Welcome 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.