Teachers and Coaches

Robin Grantham, Ph.D

Robin Grantham, Ph.D

As a new researcher, Robin found her mother’s birth families in less than two years using techniques taught in our classes. She now enthusiastically coaches others to achieve their goals. Retired from the military, she had a career spanning public relations, human resources, and teaching. Post retirement, she taught college online.

She was introduced to genealogy decades ago, listening to her uncle who began researching the paternal family tree in the 1960s. She developed her interest, though, once she saw how DNA could solve mysteries. She is also interested in helping others preserve memories, and volunteered for several years with the Women in Military Service to America foundation in collecting oral histories.

Her book Beginning with Bertram: Our Hope Roots was published in 2019.

Pam Tabor, Ph.D

Pam Tabor, Ph.D

Pamela Dalton Tabor (Pam) currently lives in Maryland, USA. She has a background in educational research specializing in early childhood mathematics and the development of numeracy. She holds a Ph.D. in mathematics education from Southern Cross University in New South Wales, Australia.

Pam is a relative newcomer to genetic genealogy having been recently reunited with both her birth parents via a combination of traditional and DNA methodologies. She brings to the team a background in research, teaching, and publishing.

Gale French

Gale French

Gale teaches our Y-DNA class. He has been interested in genealogy for over 25 years. He has lived in Texas all his life, worked for IBM in the U.S. Space program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center for 26 years, and is now retired. His work with commercial imaging technology and document management has enhanced his genealogy organization and presentation.

He has researched and published a 600 page family history book on his grandmother’s Elliott family line that came from England to Texas, fought in the Texas Revolution, and received land for their service. He is currently writing another book on his paternal French line including numerous DNA tests for the French family (that include the dreaded ‘NPE’).

He is also a recipient of the Pioneers in Space Technical Achievement Award from the United Daughters of the Confederacy

Marian Franklin

Marian Franklin

Marian began genealogy work while transcribing the Civil War letters of her 2nd great grandmother Margaret Jane Watts Hays Overstreet. She began using DNA tests in 2008. Her brother’s Y-DNA test led to the discovery that their father had been informally adopted by their grandmother’s husband. Connecting with maternal cousins she discovered that her maternal great grandmother had an unknown father. Becoming frustrated at not finding their birth fathers she joined DNAAdoption in 2014 and, using our Methodology, has identified a family in New York descended from her father’s grandparents. Her great grandmother’s father remains a mystery. She has a B.S. from UCBerkeley School of Public Health and MA in Biology from San Francisco State University. She worked as a consultant to laboratories in Bolivia for almost a year. She is a retired biointensive farmer and sculptor living in Lake County, California.

Kitty Vickers, J.D.

Kitty Vickers, J.D.

Kitty is an adoptee born and raised in Texas.  She located her birth mother many years ago through traditional search means and  located her birth father more recently using DNA.  Kitty is a retired litigation attorney, who graduated from the University of Texas School of Law.  She has a B.A. in political science from the University of Texas at Arlington and has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Houston.   After completing her search for her birth family, Kitty was hooked on genetic genealogy and has continued to work to help others with their searches. Kitty has a long history of working with web forums and mailing lists. Back in the dark ages (i.e. the early 1990s) she was a Sysop on Compuserve.   In the past, Kitty has administered and moderated several mailing lists and web forums on a variety of topics including adoption, weight loss, sewing and online gaming.  When not working on genetic genealogy, Kitty enjoys playing with cats, and reading.  In her spare time, she also enjoys playing bridge, World of Warcraft and Hearthstone.

Christine Kahr

Christine Kahr

Chris is a retired civil/environmental engineer and helps support the DNA classes and the Yahoo Group DNAAdoption.  Using the techniques she originally learned here, she assisted an adopted family member in the search for his birth father.  She is now involved in a second search for the birth parents of an adopted family friend.  Chris is relatively new to both genealogy (2013) and DNA (2016).  Both have quickly grown from “hobby” to “passion” in her retirement.

After moving around the country during her working career, Chris now lives in Oregon.  She is an active member of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon and participates in the regular DNA workshops offered there.

Sharon Neuer

Sharon Neuer

Sharon is retired and lives in a suburb near Kansas City, Missouri, where her passions are quiltmaking and genealogy. She has two adult children and five grandchildren. She holds a business degree and previously worked with a major telecommunications company teaching statistics. This lends itself tousing the DNAadoption methodology in a logical and objective manner.

She has always been interested in genealogy, and she worked many years with several generations of paternal family members tracing their roots back to the 1600s .

Her mother was adopted, so the family tree was very incomplete. She was able to identify her mother’s maternal family using the DNAAdoption methodology, and helped a distant relative find his five siblings all of whom had been adopted into different families when he was removed from the home at age 2.  She is still working on proving her maternal grandfather’s connection.

Steve Schaaf

Steve Schaaf

Steve was born, adopted and raised in California.  With the help of DNA testing, Steve was able to identify and reunite with both of his biological parents and a brother, all of whom, by pure coincidence, live just a few miles from where he now makes his home in Georgia.  After completing his own search, he realized he had found a new hobby and started seeking out others who needed help solving cases of unknown parentage and other DNA mysteries.

Steve works by day as a commercial finance paralegal in the Atlanta area.  When he’s not at work in the office or researching DNA cases, he might be found spending time with his wife and two teenage boys, playing music in one of his bluegrass bands or mountain biking.

Donna Wells

Donna Wells

Donna comes from Portland, Oregon and now lives in the country near Vancouver, Washington. She was originally a bookkeeper but has retired and is doing genealogy.

Donna joined Oregon Adoption Rights Association (OARA) about 1992 and with the help of OARA was reunited with her son in 1994. Later Donna became OARA’s Search Assistant. This is where her journey of of helping others started – first with those already interested genealogy and building family  trees on Ancestry and now with genetic genealogy and DNA.

She currently serves as the State of Oregon’s confidential Intermediary and the CI for three other private adoption agencies in Portland. Donna is one of  the few that has access to the California birth index and works closely with those in that state still in their search for their families.

In the last 16 years Donna has been involved locally with search and rescue. She and her husband started heir own search and rescue team mainly serving in Washington and Oregon.

Brenda Hare

Brenda Hare

Jim O'Neil

Jim O'Neil

Jim is a software architect by day building cloud and Internet-of-Things applications for various clients. During his “spare time” he assists the organization with the website and other technical needs.

A German-born adoptee and formerly only-child, he became involved with DNAAdoption in 2017 after finding six half-siblings by a combination of “The Methodology”, traditional search techniques, and the help of an amazing search angel in Germany. Soon after he was able to identify the fathers of two of his recently discovered siblings, and several months later located his own paternal family.