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Previous Speakers (2023)


C.G. (C)

Nathaniel Smith, C.G. (C) has been researching his family history for over 20 years. He obtained the designation of Certified Genealogist (Canada) from the Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes in 2014 and is currently the organization's Registrar. Nathaniel has written and presented numerous genealogical and historical articles over the years, he's most well known in Nova Scotia for his award-winning one-place study The Prospect Genealogical Website which showcases the history, genealogy and stories of the people who lived in and around Prospect, Halifax County, Nova Scotia. Nathaniel is about to publish his first comprehensive genealogy with his study of the Coolen Family of Nova Scotia. 

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Allister J. Barton has been researching his African Nova Scotian lineages since 2014. His genealogical research has revealed a collection of stories that affirm African Nova Scotians' rich history. He has presented his research to community groups, local libraries, and genealogical societies. Allister holds a Bachelor of Science from Dalhousie University, a Master of Education from Mount Saint Vincent University, and he is certified by The Black Family: United by History, Restored by Storytelling (ASALH) program.

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C.G. (C)

Ginny Clark is a Certified Genealogist (Canada). She obtained her designation from the Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes in 1994. She has worked as an archival assistant with the Nova Scotia Archives for over thirty years.

Ginny has participated in the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia's Brick Wall Busters lecture for many years and will be providing her vast knowledge of the archival holdings of the Nova Scotia Archives to assist researchers with their tough, brick wall, ancestors. 


Dr. Jonathan Fowler is an archaeologist based at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is interested in the application of modern scientific instruments and methods to archaeological questions, and since the 1990s has been mapping the lost settlements of pre-Deportation Acadie. His most recent book, co-written with Earle Lockerby, is Diaries of the Acadian Deportations Vol 2: John Winslow at Grand-Pré, which explores one of the key primary sources relating to the 1755 Deportation of the Acadians. 


Jonathan Fowler
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Joanne McCarthy O'Leary (MLS, University of Toronto) is a retired Local History and Genealogy Librarian, with twenty five years of experience finding newspaper obituaries with the Halifax Public Libraries. She has a Basic Level Certificate in Genealogical Studies (2002), from the National Institute of Genealogical Studies, and is a past Program Coordinator with the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia. Joanne has presented many basic genealogy research programs for libraries and museums within Nova Scotia, and in 2016 won the Council of Nova Scotia Archives Anna Hamilton Memorial Award for the creation of the Halifax Municipal Archives' List of Paupers in the Halifax Poor House, 1802-1811.

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C.G. (C)

Kenneth Paulsen holds a doctorate in Canadian History from the University of Maine at Orono, with two Bachelors of Arts degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master of Arts degree from Northeastern University in Boston.  He was a Fulbright scholar at St. Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a Canadian Embassy Graduate Fellow and the 1992 Winthrop Pickard Bell Fellow in Canadiana at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick.  Currently, he is an adjunct faculty member at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts since 2019 and was from 2010 to 2022 at Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, Massachusetts.  


While on the staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, he was a subject area specialist in Nova Scotia and Foreign Protestant genealogy.  He assisted in the development of their Nova Scotia genealogical collection.  The majority of his ancestors were foreign Protestant settlers in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.  Kenneth’s paternal grandfather’s ancestry is Danish and Swedish while his paternal great grandmother’s ancestry is Prince Edward Island Scottish and Loyalist.


Paul Milner, a native of northern England, professional genealogist and international lecturer. He
teaches English and Scottish research tracks at SLIG, IGHR and the British Institute. Paul is a
recipient of UGA Fellow Award (2018) and the FGS David S. Vogels Jr Award (2019). He is the
author of six publications providing how-to guidance for English and Scottish researchers. He is
the past president of BIGWILL, and board member of the APG, FGS and GSG. 


Joanne McCarthy OLeary

Municipal Archivist

Susan McClure is the Archivist at the Halifax Municipal Archives. She has a Masters of Archival Studies from the University of British Columbia and worked at the Yukon Archives and the Archives of Ontario before moving to Halifax in 2004. She was very fortunate to have the opportunity to start up the Halifax Municipal Archives, which officially opened in 2006. She is active in the Nova Scotian and Canadian archival communities, and was previously President of the Council of Nova Scotia Archives.


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Ed Brumby graduated from the Herriot-Watt University in 1964 with an Honours degree in electrical engineering. After five years in industry, he decided to set up his own electronics business to take advantage of the opportunities in the North Sea Oil Industry and ran this successfully for forty years. 


