Jan Joyce, DBA, CG®, CGL(SM), AG®

ProGen Member Overview

Dr. Joyce is a genealogy researcher whose personal work has focused on her Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania & Wisconsin ancestors who immigrated from England, Germany, Ireland and Norway. She began researching in 1998 to better understand genealogy customers when she managed the marketing initiatives at Genealogy.com. After that initial taste of family history research, she was hooked and hasn’t stopped since.

Her genealogy career is now focused on teaching research methodology, writing and researching her own family. Jan has published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Crossroads, the Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. She enjoys speaking and teaching at local, regional and national venues and is known for her interactive and engaging presentation style. Jan has earned the following genealogy credentials: CG®, CGL(SM), AG®.


Genealogy Education

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) UT
• Advanced Techniques for Mastering Online Searches and Uncovering Digital Records (Virtual) | 2021
• Introduction to Genetic Genealogy | 2019
• Corpus Juris: Advanced Legal Concepts for Genealogists | 2018
- Attended courtesy of earning the grand prize award from Ancestry’s ProGenealogists’ Scholarship Program.
• Utilizing a Full Array of Sources for Researching Your Norwegian Ancestors | 2017
• Advanced Genealogical Methods | 2016

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) PA
• From Confusion to Conclusion: How to Write Proof Arguments | 2017

Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR) AL
• Writing & Publishing for Genealogists | 2016
• Intermediate Genealogy & Historical Studies | 2015

International Society for British Genealogy and Family History – British Institute UT
• Researching Your English Ancestors | 2015

National Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference (NGS)
• St. Charles, MO | 2015
• Richmond, VA | 2014

NGS Research Trip to Washington D.C. | 2014
• The National Archives (NARA)
• The Daughters of the American Revolution Library (DAR)
• The Library of Congress (LOC)

Return to the Cradle of Irish Presbyterianism Ireland
• Host: Ulster Historical Foundation | 2013

ProGen 25 | 2015 - 2016
• Alumni & Certificate
• Chat Day Leader

GenProof 40 | 2015

Boston University BU OL 15 | 2014
• Certificate Program in Genealogical Research

Academic Education

Before beginning her genealogy career, Jan earned a B.S. in Business, Marketing from Miami University; an MBA, Marketing from The Ohio State University and a Doctor of Business Administration from Golden Gate University. Her dissertation focused on electronic word of mouth.


Select Teaching Engagements

Association of Professional Genealogists
Jan M. Joyce, “Marketing for Genealogists – Developing Products and Getting Referrals” lecture, 2020 Association of Professional Genealogists – Webinar Series, (Online live webinar: 20 April 2020).

Board for Certification of Genealogists
Jan M. Joyce, “Creative Hypothesis Development for Complex Genealogy Problems,” lecture, 2020 Board for Certification of Genealogists – Webinar Series, (Online live webinar: 21 January 2020). 640 live audience participants and ~11,000 views as of May 2020. https://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=1278

Southern California Genealogical Society – Jamboree Webinar Extension Series 2018
Jan Joyce, "Solving One Name & Many Locations with a Location & Timeline Tool," lecture, 2018 Southern California Genealogical Society – Jamboree Webinar Extension Series, (Online live webinar: 19 December 2018).

Association of Professional Genealogists – Professional Management Conference 2018
Jan M. Joyce, "Developing Multiple Hypotheses to Solve Genealogical Challenges,” lecture, 2018 Association of Professional Genealogists - Professional Management Conference, (Kansas City, Missouri: APG, 06 October 2018).

Genealogy Presentation Topics

1) Creative Hypothesis Development
In difficult genealogical problems, researchers often naturally develop one scenario, or hypothesis, that logically explains the situation. That working hypothesis takes root and then we move forward, supporting it without considering alternative hypotheses.

Often we are on track. However, in more complex genealogical challenges, developing multiple hypotheses early can prove more successful to opening up our thinking, exploring additional possibilities, and arriving at a successful conclusion.

2) Writing Is A Methodology
I know for some of us writing can be difficult...even painful, right? In genealogy we may write to capture our family history for others. but have you used writing to actually solve brick walls? It often works. When you write what you know, it helps illustrate what you don't know. It may raise questions you haven't yet asked or show holes in your research and timelines that you had not seen.

This hands-on style discussion will help you learn how to write for solving your brick walls through use of a case study as well as your own material.

3) Same Name Methodology
Having the challenge of people with the same name is an age-old genealogy issue. It doesn't even have to be the dreaded "John Smith" because even unique names occur within and between generations and neighbors.

Many of us have our own "John or Jane Smiths" Luckily, genealogists have been writing about same name obstacles for decades now. Through a literature review process as well as a case study, this topic covers the methods to help you solve your own same name problems.

4) Location and Timeline Analysis Chart
When an ancestor appears to be in several locations over a short period of time, one may be concerned that it is multiple individuals. The use ofa Locations and Timeline Analysis Chart (LoTac) can help prove, or disprove that there are multiple persons. A case study helps illuminate the use of this methodology.

5) Making Family History Videos to Share
You love your genealogy research but at family gatherings and cocktail parties others' eyes glaze over when you start talking about it, right?

Now you can learn how to convert all that information that YOU LOVE into a fascinating piece of video that THEY WILL LOVE! This works well for family, friends and clients

This class, or workshop, describes and demonstrates how to easily create a video of your family history and research that can be shared with others. Showing them documents is considered dull. Make your history come to life with a dynamic and interesting video.Prior to beginning her work in the genealogy profession, Jan was a marketer and professor of marketing. She worked in many industries including retail, financial, and high-tech.

Publications & BLOGs


Jan M. Joyce, DBA, CG®, CGL(SM), “How’s My Writing? Guidelines for Constructive Yet Tactful Peer Reviewing,” Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, XXXIV, no 4 (December 2019): 24-29.

Jan M. Joyce, DBA “Developing Creative Hypotheses to Solve Genealogical Challenges?” Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, XXXIII, no 4 (December 2018): 15-20.

American Society of Genealogists (ASG)
• Scholar Award | 2018
• Jan M. Joyce, “796 Acres Acquired in 36 Years: A Story of Land Acquisition and Its Cagey Distribution in Holmes County, Ohio,” (December 2018).

Jan M. Joyce, “Susan Gliddon of Bridgerule, Devon, England; and Summit County, Ohio: One Person or Two?” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, 105 (December 2017): 261-272.

Jan Joyce, “Hypothesis Development to Solve Genealogical Challenges: Conflicting Evidence for George Joyce and the 1800 Census,” Crossroads, 12 (Summer 2017).

Jan Joyce Ahrens, “Using Indirect Evidence and Sibling Relationships to Prove Mary Duey as the Mother of Samuel Joyce,” Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly, 57 (May 2017): 161-166.

Ancestry ProGenealogists Scholarship Program
• Grand Prize Winner – Scholarship | 2017
• Awarded to “foster professional genealogists’’ educational efforts.

Jan Joyce Ahrens, “Are Susan Gliddon of Bridgerule, Devon, England, and Susan Gliddon of Summit County, Ohio, the Same Person?” in Excelsior College, Genealogy Practicum, Module 7, “Assembling the Evidence,” Supplemental Readings (2016).