National Genealogical Society seeks nominations for 2015 Genealogy Hall of Fame

The following announcement was received from the National Genealogical Society:

NATIONAL GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2015 GENEALOGY HALL OF FAME

Would your society like to honor a genealogist whose exemplary work lives on today? Perhaps there was a notable genealogist in your state or county whose name should be memorialized in the National Genealogy Hall of Fame.

If so, the National Genealogical Society would like to hear from you. NGS is seeking nominations from the entire genealogical community for persons whose achievements or contributions have made an impact on the field. This educational program increases appreciation of the high standards advocated and achieved by committed genealogists whose work paved the way for researchers today.

Since 1986 when Donald Lines Jacobus became the first genealogist elected to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame, twenty‐five outstanding genealogists have been recognized for their contributions. The 2015 honoree will join this select group of distinguished members. This year’s selection, and the society that honored the nominee, will be feted at the 2015 NGS Family History Conference to be held in St. Charles, Missouri. Nominations for election to the Hall of Fame are made by genealogical societies and historical societies throughout the United States.

Guidelines for nominations:

  • A nominee must have been actively engaged in genealogy in the United States for at least ten years, must have been deceased for at least five years at the time of nomination, and must have made contributions to the field of genealogy judged to be of lasting significance in ways that were unique, pioneering, or exemplary.
  •  The National Genealogy Hall of Fame is an educational project in which the entire genealogical community is invited to participate. Affiliation with the National Genealogical Society is not required.
  •  The National Genealogy Hall of Fame Committee elects one person to the Hall of Fame annually. Those elected are permanently commemorated in the Hall of Fame at Society headquarters, Arlington, Virginia.
  •  Nominations for election to the Hall of Fame are due by 31 January each year. Official nomination forms are available from our website, http://www.ngsgenealogy.org, Awards & Competitions, or by contacting the National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22204‐4304; phone 1‐800‐473‐0060.

The National Genealogical Society’s Genealogy Hall of Fame includes such notable genealogists as Donald Lines Jacobus, John Insley Coddington, Jean Stephenson, James Dent Walker, Richard S. Lackey, Milton Rubincam, Kenn Stryker-Rodda, Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr., and Rosalie Fellows Bailey. To see a full list of current members of the Hall of Fame, with short biographical notes, visit http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/halloffame_winners.

News from the Board for Certification of Genealogists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

17 October 2014

BOARD FOR CERTIFICATION OF GENEALOGISTS DISCUSSES CERTIFICATION, WELCOMES JEANNE LARZALERE BLOOM, CG, AS NEW PRESIDENT

Genealogists seeking board certification will have a clearer idea of portfolio requirements following the October 12 meeting of the trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists in Salt Lake City. The Board also welcomed a new executive committee and two new members. Several trustees volunteered for a newly enlarged marketing committee. Trustee Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL, made a generous donation to fund a full year of BCG’s new free public instructional webinars.

To emphasize the fact that not all who apply for certification take clients, the fifth required item in an application portfolio will now be called “Research Report Prepared for Another” rather than “Research Report Prepared for a Client.” The item’s requirements remain the same: research and report on a genealogical problem authorized by someone else that does not involve the applicant’s family, showing “analysis of the problem, in-depth and skillful use of a range of sources, and recommendations for further work based on your findings.”

At the end of Sunday’s trustee meeting the presidential gavel passed from Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, to Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG. In her final report as president, Powell commented on many changes, including the publication of revised standards and rubrics, BCG’s increased social-media presence, the new webinar series, as well as the 50th anniversary celebrations. Bloom responded, “On behalf of the associates and the trustees of BCG, I would like to thank Elissa for her capable leadership as BCG’s president these past two years.”

Other members of the new executive committee are Stefani Evans, CG, (vice-president), Michael S. Ramage, J.D., CG (treasurer), Dawne Slater-Putt, CG (secretary), and Russell (member at large). As past president, Powell will also serve on the executive committee in an advisory capacity. Newly re-elected trustees are David McDonald, CG, Evans, and Bloom, joined by newcomers Nancy A. Peters, CG, and Harold Henderson, CG. Retiring trustees Laura A. DeGrazia, CG, and Thomas W. Jones Ph.D, CG, CGL, were thanked for their long terms of service and for the significant advancements of BCG that occurred under their leadership. DeGrazia served 2005–2014, and as president 2008–2010. Jones served 1997–2007, 2011–2014, and as president 1999–2002.

