Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, “Professional Genealogy II: Becoming a Better Professional Researcher”

“Professional Genealogy II: Becoming a Better Professional Researcher”

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL



Whether you take clients or work to a professional level on your own family, you will want to learn how to be an efficient researcher. Education is a key to your developing skills and creating your personal education plan will help you direct your educational time and dollars to the learning opportunities you need. Developing a coherent, succinct research plan for each project you undertake saves you time and your client, money. The report writing process should be a part of the research process, making it time efficient. Learning how to clearly communicate and display various types of data.


Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, a western Pennsylvania researcher for over 25 years, is the co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and Professional Genealogy Course Coordinator at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). She is the Professional Genealogy instructor for Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate online program. She was the course co-coordinator of the AG/CG Preparation Course at the 2013 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). She is a regional and national speaker on such topics as Pennsylvania records, methodology, professional development, and society management.

She was honored in May 2010 with the NGS President’s Citation in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy. She was a Director for the Association of Professional Genealogists for six years; taught genealogy courses at the local community college for fourteen years; co-edited a cemetery book series and appeared on the PBS-TV show ANCESTORS2 cemetery episode and the Travel Channel’s Dead Files in “The Instigator” episode. She is Past-President and a former Trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and past Outreach Committee Chairperson. She is a past- resident of two local Pittsburgh societies and a contributing author to many publications.

Course Schedule

  • Session 1: “Your Personal Continuing Education Plan” — Create your own plan according to your budget, time, availability, skill-level, and needs and compare it to learning opportunities. Create an action calendar to achieve your goals.
  • Session 2: “Research Planning”
    • How to Focus on Research Questions
    • Problem Analysis and Research Plans
    • Research Procedures
  • Session 3: “Research Reports, Part One”
    • Standards for Research Reports and the Genealogical Proof Standard
    • Types of Genealogical Writing
    • Transcriptions and Abstracts
  • Session 4: “Research Reports, Part Two”
    • “Writing as You Go”
    • Research Presentation Techniques for Various Types of Research Problems