Participant Info

First Name
Sharon DeBartolo
Last Name
Southern New Hampshire University and Salt Lake City Community College
Website URL and
Spiritualism, Madame Restell, abortion history, 19th century New York City.
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, Certified Genealogist® with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing, is a partner in the Salt Lake City-based research, writing, and publishing firm of Warren, Carmack & Associates. Along with specializing in Spiritualist ancestors and Irish and Italian genealogical research, Sharon offers consulting, mentoring, writing, and editing services for nonfiction books, with an emphasis on memoirs, biographies, histories, and family histories.

Sharon has been certified by Board for Certification of Genealogists® for more than thirty years, and to her knowledge, she is the only person in the U.S. with credentials in both genealogy and mediumship. She is a Certificate holder in Demonstrating Mediumship through the Spiritualists’ National Union (SNU) in the U.K. and an Advanced Academic Diploma holder of the SNU.

She is the author of twenty-seven books and hundreds of articles, essays,  columns, and reviews that have appeared in nearly every major genealogical journal and publication. Some of her books include Tell It Short: A Guide to Writing Your Family History in Brief, You Can Write Your Family History, Carmack’s Guide to Copyright & Contracts, Your Guide to Cemetery Research, the biography In Search of Maria B. Hayden: The American Medium Who Brought Spiritualism to the U.K., and If We Can Winter This: Essays and Genealogies, The Gordon Family of County Leitrim, Ireland, and The Norris Family of County Tyrone, (now) Northern Ireland. Sharon’s memoir, Midlife Medium: A Genealogist’s Quest to Converse with the Dead, was published by Köehler Books in June 2022. Her forthcoming book, Madame Restell: The True Story of New York City’s Most Notorious Abortionist, Her Early Life, Family, and Murder will be released in late 2023.

Her work has also appeared in writing and literary publications: Literary Hub, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, Hippocampus Magazine (where her essay, “Switched at Midlife” won “Most Memorable” and was one of ten essays selected for the Best of Hippocampus, May 2013), Literary Hub, Wilderness House Literary Review, Portland Review, Steinbeck Review, Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Chronicle, and Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art (where her essay received Honorable Mention in the annual Creative Nonfiction Contest). Sharon’s essays have been finalists in contests for the Bellingham Review’s Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction and in Creative Nonfiction’s True Crime contest, and for publication in River Teeth and Calyx.

Sharon received the Spiritualists’ National Union John McIndoe Prize in 2018 for the highest score earned in the Diploma advanced courses and the The Olive Haywood Award for Achievement in recognition of achievement over and above what is usually expected of candidates undertaking the Spiritualists’ National Union accreditation or awards. Her thesis was “Spirit Rapping, Spiritoscope, and Psychometry: The Mediumship of Maria B. Hayden, M.D.,” which she expanded into the biography In Search of Maria B. Hayden, M.D.: The American Medium Who Brought Spiritualism to the U.K.

In addition, Sharon is the Executive Editor of Scattered Leaves Press and Warren & Carmack Publishing, and she serves on the editorial board of Steinbeck Review and is an assistant editor for Brevity.

Sharon is on the English adjunct faculty of Southern New Hampshire University, and the genealogy adjunct faculty for Salt Lake Community College’s online Certificate in Genealogical Research and Writing program. She also teaches online writing classes for Writer’s Digest University.

Along with a BA (summa cum laude) in English from Regis University, Sharon holds a Diploma in Irish Studies from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and she earned her MFA (with Distinction) in Creative Nonfiction Writing from National University. Sharon also holds an advanced Diploma from the Spiritualists’ National Union in the UK.

Recent Publications


Researching Ancestors in Irish Records

Midlife Medium: A Genealogist’s Quest to Converse with the Dead

If We Can Winter This: Essays and Genealogies, The Gordon Family of County Leitrim, Ireland, and The Norris Family of County Tyrone, (now) Northern Ireland

A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Immigrant and Ethnic        Ancestors, 2d ed., rev. and updated

In Search of Maria B. Hayden: The American Medium Who Brought Spiritualism to the U.K.

Inheriting the Gordon Hips

The Elements of Genealogical Style: A Simplified Style and Citation  Manual for Writers of Genealogies and Family Histories

Tell It Short: A Guide to Writing Your Family History in Brief

With Two Potatoes in His Pocket: The History of the McNamara and McGuire Families of Ireland and Richmond, Virginia

The History of the Ferry, Sferra, Jeney, Hillman, and Hopkins Families

The Family History of Daniel Donovan and Catherine Caughlin,        co-authored with James W. Warren

The Riggs Family of Accomack County, Virginia, and Louisiana, ca. 1687 to 1943

Carmack’s Guide to Copyright & Contracts: A Primer for Genealogists, Writers & Researchers

The Family Tree Guide to Finding Your Ellis Island Ancestors

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

You Can Write Your Family History

A Sense of Duty: The Life and Times of Jay Roscoe Rhoads and his wife, Mary Grace Rudolph

Your Guide to Cemetery Research

My Wild Irish Rose: The Life of Rose (Norris) (O’Connor) Fitzhugh and her mother Delia (Gordon) Norris

David and Charlotte Hawes (Buckner) Stuart of King George County, Virginia, Including Three Generations of Their Descendants

American Lives and Lines, co-authored with Roger D. Joslyn

Organizing Your Family History Search

A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors

Italian-American Family History: A Guide to Researching and        Writing About Your Heritage

The Genealogy Sourcebook

Daughtered Out,” Portland Review 60 (Fall 2013): 49-57.

From the Other End of the Speculum,” Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art 41.2 (Fall 2012), Honorable Mention, Creative Nonfiction Writing Contest.

The Ghoul of the Queen City,” Finalist, 2012 True Crime Contest sponsored by Creative Nonfiction.

The Fake Spiritualist Medium, the Scientific American Editor, and His Wife: Sharon DeBartolo Carmack on a Real-Life Nightmare AlleyLiterary Hub, 3 Mar. 2022.

How an Irish Barman Created a Home for New York’s Literary Elite,” Literary Hub, 14 May 2021.

Switched at Midlife” Hippocampus Magazine (January 2012).

“The Victorian Séance Comes to England,” Wilderness House Literary Review 16/2 (Summer 2021). Discover another side to Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton and Charles Dickens.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century
Expertise by Topic