Jul 6, 2022

George Ryskamp, R.I.P.

It is with sadness that I report the death of George Ryskamp. George was best known for being a leading genealogist for Spanish and Hispanic genealogy. His passing occurred on the first day of his retirement.

In 1984, he finished and self-published his promised book, Tracing Your Hispanic Heritage, at the time the definitive tome about genealogy in Spain. He later wrote Finding Your Hispanic Roots and most recently, Mastering Spanish Handwriting and Documents 1520–1820.

While trained as an attorney and founder of his own law firm, in 1993, George left behind his law career and California, and moved his family to Utah to take a position at BYU teaching Family History. His areas of specialty were Southern Europe and the law. During his twenty-eight-year tenure, George worked tirelessly to build BYU’s Family History program. He served ten years as its Program Director. As Director of the Center for Family History and Genealogy, he spearheaded the Immigrant Ancestors Project website, which to date has had close to two million visits from users in ten different countries.

George’s obituary contains a much more detailed description of his multiple careers and mentions many of the highlights of his life. That obituary may be found at: