Dana received her BA in Math Education to teach high school mathematics. With a love of family history and background in teaching, she began teaching beginning genealogy classes in 1996 before graduating from college.
In 1997, she was admitted into the Daughter of the Utah Pioneers lineage society. Married life and school caused her to live in five states in a short period of time and provided ample opportunities to become familiar with how to do research in various locations around the country. She continued to teach and volunteer at her local family history centers throughout all these moves.
After moving to Lebanon, Ohio in 2001, she volunteered at the Warren County Genealogical Society (WCGS) and created their website. She served as the 1st Vice President of the WCGS from 2005 to 2007, President from 2007 until the end of 2013, and again as the 1st Vice President from 2017-2018. She was the WCGS webmaster from its creation until the end of 2013 and has taught the WCGS summer workshops since 2005.
She has lectured on genealogy topics throughout Ohio since 2002 and has been a presenter many times at the OGS annual conference, FGS in 2013 & 2020, NGS in 2018, 2020, 2021, and RootsTech in 2020-2022.
In 2009, she became a board certified genealogist (CG) and completed her first renewal in 2014 and her second renewal in 2019. She also became a certified genealogy lecturer (CGL) in 2019. She was hired as a genealogy instructor at Sinclair Community College (Dayton, Ohio) in the fall of 2010 and at the Warren County Career Center (Lebanon, Ohio) in the fall of 2012. She currently teaches genealogy and technology classes for Sinclair Community College at their Courseview Campus in Mason, Ohio.
She has been the co-chair for the 2013 and 2016 Ohio Genealogical Society annual conferences and has been the program coordinator for the annual Family History Jamboree held in Centerville, Ohio since 2016.
She has extensive knowledge of publishing family history books and editing digital photographs and has published over 30 books for her genealogical society and clients. She specializes in Ohio and Midwestern research but has experience working with U.K., Danish, German, Hungarian, and Czech records.
She belongs to the following organizations: NGS, OGS, GSG, WCGS and many genealogical societies all over the country. In April 2017, she became a member of NSDAR and was accepted into the USD 1812 Society in May of 2018. Through research she did on her husband's ancestry, her husband was accepted into the Mayflower lineage society in June of 2017. In January 2021, she was accepted as a member of Colonial Dames.
In November 2018, she was elected for a 2-year term staring in January of 2019 as Vice-President of the Martin Heiner Family Organization, a non-profit family organization for which she has been an active member for years. She was re-elected to this position, which started on January 2021. She is also one of the webmasters and their primary researcher for the family organization. She is currently teaching herself German to help her read, understand, and index the parish church records for some of the towns in Thüringen, German where the Heiner and Dietzel families originate.
In January 2020, she was hired by Eagle Investigative Services for military repatriation work for the US Army Past Conflict Repatriations Branch. She created a beginning genealogy webinar course to help researchers learn how to effectively use the most popular genealogy websites. You can see more details or register for the course here: https://eistrainingacademy.thinkific.com/pages/genealogy .
In March 2021, she was hired by the General Society for Mayflower Descendants to work on updating their Silver Book series. She is currently working on Volume 9, which covers Pilgrim Francis Eaton, and his descendants. She had articles published in the Mayflower Quarterly in the Fall 2021 and Winter 2021 issues.
She has received numerous awards including: 2016 OGS Key Player; 2012 OGS outstanding chapter officer; the Tecumseh Book Award in 2010 and another in 2016; and the Salmon P. Chase Book Award in 2008 and 2022 for books she co-authored. The WCGS website she created won best website five times of the six times she applied at the OGS annual conference (2007-2009, 2011-2012). While she was President, WCGS won best chapter at the OGS conference five times of the six times she applied (2007-2009, and 2011-2012).
She loves problem solving and tracking down those elusive ancestors. If she is not busy writing books for her clients you can probably find her spending time with her husband and seven children.