About Us

Our mission is to provide clients thorough, accurate, properly sourced research and analysis of historical records for the preservation of family history. We are a full service genealogical research company based in the Laurel Highlands of western Pennsylvania.

Karen Esaias, owner and primary researcher, is proud to call western PA home with multiple generations of ancestors who lived and worked in the area. She is joined in her pursuits by her husband, Richard Von Schlichten, historian and librarian.

About Karen

Karen retired after 27 years of service as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and returned home where she is now a family historian and professional genealogist with a primary focus on western PA. The skill set she developed during her extensive military investigative career provides clients unique support in uncovering the mysteries in their family trees. She conducts client research throughout the Keystone state and is involved with state and local chapters of Genealogical and Historical Societies.


  • Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University, 2014
  • Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh
    • Pennsylvania Records, 2015
    • Tom Jones’ Advanced Research Methods, 2016
    • Walking in Penn’s Woods: Pennsylvania Research, 2018
  • National Genealogical Society (NGS) Annual Conference (St. Louis, MO), 2015
  • Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Annual Conference (Pittsburgh, PA), 2017
  • M.A. National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
  • B.A. Business/Economics with minor in History, University of Pittsburgh — Johnstown

About Richard

Richard was raised in a military family, son of an Air Force officer who met his wife in Medellin, Colombia while on a cartographic assignment. Richard spent twelve years as a professional librarian and began tracing his German and Spanish roots in the late 1990s. He is an Adjunct Professor of History at Penn Highlands Community College. In addition, Richard provides technical assistance and web design for genealogy clients.


  • M.S.L.S. Library & Information Studies, Clark Atlanta University
  • M.A. United States History, American Military University
  • B.A. History w/ minor in Political Science, Georgia Southwestern University

Tracing Your PA Roots