JillWelcome to my blog, “Genealogy Certification: A Personal Journey.” My name is Jill Morelli, CG(sm).  I blog because when I decided to apply for Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) certification, I thought I would have something to say.  I thought the journey of educating myself to become qualified to submit a portfolio might be of interest to others.  After two years of work, two and a half years of being “on the clock,” I submitted my portfolio and BCG notified me that I had attained the suitable standards to be conferred the designation of Certified Genealogist (R) .

During that period of self-education, I devoted myself to genealogical research.  Initially the focus was on client, work but I have now shifted more towards writing and lecturing. I shifted the moment I received my first (very modest) checks for both.

I do take clients, however, but mostly for the 19th century and Scandinavian problems (Sweden, Norway and Denmark.)

I am a “Roots” genealogist; I started tracing my family tree shortly after the Roots series was on television but I have always been interested in history.  I especially like the aspect of comparing and contrasting the macro historical events that you learn in school with the micro historical events of our ancestors.

I was an active “paper” genealogist for about 10 years until 1982, at which time I stopped doing genealogy to nurture a family, contribute to my community, and work professionally.  I remember:

  • In 1982 I listed my sources (not in citation form) in a database and linked them to my paper files with a number.
  • In 1988 I wanted a computer program that would assign a source to a fact.  Birdie Holsclaw, a well known and now deceased genealogist, her husband, Russ, and my husband worked on writing a new program as there were no genealogy programs that linked a source at that time. (Being the un-tech person I am, I watched them work.) This effort did not result in a product, but we did all become good friends.
  • In 2002, being tired of working on my final paper for my master’s degree, I decided to investigate and purchase a genealogy computer program.  I barely got the masters paper completed because I became instantly re-obsessed.
  • In 2002, I had 120 names in my “paper” data base when I reactivated my research. I thought it was a lot at the time.

I love to do research and write about it.  At any one time I am investigating three or four different topics to blog or write about.  Some of my more complex investigations (some ongoing) include gender balance in authorship in genealogical publications over time, the treatment of mentally ill patients held in “insane asylums” in the late 1800’s, a case study of a 18th c. Swede (see National Genealogical Society Quarterly, September 2017 issue), The Penthouse Playhouse (Seattle, WA) sponsors, to name a few.  I have been lucky in finding groups and individuals who help me along the way.  Thanks to the entire genealogy community for their support.

Happy Hunting!


16 comments on “About

  1. Kathy says:

    Jill, I am trying to follow your blog, but I get a WordPress message saying that my request was not approved, and to enter a valid email address. I know I’m entering a valid email address. Is it really going through, and the error message is false? It looks like I’ve added to your total followers, but I’m not sure it has actually worked.

    • jkmorelli says:

      Kathy, I cannot explain what you are seeing. I do not see you signed up on my list. I also do not approve followers but I do approve comments before they are posted. There are two types of followers: email and blog followers. Which one do you think you signed up for? Perhaps try again?

  2. Jill, I’m trying to trace my husband’s side, but I’m come to a concrete wall (not brick!). He has a few generations that are the same name and same area. Could you give me some information on what you do for clients?

    Thank you

  3. […] founder Thomas MacEntee, leader of Geneabloggers and all-around genealogy go-to guy Jacqi Stevens Jill Morelli Linda Harms Okazaki Sheri Fenley Elizabeth O’Neal Kim Cotton Laurie […]

  4. Bonnie & Roger Monroe says:

    Thanks Jill for coming to Skagit County Sept 19!! Hubby & I enjoyed your talks & you have inspired us to write some bios.

  5. emptybranches says:

    Jill, Looking forward to bringing you greetings from Tucson at Jamboree, as I am planning to attend this year. Elizabeth O’Neal started a FB group for Jamboree bloggers. If you are interested in Joining, here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jamboreebloggers/

  6. Maggie O'Groske says:

    Jill, I am doing research on the Peter Burma family tree. The Winnebago Historical Society gave me your name as a possible source of information. Can you help? Thank you.

  7. Sue Kempe says:

    While going through boxes of family photos and papers recently I discovered the exciting news that my great great grandfather’s half brother, Jens Dahle, served in the Civil War. I have a newspaper photo of him at a reunion of survivors. Today while chatting with family about this I googled him and came up with the equally exciting news of your blog about him. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to read your blog. If you can direct me to any of your publushed info about him or any other accessible information, I would be must grateful.

  8. Barry Janssen says:

    Jill, I communicated with you several years ago as I think we are shirttail relatives. You pointed me to a story about the son of Weet Janssen & Hilke Bode (John Bode Janssen) and his upbringing after his mother died (I think from a horse and buggy accident). Could you tell me where I could find that story. I am just starting to try and put my Janssen family tree together. My grandfather (Koert Otto Janssen), great-grandfather (John Esderts Janssen) came from the Campen/Upleward area.

  9. Daphne Gabb says:

    Loved your webinar tonight on Dissecting a Civil War Pension Packet! Would love to have a copy of the template for your inventory spreadsheet.

  10. Douglas Burnett says:

    I really enjoyed the talk on Civil War Pension Packets last evening I went to Haithi (SP?) Trust this morning but could not find The “Compendium oF civil War Pension Acts” you spoke about. Is that the name I should be searching under?

    • Jill Morelli says:

      Doug, Thanks for listening. When I said it was a compendium of pension laws, I didn’t mean to imply that was the name of the book. I was speaking generically. The citation is in the syllabus: Frederick G. Brightly, An Analytical Digest of the Laws of the United States, Pensions, (Philadelphia: Kay & Brother, 1858-1869) vol 2. 482-491; HathiTrust, https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008965146.

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