Hi, my name is Jill Nock. I am a professional genealogist currently working on accrediting with the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen℠) for the Upper South region which covers the states of Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. I live near Lewiston, Idaho, but provide genealogical research services for all areas of the United States.
Growing up, I was lucky enough to get to spend time with my maternal great-grandmother. Through her, I learned of her family’s move from Southwest City, Missouri, to Grangeville, Idaho. Grandma Ida was just four years old in 1886 when they moved, but she vividly remembered riding the “emigrant” train from Missouri to the end of the rail in Walla Walla, Washington.
Ida’s father, Joseph, bought a team of horses and a wagon, loaded the few possessions they brought with them and traveled from Walla Walla to Dayton where they spent two weeks with family friends who had previously moved West. From Dayton, the journey continued to Grangeville, Idaho. Only Grandma Ida and her mother rode in the wagon when going uphill. Everyone else had to walk up the long, steep hills. Grandma Ida also told me stories of her youth on the Camas Prairie. These stories sparked a yearning in me to know more about my ancestors and started me on the path of genealogy.
I started researching my family tree in the mid-1970s, and like Dorothy Gale found out on her trip to Oz on the Yellow Brick Road, things do not always go according to plan. My early genealogy road was filled with beginner’s missteps, like not citing sources or keeping research logs, but I managed to make important discoveries as I went along.
Learning the DAR Way of Genealogy
I had an opportunity to expand my genealogy horizons in June 2013 after joining the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). In April 2014, I took the three DAR Genealogical Education Program (GEP) classes and started volunteering my research skills to help with DAR applications.
Researching Genealogy for Others
While volunteering with a local genealogy society, I was able to connect an elderly adopted man with his biological family who never knew he existed. You can read his story here, “Are You My Mother? Take 2” I have also helped several other adoptees find their biological families through the use of DNA and traditional genealogy.
Uncle Mike’s Legacy
My Uncle Mike once told me, “Never stop learning, Honey.” Realizing that “You don’t know what you don’t know” is true, I decided that it was time to become an accredited genealogist. In February 2021, I was notified that my four-generation project received a passing grade by ICAPGen℠. Due to COVID-19, testing for Levels 2 and 3 was suspended for much of 2021, however, I recently was able to take my Level 2 and 3 exams. It may take up to six months for these exams to be graded. In the meantime, I continue to take client work and apply my knowledge and experience to answer the questions presented to me.