Carmack, Sharon DeBartolo 1956-

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CARMACK, Sharon DeBartolo 1956-


Born October 17, 1956, in Port Chester, NY; daughter of Sal (a helicopter pilot) and Mary L. (Fitzhugh) Bart; married Stephen H. Carmack (a musician and teacher) August 19, 1977 (divorced); children: Laurie Ann. Ethnicity: "Italian-Irish American." Education: Attended Pikes Peak Community College, 1988-91, and University of Alabama, 1992-95; Regis University, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1997. Religion: Roman Catholic.


Home and office—P.O. Box 338, Simla, CO 80835. E-mail[email protected]


Writer and certified genealogist. Genealogist's Literary Services, proprietor, beginning 1996; Family Tree Books, Cincinnati, OH, executive editor, 1999—; Warren, Carmack and Associates, affiliate. New England Historic Genealogical Society, consulting editor for Newbury Street Press, 1998—; member of Ellis Island History Advisory Committee; teacher at numerous genealogical seminars; guest on television and radio shows about genealogy.


American Women in Radio and Television, National Writers Union, Association of Professional Genealogists, National Genealogical Society, Jamestowne Society, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Daughters of the American Revolution.


Grahame Thomas Smallwood Jr. Award of Merit, Association of Professional Genealogists, 1990, and Award of Merit for Meritorious Service in Genealogy and Family History, Federation of Genealogical Societies, 1992, both for editing Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly; first place, Excellence in Writing Competition, Council of Genealogy Columnists, 1996, for "Branch Office" column; fellow, Utah Genealogical Association, 1998.


The Ebetino and Vallarelli Family History: Italian Immigrants to Westchester County, New York, in the Early 1900s Including Descendants to 1990, Anundsen Publishing Co. (Decorah, IA), 1990.

Communities at Rest: An Inventory and Field Study of Four Eastern Colorado Cemeteries, privately printed (Simla, CO), 1993.

The Genealogy Sourcebook, Lowell House Publishers (Los Angeles, CA), 1997.

Italian-American Family History: A Guide to Researching and Writing about Your Heritage, Genealogical Publishing (Baltimore, MD), 1997.

A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors, Betterway Books (Cincinnati, OH), 1998.

Organizing Your Family History, Betterway Books (Cincinnati, OH), 1999.

A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Immigrant and Ethnic Ancestors: How to Find and Record Your Unique Heritage, Betterway Books (Cincinnati, OH), 2000.

(With Roger D. Joslyn) American Lives and Lines: Ancestors and Descendants of Roland J. McMahan and Mildred Elizabeth Fearn, R. D. Joslyn and S. D. Carmack, 2000.

David and Charlotte Hawes (Buckner) Stuart of King George County, Virginia, Including Three Generations of Their Descendants, privately printed (Simla, CO), 2001.

My Wild Irish Rose: The Life of Rose (Norris) (O'Connor) Fitzhugh and Her Mother Delia (Gordon) Norris, Newbury Street Press (Boston, MA), 2001.

Your Guide to Cemetery Research, Betterway Books (Cincinnati, OH), 2002.

A Sense of Duty: The Life and Times of Jay Roscoe Rhoads and His Wife, Mary Grace Rudolph, Newbury Street Press (Boston, MA), 2002.

Italians in Transition: The Vallarelli Family of Terlizzi, Italy, and Westchester County, New York and the DeBartolo Family of Terlizzi, Italy, New York, and San Francisco, California, Newbury Street Press (Boston, MA), 2003.

You Can Write Your Family History, Betterway Books (Cincinnati, OH), 2003.

Finding Your Ellis Island Ancestors, Family Tree Books (Cincinnati, OH), 2005.

Also author of the unpublished manuscript Italian Emigration to the United States: Research Collections and Repositories in America, 1992. Contributor to books, including Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide to Family History and Genealogy, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1997. Author of "Branch Office," a column in Reunions; columnist for Forum, Federation of American Genealogical Societies. Contributor of more than 100 articles, columns, and book reviews to genealogical journals. Editor, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, 1989-95, and SPEAK!, newsletter of Genealogical Speakers Guild, 1992-98; contributing editor, Family Tree.


Sharon DeBartolo Carmack has been interested in writing ever since childhood. The first novel she read was Mystery of the Haunted Pool by Phyllis A. Whitney, and the book inspired her to write a children's book when she was eleven. Although that book was never published, she continued to write, and when she was fifteen she sold her first article to Loving Fashions magazine in 1972.

Her work as a genealogist and family historian led to the publication of several articles in genealogy journals, and she self-published her first book, The Ebetino and Vallarelli Family History, in 1990. At the time, when she was lecturing and teaching genealogy workshops and seminars across the United States, two publishers approached her and asked her if she was interested in writing books for them. These contacts led to the publication of The Genealogy Sourcebook and A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors. Although Carmack had dreamed of being a writer since she was a girl, she did not begin her full-time freelance writing career until she was forty-one.

Carmack once told CA that she believes that family history should be brought to life and written like a novel although the story and the details are all based on fully documented facts. Among genealogists, she is known for her novelistic style. She writes genealogy guidebooks and also collaborates with other genealogists to turn the dry facts they uncover in their research into compelling stories of real people.

Carmack's 1997 book The Genealogy Sourcebook explains how to undertake genealogical research, from getting organized to planning and executing the research. Lloyd Bockstruck noted in the Dallas Morning News that, in this book, "Ms. Carmack is a teacher. She walks you through the research maze using examples from her own experience." Library Journal reviewer Scott Hightower called the work "a friendly and informed guide," suitable for expert and novice researchers alike.

As she related to CA, Carmack has this advice for others who want to be writers: "Never give up your dream. Even though it may take years to accomplish, keep striving for it. Keep setting new goals for yourself; always have the next book or story idea in your mind as you write. Most importantly, keep a diary or a journal. This serves two important functions: daily journal entry keeps you writing every day, and it will be an inspiration to you and others one day."

Carmack told CA that her ultimate writing goal, which combines her expertise in genealogy and her love of compelling stories, is "to write a memoir of my search for my Irish ancestors."



Dallas Morning News, January 10, 1998, Lloyd Bockstruck, review of The Genealogy Sourcebook, p. 9C.

Library Journal, April 15, 1998, Scott Hightower, review of The Genealogy Sourcebook, p. 66.

National Genealogical Society Quarterly, December, 1990, p. 307.


Warren, Carmack and Associates Web Site, (February 21, 2005).