Yvonne Mashburn Schmidt

Yvonne specializes in Georgia and Deep South Research, Genetic Genealogy, and Forensic Genealogy. She utilizes her education and skills to work with the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, U.S. Army Past Conflicts Repatriations Branch in Ft. Knox, Kentucky, to assist in identifying & locating Next of Kin & DNA-eligible family members of our Nation's unaccounted-for Heroes. She also accepts client work.


A Georgia native, she grew up in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in Cartersville, Bartow County, Georgia. She became interested in genealogy after both parents passed away at a young age. She had no idea who her ancestors were. A DNA test helped document a surprising family story and a non-paternal event and sparked her interest in Genetic Genealogy.


She holds Boston University's Certificate of Genealogical Research and the Certified Genealogist credential awarded by the Board for Certification of Genealogists®.


She and husband Rus reside in the small town of Vidalia in south-central Georgia, about 90 miles from Savannah.


Rus Schmidt

Rus is a retired school administrator and educator. He earned his Bachelor of Science undergraduate degrees from Murray State University with majors in English and History and a Minor in Art. He holds a M.Ed from the University of Montevallo with a Major in Secondary Education and Minors in Educational Leadership and Art. Additionally, he completed work toward a Doctorate (ABD) in Educational Administration and Planning at the University of Alabama.


Rus became interested in genealogy after he retired and made the decision to join Yvonne in her work with the DPAA.


Lori Cook-Folger

Lori is the owner of Southern Genealogist, LLC. and has been researching since 1984. An old photograph where someone had written on the back, “Remember me–tho my face you can not see,” spurred her interest. Lori wanted to know who the woman was, and she wanted to remember her! Lori loves to piece together the details that make up a person’s life. All of our ancestors left clues to their everyday life in the records and photos they created.

Lori holds the Certified Genealogist® (CG) credential. Her background is in Southern research and some Midwest research. Lori's company and The Georgia Genealogist, Inc. partner to work with the DPAA project.