He stumbled across the 71st Fraser Highland Regiment history whilst in Savannah, Georgia and got hooked. He has spent almost every day for the past thirty years doing research and writing two books about the 71st. Ed is currently working on a novel describing the journey of one of the recruits through the war and settling in Nova Scotia.


G.R.S. (C)

Keenan Sutherland was an archaeology student at Saint Mary's University when he was introduced to GIS (Geographic Information Systems) about 15 years ago. After completing his Bachelor's degree he attended COGS (Centre of Geographic Sciences) to attain GIS credentials. From there he worked in several different sectors; Provincial Government, Oil and Gas, and Tourism before arriving in the South Shore area and starting his career in Forestry. During his spare time though, he is always working on different family trees around the province and more recently how to combine his knowledge of geography and interest in genealogy.


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Timothy Gay, now retired, played key roles in Sales Management positions for more than twenty years with Bell and Telus, developing and managing the Atlantic dealer networks for both organizations. He has an intimate knowledge of product packaging, co-marketing, and sales strategies. Tim later obtained a certificate in genealogy from Boston University and provides research support at the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia (GANS). Born in Halifax, he can claim at least 5 generations of ancestors in Nova Scotia representing some of the earliest immigration periods in the Province.

He is presdient of GANS, and is a nominee to the KITH Observatory Board. A business owner and a family man, Tim remains an outdoor enthusiast, and is active in camping and canoeing.




Dr. Clint Bruce holds the Canada Research Chair in Acadian and Transnational Studies (CRÉAcT – for its French initials) at Université Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia, where he teaches in the Department of Social Sciences. His research deals with the Acadian diaspora, Francophone cultures of Louisiana, and the Atlantic world.


In 2021, his book Afro-Creole Poetry in French from Louisiana’s Radical Civil War-Era Newspapers: A Bilingual Edition (Historic New Orleans Collection, 2020) received the Modern Language Association’s Lois Roth Award for literary translation. He is currently preparing a monograph entitled By Any Means Necessary: Africans, Acadians, and the 1858 Double Deaths of Constant Melançon, Sugar Planter of Louisiana, and Toussaint, His Slave and Childhood Companion


Clint Bruce
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C.G. (C)

Dr. Allan Everett Marble, professor emeritus, Dalhousie University (2000) is the author of eighty-seven journal articles and fifty-seven conference papers published on the cardiovascular system and fifteen articles and biographies relating to the medical history of Nova Scotia. In addition, he has authored eleven books in genealogy and the history of medicine in Nova Scotia, the most recent of which is entitled "The History of Medicine in Nova Scotia from Confederation to Medicare: the Transition from Allopathic to Scientific Medicine” (2022).

Dr. Marble is a past-president and Fellow of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, a founder and past-president of the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia and the Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes. He is Chair of the Medical History Society of Nova Scotia. He has served on the boards of the Heritage Trust and the Public Archives of Nova Scotia (vice-chair). He is a Fellow of the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society and the Allan E. Marble Prize is awarded annually for research excellence in graduate work in Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University.




Kevin Borland is the President and founder of Borland Genetics, Inc., a company that creates software tools, most notably the flagship product “Borland Genetics Web Tools and Database.”  Kevin holds a BS in Physics from MIT and has been applying his mathematics and computer training to developing genetic genealogy technology since 2013.  He is also an attorney and alumnus of both Rutgers University School of Law (JD) and Vermont Law School (LLM).  Kevin is originally from Jersey City, New Jersey, but currently lives in central Florida, and Arlington, Virginia, seasonally.  Kevin gives frequent talks on DNA reconstruction and DNA inheritance and Borland Genetics frequently sponsors genealogy conferences and events around the world.  He has also appeared on the genealogy-themed television series Relative Race. When not developing DNA tools, Kevin enjoys producing music at his Florida studio.


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Kirby is a 2020 graduate of the Master's of History program at Saint Mary's University in Halifax and the author of the website "The Maritime Historian". She is the Chair of the Nova Scotia Women's History Society and has worked and volunteered in history and research with various organizations, including the Colchester Historical Society, the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, the Halifax Citadel Society, Memory Lane Heritage Village, and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

Specializing in women's contributions on the homefront in Nova Scotia, her Undergraduate Honours thesis addressed women's involvement in the shipbuilding and ammunition industries in Pictou County during the Second World War. She wrote her Master's thesis on entertainers during the Second World War in Halifax: "Music, movies, and meals : Halifax’s local contributions on the home front".


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