Hi, I’m

Valerie Elkins

I am passionate about families, about stories, and about helping people find theirs. I love creating clever and inspiring ways to share family history. Whether it is through books, home decor, or serving heritage traditional foods, as long as can get people to ask questions and want to know more about their ancestry and their heritage, I feel like I have done my job right.

I didn’t inherit many stories, photos, or memorabilia. I had to discover, improvise, and recreate my heritage – and I can show you how too! I am thrilled when I can connect people, places, and things through family history.

I love to teach, write, and create – I love what I do! Most of all I love my husband, my children, and grandchildren.

Valerie created FamilyCherished to share her love and passion for family history and how to cherish your family. Sharing meaningful ways to leave and create a legacy in hopes that it will inspire others to love and remember their heritage as well.

Valerie became fascinated with her family history while still a young girl. Family tradition had it that her great, great grandmother was an Indian princess, (a story started by said grandmother no less). Raised in a family that moved like migratory birds, Valerie latched onto this story. She spent hours reading about horses and Indians – just in case the tribe should ever need her to come and take her rightful place on the throne.

By the time she found out that there was no such thing as Indian royalty, it was too late – she was hooked.

Valerie is a professional family history researcher, presenter, writer, and lover of great stories. She uses her background and training to help others find the joy of knowing their own story and preserving it in creative and meaningful ways.

Valerie is the chief researcher and founder of her own research firm where she specializes in finding family history stories and leaving a legacy. Valerie has worked at the famed Family History Library in Salt Lake City as an international research consultant and has served on several genealogy boards, including the Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Valerie is a family history expert and professional genealogy researcher, presenter, writer, and lover of great stories. She uses her background and training to help others find the joy of knowing their own story and preserving it in creative and meaningful ways.

Valerie is a frequent speaker and has presented both nationally and internationally on a variety of subjects related to family history research, technology, and finding family stories.

Some highlights

  • Research consultant for Shed Media, producer of television’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” for confidential possible celebrity’s episode.
  • Research consultant for BYUTV’s “The Generations Project” 11/8/2011 episode on US Olympic snowboarder, Graham Watanabe.
  • National Genealogical Society Official Blogger for 2013 Family History Conference

  • Family History Expos Official Blogger – 2012

  • Story@Home – Board of Directors

  • Family Tree Magazine – “Top 40 International Family History Blogs”, 2012

  • Family Tree Magazine – “Top Social Media Mavericks”, 2014

  • Rootstech Official Ambassador (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)

  • Association of Professional Genealogists – Board of Directors (2015-2018)

  • Utah Genealogical Association – past 2nd Vice President and Publicity and Marketing Chair


Continuing Education:

  • Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy:
    • Professional Genealogy; 2011
    • Advanced Genealogical Methods; 2012
    • Forensic Genealogy; 2013
    • Southern States Research; 2014
    • Writing a Proof Summary; 2015
    • Early U.S. Church Records; 2016
  • International Society of British Genealogy and Family History
    • Irish Research; 2015
  • National Genealogical Society – American Genealogical Studies: The Basics Certificate; 2016. American Genealogical Studies: Source Documentation and Citation Certificate; 2016
  • Forensic Genealogy Institute, Dallas, Texas -Forensic Genealogy Certificate; 2013
  • Daughters of American Revolution, Washington, D.C.
    • Genealogical Research for DAR Applications Certificate
  • Association of Professional Genealogy – Professional Management Conference: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2105, 2016
  • National Genealogical Society Family History Conference 2013, 2016
  • Federation of Genealogical Societies Family History Conference; 2014
  • Brigham Young Family History Conference; 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Rootstech Family History Conference; 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogist Family History Conference; 2013, 2014

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Association of Professional Genealogists (Board of Directors)

  • International Society of Journal Writers

  • National Genealogical Society

  • Federation of Genealogical Societies

  • Daughters of American Revolution

  • International Society of Family History Writers and Editors

  • National Association of Memoir Writers

  • Utah Genealogical Association (past 2nd Vice President & Board of Directors)

  • Nonfiction Authors Association

“Thank you so much for your inspiring our group to focus on family history. You made a tremendous impact. I continue to hear members reference your [presentation]. We appreciate your time, talents, and efforts in leading this great work.”
Jason K.
“Thorough, easy-to-understand and interesting…you gave us tips that we could start using today – and you made it fun too!”
Ginny, Your Content Goes Here

“I enjoyed your presentation today. You have a great casual teaching style.”

J. Mark Lowe, Your Content Goes Here

“Loved your Rootstech class, you had so many resources! You are great and your story instigated helping so many people to remember their story. Thanks so much.”

Lana, Your Content Goes Here