Keynote Speaker: Chad Williams, Research Division Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society

Mr. Williams was raised in Midwest City, Oklahoma. He studied at the University of Oklahoma where he earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Public Administration and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Mr. Williams’ Historical Society career began in the newspaper department where he worked in all aspects of newspaper preservation and public service. Prior to working full time in the Research Division he volunteered for three years and wrote his master’s thesis on “Digitization in the Archives of the Oklahoma Historical Society.” In 2001 he served as Manuscript Archivist until being promoted to deputy director and then director. He has been instrumental in the development of the OHS online research catalog and “Gateway to Oklahoma History,” both of which include a variety of digitized records. He began with OHS in 2001 as a Manuscripts Archivist; in 2008 he was appointed Deputy Director of Research; and since 2014 he has been the Director of Research.

Harold Adair

Harold Adair has been a City of Tulsa employee for 47 years. He worked in the Police Department, retiring as a Sergeant after 32 years. He then spent several years as the Drug House Abatement Coordinator in the Working for Neighborhoods Section. Following that, he returned to the Police Department as a crime and intelligence analyst and is now the manager of the Public Safety Analysis Unit. He has traced his family history back to over seven generations.

Tom Braunlich

Journalist, inventor, and editor, Tom has written or edited many kinds of books ranging from biographies, game strategy books, and business books, to magazine articles, and even a novel. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Oklahoma State University in 1982. Active in the chess community since his youth, he is currently the Oklahoma Senior Chess Champion.


Juli Bulliegh

A native of Tulsa, Juli Bulleigh is a retired accountant and mother of a large family. She began family history research in 1970, when it was all done by in-person research or by correspondence, and has continued to learn as new tools and resources have become available.

She was a librarian in the local Family History Center for 28 years, and was the director for 8 of those years. She has used all types of records, but her most extensive experience is in Pennsylvania, New England and the Midwestern States, as well as French Canadian research. She has additional training in paleography … reading old handwriting. Recently, she was able to use DNA to solve a decades-old family mystery.

Ronald Graham, Sr.

Ronald Graham, Sr. was born and raised in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.  He is a very energetic man who is passionate in the efforts to educate others on the history and genealogy of the Five Civilized Tribes through the Dawes Commission, and particularly the Muscogee (Creek Nation).  His father, Theodore BLUE Graham, was an original allottee, roll number: Creek Freedmen Newborn 671.  He is a direct descendant of Huttlon/Grayson, Johnson, Corbray, and McGilbray.  All were Muscogee Nation citizens.

Mr. Graham currently serves as Genealogy Chair for the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association, and Vice President of the Black Genealogy Research Group of Oklahoma.  He has been involved with genealogy and the history of the Freedmen for 30+ years.  He has traveled across the country educating others about the Freedmen.  He has been featured or referenced in numerous well-known publications, books, and newspapers and has done presentations for a number of organizations, universities, churches, and community centers.


Charlotte Ker

Her love of family history began in 1998. Following her father’s death, Charlotte, her mother, and her cousin Brenda took to the roads, visiting her father’s people and the places from which they came. Results from DNA testing took her to Kentucky and Texas, and back to Oklahoma in search of her ancestors. Through the DNA analysis she discovered two generations of family who had left no paper trail. 

Taking a break from BYU-Idaho, she is currently serving a mission with FamilySearch. Her responsibilities include contacting repositories in Oklahoma and surrounding states and beginning contract negotiations for assistance in digitizing records, inventorying records of genealogical value, and coordinating potential projects and volunteers.


Brandy VanTassell

Brandy has been fascinated by family history since she was a young girl.  She loves learning the stories of those that came before us.  Each of those names is a real person with real experiences that have the potential to inspire us. Brandy has worked in the Family History Center for many years, and she and her husband Mike are currently serving as its Directors.


Nancy Calhoun

Nancy Calhoun has been chasing relatives for over 40 years. While in Teacher Corps and graduate school in Kansas, she enrolled in a genealogy class and has been pursuing family, both her own and others’ since that time. She found it to be a perfect combination with her bachelor degrees (history, English, vocational home economics with a minor in photography) and a masters in curriculum and instruction. With a teaching background and 20 years in newspaper work and publishing, she often used her research skills in the classroom and in writing.  Her personal research includes Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky, as well as Oklahoma.

     Nancy was the Department Head of Genealogy and Local History at Muskogee Public Library in Muskogee, Oklahoma, until January when she went to work for Oklahoma Hiistorical Society. She has attended several NGS and FGS national conferences, in addition to area educational opportunities. She was the recipient of the librarian scholarship to attend IGHR and the Richard S. Lackey Memorial Scholarship for the 2017 session of Genealogical Institute on Federal Records. Her writings have placed in the annual contests held by the International Association of Family History Writers and Editors.

     Memberships include APG, NGS, DAR, United Daughters of the War of 1812, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Oklahoma’s First Families of the Twin Territories, First Families of Wythe County, Virginia, Mayflower Society, and several county and state genealogical organizations. She is a board member of the Oklahoma Genealogical Society and Gen-Fed Alumni.

Jeff & Diana Hall

Jeff and Diana Hall have been married for 42 years.  They have 4 daughters, 4 sons-in-law, and 13 grandchildren.  After living in Salt Lake City, Utah, Phoenix, Arizona, and Raleigh, North Carolina, they settled in Broken Arrow where they have lived for 33 years.  They currently lead an Addiction Recovery Program.  They have been indexing genealogical records since 2006, when that capability was first made available online.  

David & Rita Hardgrave

David & Rita Hardgrave are both graduates of the University of Oklahoma. David worked as a civil/environmental engineer and Rita as social worker.  Rita is now retired and David works with his son in a local private environmental business.  The couple lives in Broken Arrow and are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They have 5 children and 13 grandchildren.

     In 2021 the Hardgrave’s served a mission for their church and were assigned to serve in the Utah, Salt Lake City Headquarters Mission where they were able to work in the church’s Family History Library.  They were there at a time when the library was closed due to Covid, and they were able to participate in getting the library and fellow missionaries prepared for reopening in July of 2021.  They were also able to go through training at that time to learn how to use FamilySearch and other family history websites.

And many more including:

Jay & Lori Cummings
Carl Klinger
Jack Ramsey
Crystal Smaldone
Judith Wallace