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FSGS Speakers Bureau

Jim and Terry Willard

1962 Hagood Loop
The Villages, Florida, 32162
(352) 751-4829

Lecture Topics

  • Beginners Workshops
  • Computers and Genealogy
  • New England Research
  • French Canadian Research
  • Census Records
  • Military Records
  • Land Records

Willing to travel up to 150 miles.

Previous Speaking Engagements

  • Maine Historical Society - Portland
  • Smithsonian Institution - Washington, D.C.
  • Gen Tech - Dallas, 1997
  • PBS Ancestors Series 

Various Florida societies such as Indian River, Lee-Collier County, Okechobee, and Manasota as well as presentations in Wisconsin, West Virginia, and California.  ANCESTRY magazine contributor.


Terry and Jim have pursued active careers in education, teaching since 1969 and teaching students from the ages of 5 to 95. Terry holds a B.A., M.A., and C.A.S. in French from the University of Maine. Jim has a B.S. in History, M.Ed., and C.A.S. in Secondary Counseling from the University of Maine. Terry taught French language and culture classes at the high school level (26 years) and to adults (since 1995) at the Sarasota County Adult and Community Education Program. Jim has 26 years of service at the middle and high school level and since 1995 at the Sarasota County Adult and Community Education Program. In Sarasota, Terry taught French language and culture classes as well as team-taught with Jim various genealogy, computer, and eBay classes. Jim taught many levels of computer literacy classes, digital camera classes, and scanner classes. They continue to do workshops for Adult Education in Sarasota. Since 2004 they have also been teaching the same variety of classes for The Villages Lifelong Learning College in The Villages, Florida.

From 1995-2000, they served as co-hosts for the popular PBS Television series Ancestors, traveling around the country conducting workshops and promoting the series from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, CA, and from Dallas, TX, to Portland, ME. They co-authored (along with Jane Wilson) the book ANCESTORS: A Beginner’s Guide to Family History and Genealogy that accompanied the series. They also wrote the teacher’s guide that helped teachers and students benefit from viewing the series. Since then they have conducted workshops throughout Florida, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, and each of the New England states. They especially enjoy getting feedback from their beginners’ workshops as they are freelance writers who specialize in genealogy. They have published over 40 articles in Ancestry Magazine and they write a monthly column for The Villages Daily Sun. They have spoken at genealogy conferences throughout the United States and take a group of adult students to Salt Lake City for a research trip annually. They worked for Senior Summer School for 7 years, from 1997-2003, where they taught or directed over 3,000 students from the ages of 65-95. They were teachers in Madison, Wisconsin for 3 summers (1997-1999), ran the Morgantown, West Virginia Program one year (2000), and were the Program Coordinators of the San Diego and La Jolla Programs for three summers (2001-2003). In addition, they were the Program Coordinators of the Tampa, Florida, Winter program for two years (2001-2002). They continue to teach over the Christmas/New Year holiday for a new company – Grand Edventures at their Orlando location.

They have actively pursued their own genealogies since 1968 and it was this interest that brought them to all the wonderful technology that is available today – everything from computers to digital cameras to scanners to iPods. They are currently in the process of completing a major family picture project along with continuing to research their own family histories.