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James L. Ison, AG, CG


  • Master of Science: George Washington University: Emphasis: Computer Systems Administration
  • Bachelor of Arts: University of South Carolina: Emphasis: International Relations


  • Accredited Genealogist in Mid-South 2007
  •      International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen)
  • Certified Genealogist 2008
  •      Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG)


  • Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey Leadership Center, 1994-2003
  • Management courses, University of Phoenix, 2003-2004
  • Path of Dialogue, PRAXIS/Vitality Alliance, 1997-1998

Genealogical Institutes

  • Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis, Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, 2005
  • Research in the South Part I, Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, 2006
  • Producing a Quality Family Narrative, Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, 2010


  • Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), Trustee, 2010-2011
  • ICAPGen, Mentor, 2010
  • Salt Lake Utah Chapter APG, President, 2009
  • Salt Lake Utah Chapter APG, Vice-President, 2008
  • John Parker Historical Society, Trustee, 2004-2006
  • National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Director FamilySearch Center, 2004-2005

Conference Presenter

  • Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS): 2008, 2006, 2005
  • Brigham Young University Family History Conference: 2008
  • Federation of Genealogical Societies: 2010
  • ICAPGen: 2009
  • International Black History Summit: 2009
  • NARA IV Black History Symposium: 2010, 2009
  • National Genealogical Society: 2010
  • National Underground Railroad Freedom Center: 2008, 2005
  • Northern California Roots Simulcast: 2005
  • Northern Kentucky University Borderlands III: 2005
  • Utah Genealogical Association: 1998


  • Fugitive Slave Act and Underground Railroad
  • GPS—Finding Your Way Through Tough Research Problems
  • Have AG, Why CG
  • Migration Patterns: An Alternative for Locating African Origins
  • Using the Genealogical Proof Standard for African American Research


  • Courage, Cooperation, and Perseverance,” Crossroads, (Utah Genealogical Association, March 2008).
  • Discover Your Family's History, (Cincinnati: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 2005).
  • Elijah Moore, Sr. Family of Anderson County, South Carolina, 1996.
  • “How to utilize modern technology to enhance family history research,” Church News, June 20, 1998.
  • "Major League Mormons," This People, Fall 1991.
  • Mormons in the Major Leagues: Career Histories of 44 LDS Players (Cincinnati: Action Sports, 1991). 
  • Where in the World Are Your Ancestors, 1998.


  • Clayton Norlen, “Connecting to African Roots,” Deseret News, February 8, 2009.
  • Family Tree Magazine, "A Center for Freedom--and Family History," February 2005.
  • October 30, 2009
  • Jenny Manglesdorf, "Putting Performance on the Line," CSC World, Fall 1987.
  • John Johnston, “Finding your family: Freedom Center helps hundreds see their past,” The Cincinnati Enquirer, February 1, 2005.
  • Karen Vance, “Church offers genealogy help at museum site,” The Cincinnati Enquirer, August 13, 2005.
  • Lex Hemphill, "Mormons Make a Dent in Majors," Salt Lake Tribune, July 28, 1991.
  • Rebecca M. Taylor, “Finding Ancestors, Uniting a Ward,” Ensign, July 2006.
  • Thomas S. Monson, “First Presidency Message: Precious Children, a Gift from God,” Ensign, June 2000.
  • Thomas S. Monson, “Precious Children, a Gift from God,” Ensign, November 1991.

Professional Experience

  • FamilySearch Marketing, 2009 to present—complete market research projects.
  • FamilySearch Patron Services, 2006 to present—complete planning, surveying, and reporting projects at the Family History Library and worldwide support.
  • Provident Bank, Senior Vice President for Applications Development—directed development and maintenance of business applications.
  • Keane, Engagement Program Manager—directed application outsourcing contracts at Great American Insurance Company.
  • Keane, Director of Staffing and Employee Development—directed resourcing, utilization, and professional development.
  • Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Operations Manager—co-managed consulting and systems integration practice for Ohio.
  • CSC, Center Director—managed CSC’s largest commercial contract with AT&T.
  • CSC, Deputy Program Manager—co-managed nationwide contracts at EPA.
  • CSC, Operations Director—directed one of NASA’s largest computational centers.

Recommended General Business Books

  • Black Roots by Tony Burroughs
  • Finding a Place Called Home by Dee Parmer Woodtor
  • Genealogists Guide to Discovering African American Ancestors by Franklin Smith and Emily Croom
  • Mississippi to Africa by Melvin J. Collier
  • Slave Ancestral Research, It' Something Else by Mary Fears
  • Somerset Homecoming by Dorothy Spruill Redford

Recently Read Business Books

  • 33 Million People in the Room by Juliette Powell
  • Brand Jam by Marc Gobe
  • Delivering Profitable Value by Michael Lanning
  • Driving Results Through Social Networks by Rob Cross and Robert Thomas
  • Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
  • Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shahr
  • Linchpin by Seth Godin
  • What Would Google Do? By Jeff Jarvis

Other Recommended Reading

  • Albion's Seed by David Fischer
  • His Promised Land edited by Stuart Sprague
  • Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin
  • The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman