Meet the Founders

The Applied Genealogy Institute founders bring a high level of experience in participation in institutes and practicums–virtual and in person. All are experienced lecturers and course content developers. All firmly believe in the basic tenets of AppGen– small classes, high degree of interaction, practical problems and time to resolve them.

Mary Kircher Roddy, CG, grew up in San Rafael, California. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from The University of California, Riverside in 1982 and a Master in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas in 1984.  She earned a certificate in Genealogy and Family History at the University of Washington in 2005.  She was credentialed by the Board for Certification of Genealogists® in 2019 and serves on their Board. Mary has written for National Genealogical Society Quarterly, NGS Magazine, FGS Forum, Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy and numerous society publications.

Lisa S. Gorrell, CG has been researching for over 30 years. Her specialties include southern states and Texas; western states of California, Montana, and Oregon; 18th & 19th century German research, and 18th & 19th century Swedish research. Her German language capability is intermediate. She is the former recording secretary for California Genealogical Society & Library, and past president for Contra Costa County Genealogical Society. She has a regular column in CGS’s California Nugget, has written for Der Blumenbaum, and writes two family blogs, My Trails Into the Past and Mam-ma’s Southern Family. She lectures locally and teaches all levels of genealogy research at the local adult school. She is currently a board member and volunteer at Contra Costa County Historical Society History Center in Martinez.

Jill Morelli, CG, CGL is a writer, lecturer and researcher specializing in the US Midwest, Scandinavia and northern Germany. She lectures nationally on topics inspired by her own research and methodology. Jill has been published in the National Genealogical Society QuarterlySwedish American GenealogistIllinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly and many others. In 2017, she founded the online Certification Discussion Group, sharing her journey and demystifying the process of submission of a portfolio to the Board for Certification of Genealogists.  Jill is past president of the Seattle Genealogical Society, and belongs to many local genealogical societies. She blogs about her certification journey and issues related to certification at

CG and Certified Genealogist are registered certification marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic competency evaluations.

4 thoughts on “Meet the Founders”

  1. Chrystal,
    We at AppGen are committed to virtual education; all classes are and will be virtual. I will check where I say “in person” and clarify that meaning. Thanks for bringing that to our attention. Jill

  2. Chrystal Stallings said:

    So, do I understand correctly that the courses are completely online? At times it sounds that way, yet at other times you say things are “in person” with the instructor. Please clarify as I cannot take an in person course. Thanks!

  3. Jerrie, I hope you got my response, but I don’t see it here. We are recording the sessions. Each instructor will be in charge of their own recordings. I have, for example, in every class break out assignments—these would be recorded as “dead air.” There might be things you miss, but in my course you would get the discussion before and after and the lecture. And, you make a good point. I have added it to the FAQs. Jill

  4. Jerrie D McIntyre said:

    If we miss one class during the four weeks, will we be able to review it via recording? This is not addressed in the FAQs.

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