My Story

I spent over twenty years of my professional life working in defense and national security. I have been fortunate enough to speak to audiences around the world from thousands of miles away to my hometown.

I founded MLSK Associates LLC in 2007 and worked as a consultant for defense companies and small business start-ups. While that business was interesting and filled with challenges, I kept coming back to historical research and genealogy.  In 2014, I decided to devote my full attention to this field and re-brand my company as RomaMaryGrace.  Some of the highlights so far include my 2018 lecture on the centenary of the Spanish Influenza Pandemic at the National World War One Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri and conducting research for the TLC television show Who Do You Think You Are? (2018 & 2019) and for the PBS television show Finding Your Roots with Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. (2021). I have lectured at numerous conferences/events and worked on many genealogy and historic preservation projects.  You can see samples of my work on the portfolio and gallery pages.

I am an alumnus of the prestigious Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program in Germany during which I was able to uncover some of my German heritage. I have a Master of Science degree in Defense & Strategic Studies from Missouri State University and Bachelor of Arts degrees in German and Political Science, with an emphasis on history from the University of Missouri.

I have lived in five states and one foreign country. I have called Alabama home for seventeen years, meeting some amazing people and discovered some remarkable stories along the way. It is hard not to think that my past led me here.

Recent professional development 

  • IGHR: Military Records III: Advanced Research & Methodology (2023)
  • IGHR: Research in the South: Cessions & Territories (2023)
  • SLIG: Advanced Material Culture (2023)
  • IGHR: Advanced Library Research (2022)
    GRIP: Tackling Tough Problems (2022)
  • Genealogy Research Institute of Pittsburgh, GRIP: Genetic Genealogy (2021)
  • Rootstech (2019, 2020, 2021, 2023)
  • Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy: Land Records (2021)
  • Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy: Advanced Techniques for Online Searches (2021)
  • Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Workshop: Google Maps (2021)
  • Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Workshop: Scrivner (2021)
  • Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), Intermediate Genealogy (2020)
  • Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), Military Records III: Post-Civil War (2016)
  • National Genealogical Society Conference, St. Charles, MO (2015, 2019)
  • Annual Missouri State Genealogical Conference (2014-2023)

Affiliations and memberships

My specialties and interests

  • Family business history
  • Historic context & material culture
  • National Register of Historic Places
  • Building & property research
  • Resilience / disaster / pandemic history

See the Resources Page for my recent publications

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