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Elissa Scalise Powell, CGSM , CGLSM


Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, a western Pennsylvania researcher, is a Trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists; an instructor for Boston University's on campus and online Genealogical Research Certificate courses; coordinator for the Professional Genealogy Course at the Samford University's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and an instructor for Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She is co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). She is a regional and national speaker on methodology, Pennsylvania records, professional development, and society management.


Elissa has been doing genealogical research since 1985, and has been helping others find their ancestral roots since 1990. Board-certified since 1995 by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) she is one of a handful of certified associates residing in the state of Pennsylvania and has been certified the longest. (Renewal evaluations occur every five years.) She is a Trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists (2006-2012) and was their Exhibits Booth Coordinator responsible for BCG's exhibit space at major conferences from 2002 to 2011. In 2008 she was asked to help create a video presentation about certification available for download on the BCG website.

Elissa is the Professional Genealogy course coordinator at the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research held in June at Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama and an instructor in the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy held in January in Salt Lake City, Utah. In Boston University's Genealogical Research Certificate program she is the Foundations and Professional module instructor on campus and Foundations, Ethnic and Geographic Specialties, and Genealogy Profession modules online. She is the co-director of Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) which has its first courses in July 2012. She also lectures both nationally and regionally. (See lectures link on sidebar.)

In May 2010, the National Genealogical Society's President's Citation was bestowed on her for recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy.

She has conducted onsite research for clients in many western Pennsylvania counties and also in other places through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. She has taught beginning genealogy classes and classes in the use of computer usage and resources at the Community College of Allegheny County and Butler County Community College.

Elissa has enjoyed writing articles and book reviews for NGS NewsMagazine, the NGS Quarterly, the APG Quarterly, and the now defunct Genealogical Computing and Digital Genealogist.

She was a Director for the Association of Professional Genealogists from 2000 through 2005 and the Participating Societies Chairperson for the National Genealogical Society's 2003 Conference in Pittsburgh. Elissa is a past president of both the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society and the North Hills Genealogists as well as past newsletter editor for both, and past Program chairperson and Book Review Editor for the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society.

Elissa also appears in Episode 207 "Cemetery Records" of the PBS TV station KBYU's "Ancestors 2" series. For more information see the Ancestors2 website. She was co-editor of the Pioneer Cemeteries of Hampton Township, Allegheny County, PA. and Pioneer Cemeteries of Pine and Richland Townships, Allegheny County, PA. Please see the Publications list for an index to these books.

Elissa was featured in the "Professional Profiles" column written by Roberta "Bobbi" King in the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, volume XXIV, number 1 (March 2009): 14-15.

Elissa also belongs to many organizations and Pioneer Family programs. A quick glance at Elissa's southern Italian ancestry is provided here.

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are Service Marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license after periodic evaluations by the Board.


Reed B. Powell

Reed Powell is a frequent lecturer on Genealogy & Computing in the Western Pennsylvania area. With over 30 years experience in the computer industry, his background includes software design, development and support, as well as marketing and sales experience. Lecture topics include the selection and of genealogy software, choosing a computer system, using the Internet for genealogy research, and the genealogical use of "high tech" facilities such as scanning & multimedia. He has written a column for the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society's newsletter, Jots From the Point, and articles for Genealogical Computing and Digital Genealogist. He is a member of the First Families of Western Pennsylvania organization.


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