MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Meet Suzanne R. Adams – Accredited in Italy

We would like to introduce you to Suzanne R. Adams, AG®, who earned her accreditation in Italy.

We asked Suzanne a few questions about her accreditation process, area of accreditation, and advice for those seeking accreditation. Here is what she shared with us.

What motivated you to pursue accreditation?

I think it was something that I always knew I wanted to do after graduating from BYU with a degree in family history/genealogy. Accreditation felt like a good next step in my journey. George Ryskamp was my mentor and always emphasized the importance of accreditation or certification. I personally wanted to continue to develop skills and test those skills.  Because I focused so heavily on Southern Europe; especially Italy – Accreditation in Italian research just made sense.

What are some challenging or unique aspects of researching in your area of accreditation?

Not sure how to answer this one!

What advice do you have for those pursuing accreditation?

Go for it! I truly believe if it is something you desire and you work hard enough, you can do it.

What are some of your goals as a genealogist?

Continue to learn as much as I can.  One of the things I love the most about family history—is that no one person knows everything and there is always something to learn. I am constantly trying to expand my knowledge in different areas.  My work at FamilySearch allows me to work with records from many areas of the world including Brazil, Portugal, Greece, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, United States and more.

What research projects are you involved with now, or have planned for the future?

My work experience has been long and varied.  After graduation from BYU I worked for for 12 years and have now been employed at for almost 9 years. I’ve been lucky enough to work in a variety of areas in that time from content strategy, acquisition, community relations, PR, electronic records production, indexing workforce, partnerships, conferences, speaking, research (including seasons 1 and 2 of Who do You Think You Are? and’s full service genealogy). I do occasionally take clients and have taught in a few courses at SLIG and GRIP.  I enjoy teaching at conferences and helping others to learn.  

I currently work for on the Content Strategy team. The Content Strategy Team at FamilySearch identifies and prioritizes records for family history research. Content Strategists define the data strategy – records to acquire and records to make available – for their assigned localities. I currently work with strategy for Brazil, South America South (Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile), United States Western States and Federal Strategy, Italy, Portugal, Adriatic (Croatia, Greece, Alabania, etc.), Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Isles. There are always exciting things happening at FamilySearch!

 Do you have a website you would like to have mentioned?

Not a personal one, but you can find me on LinkedIn or ICAPGenSM .

When did you receive your accreditation?

October 2000… I am coming up on my 20 year anniversary. WOW!

Is there anything else you want to let us know about your genealogy experience or activities?

Here is my bio from ICAPGenSM and other places…don’t know if that will help, too.

Suzanne Russo Adams, MA, AG® is a member of the Content Strategy team at FamilySearch. She was previously employed by for nearly 12 years in US Content Acquisition and Electronic Production. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a BS in sociology and a BA in family history/genealogy specializing in Southern European research, specifically Italy. Suzanne also has a Masters degree in European History (December 2008) and is a graduate of NIGR (2003). She has served on the Association of Professional Genealogists Board (APG) and as a commissioner for the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional GenealogistsSM (ICAPGen). She is the author of Finding Your Italian Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide (Ancestry, 2008) and was a lead researcher for Season 1 of NBC’s hit series “Who Do You Think You Are?”

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