It’s All About the Story

Hello. I am Jo and I am a genealogist. I am other things as well; a wife, mother, grandmother, quilter but under it all I am a genealogist. I would like to share with you how I came to be a genealogist.


I have been fascinated and yes obsessed with genealogy since my first child was born. My family was a broken unit. There was no father in the picture and my mother took myself and my two older brothers, at a young age, across the country putting as much distance as possible between her and her family. There were few family traditions or stories shared from either side of my family.


It started in 1975 when there was no internet. There was no Ancestry. There was no FamilySearch. There was the Genealogical Helper, a bi-monthly publication. If you were lucky there was a local Family History library. I was really lucky as the Mesa Family History library was in my backyard so to speak. At that time, I think it was the second largest genealogy library after Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake library also allowed the borrowing of any of its over 1.6 million microfilms for only .50 each for six weeks.  The last tool was the now somewhat archaic practice of letter writing; to the county clerk or to others advertising in the Genealogical Helper.


I wanted to learn everything I could about how to “do genealogy” but the almost west coast, Arizona, was not much of a draw for the major genealogical societies so few if any national conferences were held there. As the years went by and the children, now three, grew I had more free time and flexibility to travel so I attended conferences in California, Colorado and points east. Exposure to experts in the field through breakout sessions and all day seminars expanded my knowledge. The advent of the Internet and the exponential growth of online resources and education allowed me to self-educate. Actually that is what all genealogists have done, self-education.


The BCG or Board for Certification of Genealogists “is an independent, not-for-profit certifying body that is nationally and internationally recognized. BCG promotes ethics and standards through its certification program and publications.” (

I have submitted my portfolio and am waiting to hear from BCG. It is an arduous process. The BCG gives applicants one full year to prepare the portfolio which consists of seven different work samples. Once submitted the entire package is peer reviewed by three independent judges. That process takes from four to six months to be completed.

I am in month three; it will be another couple of months before I hear. I try not to think about it but it slips into my consciousness every day or so and gives me that nervous tummy tingle. You know what I mean right? When you want something so badly but have to wait … and wait.


So I am moving forward, inviting the universe to help me out and counting on my knowledge and expertise to be good enough. I am starting my new endeavor Holistic Genealogy, creating a brand spanking new website and starting my blogging journey. I am embracing social media through Instagram @holisticgenealogy and LinkedIn. I have a lot to share and hope my readers find value in my words.

I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or ask a question, maybe I can help.

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