Sunday’s meeting was preceded by a day of BCG-sponsored lectures offering problem-solving tools from associates Powell, Russell, Evans, and Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, hosted by the Family History Library. The lectures were streamed into two additional rooms when the main meeting room filled.

For questions or more information contact: Nicki Birch, CG, office@BCGcertification.org.

Announcing the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research

For those of you who may have wondered why I’ve been so silent lately…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research to Offer Unique Opportunities in Genealogical Education

RALEIGH, North Carolina, 9 September 2014. Professional genealogists Catherine W. Desmarais, CG, Michael Hait, CG, and Melanie D. Holtz, CG, are pleased to announce the formation of the Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research. The Virtual Institute is a unique educational opportunity for genealogists of all skill levels.

The Institute will offer courses on a wide variety of genealogical subjects, providing vigorous year-round education for the genealogical community using a virtual platform. Each course will consist of a total of four 90-minute lectures, two each presented on consecutive Saturdays, extensive syllabus material, and practical exercises. Limited class sizes of only one hundred registrants per course allows for a higher level of class participation and instructor feedback than typically offered by genealogy webinars.

Courses are currently planned around the topics of genealogical writing, advanced methodology, DNA testing and analysis, and cultural, regional, or record-based research strategies.

Many of these subject matters—as well as the depth of instruction—have never before been offered in a virtual format and are ideal for genealogists around the world. “The Virtual Institute will allow genealogists who work a full-time job or have limited travel budgets to more easily advance their genealogical skills,” Institute co-administrator Melanie D. Holtz stated.

Registration for each course will cost $69.99 and includes digital video recordings of all four lectures, available within two weeks of the close of each course.

For more information on the Institute and to register for upcoming courses, visit www.vigrgenealogy.com and subscribe to the mailing list for updates on future courses.

UPCOMING COURSES

Michael Hait, CG, “Writing Logical Proof Arguments,” 1 November–8 November 2014

J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, “Preparing the Field: Understanding the Agricultural Records of our Ancestors,” 24 January–31 January 2015

Maureen Taylor, “Family Photographs: Identifying, Preserving, and Sharing Your Visual Heritage,” 21 February–28 February 2015

Donna Moughty, “Strategies for Finding Your Irish Ancestors,” 7 March–14 March 2015

Blaine Bettinger, “(Finally!) Understanding Autosomal DNA,” 21 March–28 March 2015

Billie Stone Fogarty and Rick Fogarty, “Verifying the Family Legend of Native American Ancestry,” 18 April–25 April 2015

Melanie D. Holtz, CG, and Melissa Johnson, “Genealogical Applications of Dual Citizenship by Descent,” 2 May–9 May 2015

Paul Milner, “An In-Depth Look at the Big Four Records of English Research,” 30 May–6 June 2015

Angela McGhie, “Digging in Federal Land Records,” 19 September–26 September 2015

Building a solid genealogy library (part one)

Researchers in all areas tend to pride themselves on their libraries. Genealogists work in fairly specific areas—usually either geographically- or ethnically-based—and their libraries tend to prominently reflect these specialties. While I prefer good old-fashioned paper books, a current library will almost certainly also contain e-books.

Every researcher’s personal library will be different, but a solid library should almost always contain these five types of works.

1. General reference books

General reference books would include those on general genealogy and research methodology and standards as well as even more general reference material.

For example, some books, in my opinion, every genealogist should own:

  • Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained, 2d. ed. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2009).
  • Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 2013).
  • Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards (Nashville, Tenn.: Turner Publishing, 2014).

In addition to these, you probably have other general reference books depending on your specific activities. Writers, editors, and publishing probably have the Chicago Manual of Style within reach. A good dictionary and/or thesaurus might be useful. I often find myself consulting Black’s Law Dictionary. Those who research in other countries might need to have a good -to-English dictionary handy.

2. Specialized research guides

Specialized research guides may focus on a specific location, ethnic group, record type, or repository, or some combination of these. There are a few authors who have written research guides for a wide variety of subjects, but I would recommend choosing guides written and published by researchers with a strong reputation for experience and expertise in a given area.

Some notable examples:

Location-specific

  • Helen F. M. Leary, ed., North Carolina Research, 2d. ed. (Raleigh, N. C.: North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1996).
  • Robert S. Davis and Ted O. Brooke, Georgia Research, 2d. ed. (Atlanta: Georgia Genealogical Society, 2012).
  • John Grenham, Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, 4th ed. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2012).
  • Any of the guides published as part of the National Genealogical Society’s Research in the States series.

Ethnicity-specific

  • Virginia Humling, U. S. Catholic Sources: A Diocesan Research Guide for Family Historians (Orem, Utah: Ancestry.com, 1995).
  • Dee Parmer Woodtor, Finding a Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity (New York: Random House, 1999).

Record-specific

  • Kenneth L. Smith, Estate Inventories: How To Use Them (Morgantown, Penn.: Masthof Press, 2000; reprint 2008).
  • John T. Humphrey, Understanding and Using Baptismal Records (Washington, D.C.: Humphrey Publications, 1996).
  • Desmond Walls Allen and Carolyn Earle Billingsley, Social Security Applications: A Genealogical Resource (Conway, Ark.: Research Associates, 1995).
  • Ann S. Lainhart, State Census Records (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992).

Repository-specific

  • Anne Bruner Eales and Robert M. Kvasnicka, eds., Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives of the United States, 3d. ed. (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2000).
  • Judy Riffel, A Guide to Genealogical Research at the Louisiana State Archives, revised 2d ed. (Baton Rouge, La.: Le Comité des Archives de la Lousiane, 2009).
  • Eric G. Grundset and Steven B. Rhodes, American Genealogical Research at the DAR, Washington, D. C., 2d. ed. (Washington, D.C.: National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, 2004).

Combinations

  • Jason Kruski, A Guide to Chicago and Midwestern Polish-American Genealogy (Baltimore: Clearfield, 2012).
  • Timothy N. Pinnick, Finding and Using African American Newspapers (Wyandotte, Okla.: The Gregath Publishing Co., 2008).
  • Joseph Buggy, Finding Your Irish Ancestors in New York City (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014).
  • Harry F. Thompson, Guide to Collections Relating to South Dakota Norwegian-Americans (Sioux Falls, S.D.: Center for Western Studies, 1991).

3. Derivative sources & finding aids

Not every record is online. We all know that. Even those that are online are not always indexed. Records that tend to hold a significant amount of genealogical information–especially when the record set covers a relatively narrow location or time period–also tend to be indexed, abstracted, or transcribed, and published. Every research library should have at least a few of these works, to save time and provide easy reference to records consulted frequently. A few in my personal library:

  • Debbie Hooper, Abstracts of Chancery Court Records of Maryland, 1669-1782 (Westminster, Md.: Family Line Publications, 1996).
  • Wesley E. Pippenger, Index to Virginia Estates, 1800-1865, vol. 6: Counties of Augusta and Rockingham, City of Staunton (Richmond, Va.: Virginia Genealogical Society, 2005).
  • J. Estelle Stewart King, Abstract of Early Kentucky Wills and Inventories (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1961; orig. pub. 1933).
  • Ralph Clayton, Cash for Blood: The Baltimore to New Orleans Domestic Slave Trade (Westminster, Md.: Heritage Books, 2007).
  • Elizabeth Hayward, American Vital Records from The Baptist Register, 1824-1829, and The New York Baptist Register, 1829-1834 (Mt. Airy, Md.: Pipe Creek Publications, 1991).

4. Compiled genealogies & biographies

Researchers who focus on a specific family (perhaps their own) may want to own copies of family genealogies for families of interest. Those who focus on a larger area may also want to own single-family genealogies for prominent area families. However, the many published multi-family genealogies or compiled narrative biographies may be quite a bit more useful.

For example,

  • Paul Heinegg, Free African Americans of Maryland and Delaware, from the Colonial Period to 1810 (Baltimore: Clearfield, 2000).
  • Jonathan Pearson, Genealogies of the First Settlers of the Ancient Colony of Albany from 1630 to 1800 (Albany, N.Y., 1872; repr. Baltimore: Clearfield, 2003).
  • Gail Morin, First Mètis Families of Quebec, 1622-1748, vol. 1: 56 Families (Baltimore: Clearfield, 2012).

5. Periodicals

Most genealogy periodicals are benefits to membership in a particular genealogical society, though there are also a few that are available strictly by subscription. There are generally at least three kinds of genealogy periodicals:

a. Newsletters

These are most common among smaller societies. They usually contain news about the society and its members and generally contain a small number of pages. Sometimes these also include very short articles about genealogy resources or methodology. They are too numerous to count, nationwide.

b. Magazines

Some magazines are intended for the general public and are available on newsstands and by subscription, such as Family Tree Magazine and Family Chronicle. Other magazine-format periodicals are published by societies, either exclusively or complementing a more scholarly journal. The articles usually contain slightly longer (2-3 pages) and more advanced articles about genealogy resources or methodology. For example,

  • Crossroads, published by the Utah Genealogical Association
  • APG Quarterly, published by the Association of Professional Genealogists
  • NGS Magazine, published by the [U. S.] National Genealogical Society
  • New York Researcher, published by the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society

c. Journals

Journals represent the most significant (in my opinion) periodical publication offered in the genealogical community. These are usually offered as a benefit of membership to a society, though there are two journals available by subscription. Most journals offer at least some advanced research case studies or compiled genealogies. Some journals also publish record indexes or abstracts, particularly for rare records unavailable elsewhere; articles on record sources or methodology; and book reviews.

One key difference between most journals and other periodical types is the editing process. Several genealogical journals utilize the peer-review process used by traditional academic journals. Others simply rely on qualified editors, often Board-certified or otherwise experienced and knowledgeable genealogists. Both of these processes, however, involve more in-depth editing and review, resulting in a higher-quality publication.

For example,

  • The Genealogist, published by the American Society of Genealogists (available by subscription)
  • National Genealogical Society Quarterly, published by the [U. S.] National Genealogical Society
  • New England Historical & Genealogical Register, published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • Maryland Genealogical Society Journal, published by the Maryland Genealogical Society

Of these periodical types, newsletters tend to have the least long-term value in a genealogical library, while journals have the most long-term value. The value in a journal, however, extends far beyond those articles that have specific relevance to a particular family or location. Reading published case studies and compiled genealogies offer examples of high-quality research methodology that can often be applied to unrelated families and locations.

To Be Continued … How to build your library

New on my bookshelf, June 2014

I have purchased quite a few books in the past six months, from a number of sources. Not all of them are new, but they are new to my library. Here are a few that are noteworthy:

Board for Certification of Genealogists. Genealogy Standards: Fiftieth Anniversary Edition. Nashville, Tenn.: Ancestry.com, 2014. This is without question the most significant new book that any genealogist can purchase this year. For almost fifteen years, The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (Ancestry Publishing, 2000) has literally been the defining measure of quality genealogical research. This new edition offers substantial reorganization and revision of the standards of our field, clarifying and consolidating them to improve understanding. Recommended for the bookshelf of every genealogist. Kindle edition also now available.

Buggy, Joseph. Finding Your Irish Ancestors in New York City. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014. This book provides detailed practical information on researching the Irish in New York City, including strategies for researching the Irish, lesser-known New York City records, detailed information on New York City Catholic churches, etc. A necessary addition to the bookshelf of anyone researching Irish families or New York City families, and especially those researching Irish families in New York.

McCartney, Martha W. Jamestown People to 1800: Landowners, Public Officials, Minorities, and Native Leaders. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2012. In over 400 pages, this volume presents encyclopedic biographies of every individual appearing in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Jamestown records. Some entries contain a single sentence; others cover multiple columns. Each entry provides abbreviated citations to all records sources used.

Schreiner-Yantis, Netti, and Florene Speakman Love. The Personal Property Tax Lists for the Year 1787 for Gloucester County, Virginia. Springfield, Va.: Genealogical Books in Print, 1987. These small booklets are available for most Virginia counties. I purchased this one for a large client project currently in progress. The real strength of these editions is that the tax lists are presented both in their original alphabetical order and in chronological order by the date of assessment. This second version of the list provides insight into who was assessed the same day, and therefore likely lived near each other.

Little, Barbara Vines. Inheritance in Colonial Virginia. 2nd edition. Richmond, Va.: Virginia Genealogical Society, 2014. In its 30 pages, this booklet provides necessary information on its subject. Includes extracts from the colonial laws, diagrams of intestate descents, brief case studies, definitions of terms from Black’s Law Dictionary, etc. [I purchased this at the VGS booth at the 2014 National Genealogical Society annual conference, but cannot find it on Amazon or on the VGS website.]

