About DigiRoots

Michael_Cassara_PictureMy name is Michael Cassara, and I’ve been pursuing genealogical research (for myself and others) for over twenty years.  I live in New York City and work as a casting director for musicals, movies, and plays.  Genealogy, however, has remained a constant passion/obsession and provides a nice (and necessary) balance in my life.  As someone recently pointed out to me – there are actually a lot of parallels between the two fields.  I guess you could say I’m a people person but, depending upon which hat I’m wearing, they’re not always alive!

While I’ve been reading dozens of amazing genealogy blogs and websites for many years – I’m only now jumping into the arena myself.  I hope for this site to feature articles and items that are relevant to my research and, with any luck, to yours.

Genealogical Speakers Guild - logoMichael is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild and is available to speak at genealogy conferences, society meetings, and other events. Based in New York City, he travels regularly to present on a number of different topics.  He has presented five times at RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world. In 2014 he presented one of his most popular lectures, “Putting Things in their Place: Paying it forward in the digital age” and he followed it up at RootsTech 2015 with a standing-room-only presentation on “21st Century Italian Genealogy”.  Michael’s 2016 RootsTech presentation, “Cemetery Crowdsourcing”, was filmed and is available for viewing on RootsTech.org.

APG Member (Logo)

Michael is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. He serves on the board of the Italian Genealogical Group, currently serving as its Co-President.




  • Gen-Fed (Genealogical Institute on Federal Records) – 2021 Virtual Program (completed July, 2021)
  • Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP – *virtual* due to pandemic) June, 2021 – completed “Beyond the Golden Door: Immigrants to the U.S.A. after 1890” with Rich Venezia and Marian Smith.
  • Graduate, ProGen 43 (ProGen Study Group) – (completed June, 2020)
  • Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) July, 2019 – completed “Advanced Italian Genealogy” course, taught by Melanie D. Holtz, CG with Suzanne Russo Adams, AG.
  • Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) June, 2018 – completed “Irish Genealogical Research, Part II” course, taught by David Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS
  • Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) June, 2016 – completed “Mastering Genealogical Documentation” course, taught by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
  • Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University, Fall, 2015 (OL19)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, Otterbein University, 2003


  • Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Management Conference (APG PMC) – 2018 (Kansas City, MO) – attendee and speaker
  • Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference, 2014 (San Antonio, TX), 2017 (Pittsburgh, PA), and 2019 (Washington, D.C.)
  • New York State Family History Conference, 2015 (Syracuse, New York) and 2018 (Tarrytown, NY), speaker 2020 and 2021
  • RootsTech, conference attendee (2012-present), speaker (2014-2016, 2019, 2021)