Meet our Team of Professional Researchers
Melanie Beal Marks, Founder and Principal Researcher of CT House Histories, LLC, has consulted on a wide range of genealogical and historic preservation projects throughout Connecticut, New York, and New England. She is an ardent advocate for threatened and abandoned properties and worked tirelessly to save the Sturges Cottage, a circa 1840 Gothic Revival Gardeners Cottage in Fairfield, Connecticut. Melanie brings fresh insight and a high level of research detail to her projects. Her areas of expertise include historical and genealogical research, National and State Register listing documentation, and research on historical homes and property. Melanie is a consultant and lecturer for leading preservation organizations in Connecticut including The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Fairfield Museum, and History Center and the Connecticut Gravestone Network. She has conducted workshops and lectures on gravestone preservation, restoration, and art interpretation throughout Connecticut and Ohio. Melanie is an advocate for the preservation and protection of many of Connecticut’s abandoned burying grounds. Her passion and interest in Connecticut’s historic burying grounds has led to many restoration and preservation initiatives in the Greenfield Hill Burying Ground, the Old Burying Ground and the Wakeman Cemetery, all in Fairfield, CT. She is a three-year member of the Easton Cemetery Committee where she has helped in the restoration work of the Gilbertown and Center Street Cemeteries. Melanie also serves on the Advisory Board of the Historical Society of Easton and is a Board member of the Greenfield Hill Village Improvement Society. She is a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Connecticut Historical Society, Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, (Fairfield, CT), Connecticut Ancestry Society, and The Dutchess County Historical Society (NY) as well as numerous historical and genealogical societies throughout Connecticut and New York.
Melissa Beal Beyerlein, Research Consultant, has been doing historic and genealogical research for over 35 years in the Midwest, Maryland, New York, New England, and Nova Scotia. Melissa is the Owner of OH House Histories, LLC. In Ohio, Melissa conducts historic and genealogical research to determine the origins and descent of families, including the identification of individuals, their family relationships, the biographical details of their lives, and the properties on which they lived. Having worked as a paralegal for over 20 years, Melissa is proficient in researching public records and legal documents. Melissa is a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society, and numerous county and local historical and genealogical societies in Ohio and New York. Melissa also enjoys researching the colonial and military life of American Revolutionary War patriots as a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Melanie and Melissa have worked together on numerous historic and genealogical projects for many years, most recently developing the life story of their Quaker ancestor and DAR Patriot, Preserved Fish Dakin of New York.
Patricia A. Hines, a writer and researcher, caught the genealogy bug four years ago when she started delving into her family history on a whim. Starting with her immediate family of five, her tree has grown to include more than 600 people (some as far back as the 18th century Italy) – and still growing. She spent nearly 30 years in the newspaper business, 25 of them as the editor of a weekly newspaper in Fairfield, Connecticut. Her experience as a newspaperwoman, both as a reporter and editor, honed her research and writing skills, and provided the foundation for her journey into genealogy. The maternal side of her family is a member of the American Immigrant Wall of Honor of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. She is a member of the National Genealogical Society.
Lisa Burghardt, Restoration Consultant specializes in the restoration of historic cemeteries and monuments and forensic genealogical research in the New England area. Lisa’s research and writing expertise has led to funding streams for restoring ancient burying grounds and historic buildings in Easton, developing blighted properties in Bridgeport and funding for various not-for-profit organizations. Lisa formerly served for many years as the President of the Historical Society of Easton and also the Vice Chair of the Easton Cemetery Committee She is professionally affiliated with Artista Studios, a restoration company specializing in the conservation, sales and restoration of religious artwork, sculptures, monuments and mausoleums in the New England area.
Phillip Seven Esser, Architectural Historian specializing in historic preservation has spent over a decade documenting and evaluating historic buildings, structures, neighborhoods, and sites for state and National Register of Historic Places individual and historic district designation. Qualified as a historian and architectural historian under the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards (as defined in 36 CFR Part 61), he conducts intensive surveys and prepares documentation for State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) review. Phil is on the board of Preservation Action, a national preservation advocacy group and serves as California coordinator, pursuing national legislators to fund activities that promote the economic and cultural benefits of preservation. He remains on the board of the Ridgefield Historical Society in his hometown where he continues to engage in historic preservation advocacy.
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