Sheila Benedict has a BA, Political Science; French minor; emphasis on pre-law, completed post-Graduate courses in history, social sciences, archival basics and management, Spanish, and paralegal studies. Her genealogical education includes courses at the Forensic Genealogy Institute, IGHR, NGS, NIGR, now Gen-Fed), SLIG and many others.
She was archivist/administrator at Old Mission Santa Inés 2001 – 2018, oversaw the museum collection and archives, and was the grant writer with historical compliance. She has been a self-employed Genealogical, Historical and Forensic Genealogist since 1992; taught beginning and intermediate genealogy and oral history techniques at a local community college; lectured at NGS and FGS, genealogical and historical societies, and museums. She has been the coordinator of the SCGS Jamboree Roundtables and runs the Irish research table.
She has researched Irish records both in the USA and Ireland, English records both in the USA and Great Britain; Catholic and other religious records, and extensive research on California history, Spanish and Mexican Land Grants, Gold Rush, Native Californians, the railroad, migration patterns, and other important western USA topics. She wrote the California book for the National Genealogical Society’s “Research in the States” series launched at the May 2015 NGS Conference. She has had several articles published in the CAFG Forensic Genealogy newsletter, National Genealogical Society Magazine, the Organization for Legal Associates eMagazine; wrote a monthly genealogy column for a local newspaper, and an occasional review editor for the scholarly publication, NGSQ and others. She recently wrote a book review for the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly and wrote an article in their quarterly on Ground Penetrating Radar and Forensic Canines.
Her memberships include the Association of Professional Genealogists, current president of the APG Writer’s SIG, past president of the APG Virtual Chapter, board member of the Genealogical Speaker’s Guild, and Life Member of the National Genealogical Society and the Santa Barbara County [CA] Genealogical Society. She is also a member of the Southern California Genealogical Society, San Luis Obispo County [CA] Genealogical Society, American Irish Historical Association – Santa Barbara Branch, The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA), Utah Genealogical Association, Santa Barbara County Paralegal Association, and the California Genealogical Society.