Gobble, MaryAnne. Chicago Manual Of Style Guidelines (Quick Study). [Boca Raton, Fla.]: BarCharts, 2012. All writers should have the Chicago Manual of Style within reach. Possibly also Turabian’s A Manual for Writers. This QuickStudy guide—six laminated pages—condenses many of the most important rules of CMS for easy access. Included are sections on “Preparing a Manuscript” (Document Layout; Illustrations, Tables & Charts), “Copyright & Fair Use,” “Style & Usage” (Bias-Free Language; Tactics for Achieving Gender Neutrality; Punctuation; Capitalization; Abbreviations & Acronyms; Quotations), “Tricky Words,” and—every genealogist’s favorite subject—“Documentation” (Citing Sources).

Beidler, James M. The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Germanic Ancestry in Europe. Cincinnati, Ohio: Family Tree Books, 2014. I haven’t read this one yet, but it looks like a good overview of German research. A cursory flip through the books shows that it contains a lot of online resources which may become dated, but also has a lot of discussion and images of original records.

Henderson, Michael Nolden, with Anita Rochelle. Got Proof!: My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation. Suwanee, Ga.: The Write Image, 2013. I purchased this book directly from the author when I met him at a recent speaking engagement in Atlanta. This book is a memoir of the author’s research into his own family history in Louisiana. I had been reading Mr. Henderson’s blog for a few years, as he dove into the difficulties of researching Louisiana Creole families of color in Spanish and French colonial Louisiana. This book offers more of this, culminating with Mr. Henderson’sacceptance into the Sons of the American Revolution and ultimate election to the presidency of the Button Gwinnett Chapter, Georgia Society SAR.

Archives de France. Les archives notariales: Manuel pratique et juridique. Paris: La Documentation Française, 2013. There is a serious dearth of books on French genealogy. Wanting (and needing) to learn more about the subject, I was forced to come up with a unique solution. Visit Amazon.fr — the French version of Amazon.com. There, I found a lot of books on genealogy, written in French for French audiences. This particular book, the first of what will likely be many additions to my library, covers notarial archives (which is where you will find most French land records). When purchasing foreign research books, it is helpful if you can read the language.

“Reasonably exhaustive” research as a process of elimination

One of the most difficult concepts to grasp, when we strive to meet the Genealogical Proof Standard, is the “reasonably exhaustive search.” This requirement demands that we conduct thorough research, scouring every possible source of relevant information touching upon our research question.

The following steps present one way to think about this requirement, as a process of reduction, beginning with a large pool of possible sources and systematically eliminating those that cannot hold relevant information.

(1) Imagine every possible source for information (meaning every written record or artifact that holds information from any location or time period throughout history). This initial pool contains billions (or more) possible records.

(2) Eliminate records that could not possibly hold information about the subject–for example, a record from ancient Egypt or medieval France could not possibly hold information relevant to the life of an African American born in the late nineteenth century in Charleston, South Carolina.

(3) Eliminate records that are unlikely to hold information about the subject–for example, records in states that neither he nor any of his family members (including hypothetical ancestors or descendants), business associates, neighbors, ever visited.

(4) Identify what records remain–what records ever existed in the times and places in which the subject lived–which of these records are currently accessible, and how and where.

So far, this process of elimination still leaves a large pool of possible sources. Examining all of them would clearly constitute exhaustive research. Exhaustive research, however, is not the standard. The standard is to conduct thorough or reasonably exhaustive research. Another way to phrase this standard would be to substitute the term “reasonably” with “rationally.” In other words, we should think rationally about our research question, our research subject, and the historical context of the problem (time and place).

(5) Systematically examine every record within this pool of potential sources. Start with the most common records from the remaining pool–census records, vital records, land records, probate records, etc. As more information about the subject becomes available you may have to add or subtract records from the pool. Be liberal in adding and conservative in subtracting. For example, a deed from 200 years later could provide a title history that includes an originally unrecorded transaction. If three census records provide three separate states of birth for the research subject, expand the pool of potential sources to include all three states.

Again, we must use our ability to think rationally and reasonably to build a case. Several points should bear directly on our use of sources:

  • Be sure to examine any record suggested by information in any examined record. So if a census record states that someone owned land or served in the military, check the land records and military records.
  • Give priority to original records and records holding primary information. This is not to say that we should ignore derivative records or authored works, nor that we should ignore secondary information. During the process of analysis and correlation of the collected evidence we will determine which information appears most reliable.
  • Ease of access is not the deciding factor when considering what sources we use. Records that do not appear online may be available on microfilm that can be rented from the Family History Library or borrowed through interlibrary loan from another repository. Original records that have not been microfilmed may be obtained through the mail directly from the repository or through the use of a local hired agent.

