Joan Hyslop was born in Owen Sound, and has family roots in Grey County that go back to the mid-19th-century.
Joan attended McMaster University, graduating in 1987 with an Honours BA in History. That same year, she joined the County of Grey-Owen Sound Museum staff, as Registrar-Archivist. When the museum collection was transferred to the Grey Roots site in 2004, she and a dedicated group of historical interpreters packed up the artifacts to move them to the new site, and then she became the Grey Roots Registrar at that time. In addition to cataloguing items that join the collection, she still spends a lot of time in the archives to verify information and learn more about the former owners and makers of artifacts. She also enjoys helping with display texts and research. Just about every theme of local history fascinates her, but stories of overcoming adversity, medical and nursing history, military history, old stores and industries in the area, Black history, Scottish artifacts, Chinese history connections to Grey, and indigenous history (the Nawash Band, Catharine B. Sutton, etc.) are especially of interest to her.