Meet the Board: Nancy Cordell

Do you know who’s running the show at the Washington State Genealogical Society? Did you know we have an Executive Committee, six standing committee chairs and three appointed non-elected officers? Who are all these people? In the coming months, we’ll introduce them to you, so you can say “hi” the next time you see them.

Nancy Cordell, Region 3 Representative

In today’s “Meet the Board” series, we’re introducing you to Nancy Cordell. Nancy lives in Tumwater and is WSGS’s Region 3 Representative (Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, and Thurston Counties). She is also a member of the Olympia Genealogical Society where she has been president since July 2016.

Nancy, 1961 in Madrid, Spain

Nancy was born in southern California to Harry and Bertie (Grange) Neville. She earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology, specializing in biological anthropology, in 1991 at the University of Washington in Seattle. “Dr. Nancy” then taught biological anthropology to undergraduates for 30 years. What is biological anthropology, you ask? It’s a branch of anthropology that explores the biology of humans in the present and in the past, with a strong emphasis on understanding and exploring human diversity. Sounds like a perfect segue to her becoming a professional genealogist, earning a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. Now retired from her educational career, Nancy owns her own genealogical business, “Diggin’ Our Past.”

Nancy’s interest in genealogy came early. Her mother’s family migrated to Utah in the mid-1800s from England and Denmark as converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). Nancy is proud of her early Utah pioneer roots.

Nancy’s great grandparents Annie and Walter Boyed, 1914

Featured in the photo on the right are Nancy’s great grandparents, Annie Louisa Mullens and Walter Eugene Boyed. The photo was taken in 1914 in Las Vegas, Nevada, just after they had moved from the mining town of Rhyolite, Nevada where they’d lived for nearly 10 years. Walter, born in 1861 in Texas, was a prospector and miner. He married Annie in 1899 in Tooele, Utah at the age of 38. Nancy’s still “diggin’ her past” to find out more about Walter before his marriage to Annie.

Nancy and her husband have two grown daughters. Besides being a proud member of WSGS and OGS, Nancy is a member of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Association of Professional Genealogists, International Society of Genetic Genealogy, and the National Genealogical Society.

A few more interesting tidbits about Nancy:
• Favorite genealogy websites: Ancestry
• When asked one word that describes her, Nancy replied, “Curious.” A very good characteristic for a biological anthropologist – and a genealogist!

Now you know a little more about another of the WSGS Board members. The next time you see Nancy say hello and thank her for her service to WSGS.