Finally, how do we know when we have completed the process? Is it when every single item on the list has been crossed off?

Sometimes. Again, we have to use our reason and rational thought. If we are trying to identify the father of John Smith and we have conclusive evidence that his father was James, then we can stop the search. For example, suppose we have found the following records through our initial research:

  • A death certificate identifying John Smith’s father as James Smith–the informant being John’s eldest son William;
  • A marriage record, informed by John Smith himself, identifying John’s father as James Smith;
  • Three federal census records, in which John was aged 2 years, 12 years, and 22 years, respectively, living in households headed by James Smith;
  • A will written by James Smith in which he identifies his son John Smith;
  • A church baptismal record that provides John Smith’s date of birth and identifies his father as James Smith;
  • A tombstone, containing the date of birth as presented in the baptismal record and the date of death as presented in the death certificate, thus connecting the two records as pertaining to the same individual.

It is probably safe, in this scenario, to stop searching. We are unlikely to locate further information that will contradict the conclusion that John Smith was the son of James Smith. We do not have 100% certainty of course. A court record or DNA testing could reveal that John Smith had been adopted. Perhaps it is reasonably (and therefore necessary) to search these additional records, depending on the collected evidence in the case. On the other hand, it may exceed the standard, depending on the collected evidence, and therefore be unnecessary. Some of the other relevant evidence that should be considered in this case are the norms of the location, family oral tradition (if any), the socioeconomic status of the family, the birth order of John among the other children of James and his wife, etc.

The successful genealogist must have a developed sense of reason. Most problems that we encounter will not be as clear-cut and simple as the case of John Smith son of James Smith. Far more often we will encounter families where these relatively reliable sources of direct evidence were never created or do not survive. These cases require thoughtful and insightful use of vast amounts of indirect evidence. For these more complex cases, we will have to search many more sources to meet the standard of reasonably exhaustive. We often have to collect and correlate material relevant to every aspect of our subject’s life as well as investigating the lives (and records) of known family members and associates. We must be able to recognize when we have examined enough evidence to make a reasoned conclusion possible.

Board for Certification of Genealogists to release new Standards Manual

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FROM: Board for Certification of Genealogists, P. O. Box 14291, Washington, DC 20044

www.BCGcertification.org

DATE: 12 December 2013

SUBJECT: Genealogy Standards Updated in New Manual

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Office@BCGcertification.org

Washington, DC, December 12, 2013 – In honor of its fiftieth anniversary, the Board for Certification of Genealogists® (“BCG”) has issued Genealogy Standards, a manual for best practices in research and assembly of accurate family histories. This revision completely updates and reorganizes the original 2000 edition of The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual.

“Accuracy is fundamental to genealogical research,” writes editor Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CGSM, CGLSM, in the introduction. “Without it, a family’s history would be fiction. This manual presents the standards family historians use to obtain valid results. These standards apply to all genealogical research, whether shared privately or published.”

The 83 specific standards cover the process of researching family history and the finished products of the research. Based on the five-part Genealogical Proof Standard, the standards cover:

  • documenting (standards 1–8);
  • researching (standards 9–50), including planning, collecting, and reasoning from evidence;
  • writing (standards 51–73), including proofs, assembly, and special products;
  • teaching and lecturing (standards 74–81); and
  • continuing education (standards 82 & 83).

The 100-page book includes appendices: the genealogist’s code, a description of BCG and its work, a list of sources and resources where examples of work that meets standards are regularly published, a glossary, and an evidence-process map distinguishing the three kinds of sources, information, and< evidence.

“We are delighted to provide this new edition, which is meant for all genealogical researchers and practitioners as a way to recognize sound genealogy,” said BCG president Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL. “We appreciate the many hands that helped bring this new edition to fruition and look forward to its widespread usage in the field.”

SAVE 20%! To place a specially-priced, pre-publication order with delivery in the first part of February 2014, visit http://www.bcgcertification.org/catalog/index.html. Regularly priced at $14.95, the pre-publication price is $11.95 before January 27, 2014.

Board for Certification of Genealogists. Genealogy Standards, 50th anniversary edition. New York: Turner Publishing Co., 2014. 100 pp., paper, ISBN 978-1-63026-018-7, $14.95.

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