For more than a decade, the Genealogy Adventures website and online broadcasts have helped genealogists of all levels and abilities discover and develop methodologies to discover their ancestors. Founder and host, Brian Sheffey, developed a platform noted for its honesty, frankness, compassion, shared wisdom, and humor.
Genealogy and history are intertwined. With that in mind, Genealogy Adventures has been at the forefront of engaging national conversations about American identity and Amerian history. To better understand the lives of the ancestors, we need to understand the external factors that shaped their lives and influenced decision making. By looking frankly at history, and keeping sentimentality out of the equation, we can have the conversation of how actions and beliefs “back then” shape and affect our American “now”. Along with our audience, we dig deep into the past to reveal connections that bind all Americans to one another.
Founder | Host | Managing Researcher
Brian has expertise in DNA, mid-Atlantic, and Southern research, with an emphasis on the intersection of white, black, and Native American genealogy. He has used his knowledge to solve cases of unknown parentage from Colonial America to the present day utilizing DNA and paper trail evidence. Brian has been, and continues to be, a popular speaker at genealogy conferences and seminars, as well as the popular international host of “Genealogy Adventures.”
Brian has deep family roots in colonial Virginia and the Carolinas: from his Jamestown-founding European ancestors to his earliest African ancestors who arrived in 1619 to the Pamunky, Choctaw, and Creek tribes…and his colonial Quaker ancestors in the mid-Atlantic region. His passion for genealogy was inspired by his father, and his father’s drive and desire to discover the story of his family. This understanding inspires his work to help others uncover their own ancestral stories.
Brian combines years of experience in marketing research and academia with a passion for genealogical research – and a unique ability to solve seemingly impossible cases. His primary research interests include cases of unknown parentage, such as identifying the white progenitors of mulatto family lines; and triangulating answers to tough genealogical questions using traditional records and genetic evidence.
Behind his passion for research lies the belief that genealogy is an opportunity to connect with Americans from different backgrounds to enable them to connect with each other – and make connections around the globe.
email: briansheffey (at) gmail (dot) com
Co-Host | COO | Senior Researcher
Donya believes that Genealogy has been requesting her attention since a little girl, but it was not until 1996 that she would finally begin to answer the call. Since then she has been placed on a journey that she would not trade for the world. Donya’s researching expertise is strongest with families in the Southern states with an emphasis on families that have a huge number of endogamic relationships. She uses DNA, documents (paper trail), and common sense to solve and break down the infamous brick wall.
Donya is best known for her no-nonsense, straightforward, and honest attitude on the show Genealogy Adventures Live. Together, she and Brian push the guest to acknowledge the honest history of America and discuss the unmentionable time which is slavery and the reconstruction period. Donya’s genealogical makeup is African, European, Northern, and Southern India with a splash of Spain. Learning her origins has opened her eyes to the mix that makes her up and what the American forefathers meant by this country is a melting pot.
Research has opened her eyes to what she did not learn in school. She learns something new every day and she continues to say that it is the best thing she has ever done in her life outside of having her children. Because of Genealogy, she has submitted articles to the oldest running newspaper in South Carolina; is the leader to bringing all branches of her family together, as well as the appointed lead to form a new AAHGS chapter for the Edgefield County area, and in 2017 wrote a popular book called Comes to the Light: Learning About the Entangled Families of Edgefield, South Carolina. Donya is a Mother of four and feels that it would be irresponsible of her not to share the knowledge she has received during her research. She believes the most important thing that Genealogy has done for her is the ability to educate others on who they are and where they come from.
email: donya20746 (at) @gmail (dot) com