Tree Shakers Research

The Shakers

Donna Cusumano


Donna holds a degree in Communication and Writing from Maryville University of St. Louis, graduating magna cum laude in 2004, and earning the Award for Excellence in Communication.

Her passion to know more about her own family history led Donna to discover and prove lineage to her patriot ancestors, gaining her membership in the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. She has most recently gained entrance into the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Missouri through her direct lineage to George Soule.

Donna is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the National Genealogical Society and is working toward certification by the Board for the Certification of Genealogists. She also is a member of several Midwestern historical societies.

She lives in St. Louis County, Missouri with her husband Dr. Stephen Cusumano. They have two grown sons and enjoy interacting with many friends and family.


Sandy Allen


Sandy is a writer and researcher, recently retired from teaching. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communication from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master’s degree in Educational Technology Leadership from Lamar University, as well as legal assistant certification from Tyler Junior College and the National Association of Legal Assistants (1986). Her multi-faceted career has provided experience as a journalist, a researcher, a certified legal assistant (including probate and estates), and a teacher in private, public, and college educational institutions.

She is the author of a published thesis, A Historical Review of the East Texas State Penitentiary, with experience in the Texas State Archives and various other historical libraries and museums, law libraries and courthouses, and the Library of Congress archives. She has been an apprentice genealogist at Tree Shakers Research for the past six years, working on various projects for clients, as well as her own family research. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and is working toward certification from the Board for the Certification of Genealogists.

Sandy currently resides in East Texas with her husband of over 40 years. They have three grown children and six grandchildren. She is enjoying this season to focus on family history research and to engage in a number of hobbies, including developing curriculum for her church, reading, sewing, touring historical and architectural sites, and entertaining the grandchildren.