About Dr. Shelley Murphy

Dr. Shelley Murphy

Dr. Shelley Murphy is the Descendant Project Researcher joining the Division for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in March 2021.

Her background spans with nonprofit and local government work focused primarily on real estate, affordable housing and fair housing discrimination issues. An avid genealogist for over 30 years, Dr. Shelley Viola Murphy, aka “familytreegirl,” was born and raised in Michigan, now living in central Virginia. She conducts genealogy workshops at local, state and national conferences. Murphy is known for her inspiring & interactive “SO WHAT” with genealogical research, along with interesting problem-solving methodology lectures such as the use of Timelines.

Murphy is also a coordinator and instructor at the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI) and serves on the Boards of the Library of Virginia. Albemarle Charlottesville and Fluvanna Historical Societies. She is the President, Coordinator and Instructor at the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI) and has developed educational programs for the Center for Family History at the IAAM. She holds membership in AAHGS NGS, APG, DAR, and local genealogy groups. Dr. Murphy’s personal research focuses on Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia/West Virginia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.


DM (Doctorate in Management – Organizational Leadership)
MA (Organizational Management)
BS (Social Psychology)


African American
Civil War
Federal Records
Land Records
Lineage Societies
Military (WW1 and WW2)
Revolutionary War


National Genealogical Society
Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, VA
Albemarle/Charlottesville African American Genealogical Group, VA
Central Virginia Genealogical Association
Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, VA
Jefferson County Historical Society, WV
Benzie County Historical Society, MI
Franklin County, Historical Society, PA
Virginia Genealogical Society, VA
Society of First African American Families of English America

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