digitization station, and significant database access allow researchers to use today’s technology to assist their investigations.

Classes will be taught by professional staff from the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri.


Kathy Meade

Kathy Meade is the North American representative for ArkivDigital AD AB, a company that offers online access to newly photographed color images of the Swedish church books and other historical records. She has been working with Swedish genealogy for more than fifteen years and has given many presentations on Swedish genealogy as well as had genealogy articles published in the Swedish American newspaper, Nordstjernan. Ms. Meade serves on the advisory board for the Nordic Family Research Center at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago and also works as a volunteer there, helping patrons with their Swedish research.


Cheryl McCann

Cheryl McCann is a Midwestern girl at heart. She has lived in Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri all her life, but never found a place that felt like home until she and her husband Terry moved to Liberty in 1992 to start their family.  She is the active and proud mother of two children and has a long list of hobbies and interests, including historical costuming and nature photography.  When not working on her projects and volunteering, she is the owner of McCann’s Bookkeeping and Tax Service which she has run successfully since 2003 from a little office in her backyard, while raising her children.  History, Ancestry and DAR became important to her about 5 years ago and since then she has started visiting the Clay County Archives to work on projects for the Atkins-Johnson Farm.  Her first book, Stirring Up History, was published in December 2016 and is available now.