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Meet the Board

It is our pleasure to help you develop understanding about Genetic Genealogy 

Patricia Ann Kellner


Patricia Ann Kellner has found lost family members using Genealogy and DNA, reunited adoptees to their families, and developed successful Genetic Genealogy strategies. She manages over 35 DNA tests, runs Facebook DNA/Genealogy groups, has hosted family reunions, and created an extensive family tree. Patricia has presented numerous lectures on a wide variety of Genetic Genealogy (DNA) topics to the Long Island community. She is a founding board member of the DNA Genealogy Group of Long Island.

Linda Russell Shepherd


Linda Russell Shepherd has been researching her family history for 40 years. She continued her research during her years living in Syracuse, where she was a member of the Central New York Genealogical Society and helped initiate a genealogy and technology group for beginners. Linda also divided her time on boards involving Child Care, the local Library and family issues. Linda is new to Autosomal DNA testing and now manages her family kits at various websites.

Maureen McCourt Nantista


Maureen McCourt Nantista has been active in family history research for over twenty-six years. As a professional genealogist she has attended numerous national and international conferences, and been interviewed on local television. Her former positions include Vice President of the Genealogy Federation of Long Island, President of the Irish Family History Forum and editor of their newsletter. Maureen also served on the board of directors of the Italian Genealogical Group and was co-founder and newsletter editor of the Scottish Heritage & Ancestral Research Society. She currently manages 23 DNA accounts allowing her to connect with family members across the globe.

Merrill Loechner

Director of Marketing

Merrill Loechner has been working on her family history for about 15 years, developing proficiency in New York genealogy (her family has lived the state since the 1600s). She has been interested in genetic genealogy for the past two years and has been learning various techniques in order to break down some pernicious brick walls.

Professionally, after spending most of her adult career as a marketing manager for various corporations, she owns a Marketing & Communications consulting firm and is also actively working as a podcast producer. 

Karen Worrell


Karen Worrell has been involved in family history research for almost 20 years, Since 1999, Karen has been a member of Ancestry.com where she has built her family tree. Recently, she has done DNA testing with Ancestry.com and 23andMe and connected with family members on both the maternal side and paternal side of her family. Karen runs a Facebook group for members of her maternal side and shares information with many maternal cousins.

Pat Calandra


Pat Calandra has been working on her personal Family history since 1978. Pat has served the genealogy community in many capacities including as a Charter member of the Irish Forum, a Co-Founder of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Genealogical Society, a former volunteer at the Plainview Family History Center for over 5 years, and a Volunteer of the National Archives in NYC. Pat has been working on her Family DNA and manages 4 DNA accounts as she pursues her passion to find and reconnect with long lost family.

Michael C. Carragher

Past President

Michael Carragher has been working on his personal family history and genealogy for over 20 years and manages over 30 DNA test kits at multiple companies. He also is conducting a one-name study of his Carragher surname. Mike is the Past President of the DNA Genealogy Group of Long Island and is a founding board member. Mike served as Past President of the Irish Family History Forum from 2011-2017.