Janice M. Sellers

ProGen Member Overview

Ancestral Discoveries
Genealogy is like a jigsaw puzzle, but you don’t have the box top, so you don’t know what the picture is supposed to look like. As you start putting the puzzle together, you realize some pieces are missing, and eventually you figure out that some of the pieces you started with don’t actually belong to this puzzle. I’ll help you discover the right pieces for your puzzle and assemble them into a picture of your family.
Business Description: I specialize in Jewish, Black, forensic, and newspaper genealogical research. My professional memberships include Association of Professional Genealogists, Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy, and Genealogical Speakers Guild. I also belong to the Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon (acting president, program director), San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society (board member, program director, publicity director, and journal editor), and Genealogical Forum of Oregon (African American Special Interest Group coordinator). I have been on staff at LDS Family History Centers since 2000. Before becoming a professional genealogist, I worked in publishing for many years as an editor, indexer, translator, and compositor.


B.A. in French with minors in Spanish and Russian. Graduate studies in library and information science, computer programming, and music.

Publications & BLOGs

  • "Where I'm From", Santa Clara County Connections, Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society, Fall 2016
  • "Unspoken Tragedies" (second author with Angela Williams Brown), The Baobab Tree, AAGSNC, Summer 2016
  • "Finding and Following the Paths of My Cuban Cousins", Avotaynu, Avotaynu, Inc., Summer 2016
  • "A Black Baker at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition", The Baobab Tree, AAGSNC, Spring 2015
  • "When I Almost Cooked Dinner for Leonard Nimoy", ZichronNote, SFBAJGS, May 2015
  • "Zalmon Reuben Orlowsky: Portrait of a World War I Veteran", The California Nugget, California Genealogical Society, December 2014
  • "The Chaotic Saga of Oil in Galicia" (translator), The Galitzianer, Gesher Galicia, December 2012; original article by Jerome Segal and Renaud Lavergne, "L'Epopee oubliee du petrole de Galicie", Geo-Histoire, October November 2012
  • "International Jewish Genealogy Month", ZichronNote, San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society, November 2010 (with Jeremy Frankel)
  • "Napoleon's Finest", Roots-Key, Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles, Summer/Fall 2006
  • "The Value of Family History Travel", ZichronNote, San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society", February 2005
  • "Clues in Religious Traditions", More Brickwall Solutions to Genealogy Problems, Moorshead Magazines Ltd., 2004
  • "Keep Talking to Relatives!", More Brickwall Solutions to Genealogy Problems, Moorshead Magazines Ltd., 2004
  • "Lucky Thirteen", 500 Brickwall Solutions to Genealogy Problems, Moorshead Magazines Ltd., 2003