BCG Application Guide now available for free download

The revised 2011 edition of the BCG Application Guide from the Board for the Certification of Genealogists, as well as the revised Preliminary Application, are both now available for free download from the BCG website.

The Board for the Certification of Genealogists was created in 1964. According to the History published on the website:

BCG has its roots in the American Society of Genealogists, an elected organization of highly respected practitioners of genealogy. ASG sprang from academia. It was established in 1940 to, in part, “elevate the profession of genealogy to the same literary and scientific level enjoyed by history.” By 1963 the fellows — members of ASG — had become concerned that there was no organization that set scholarship standards for professional genealogists. Such an organization was necessary, they felt, if genealogy were to be treated as a serious research discipline.

Several ASG members initiated talks with leaders of the National Genealogical Society and with librarians. By February 1964, plans for the Board of Genealogical Certification had been finalized. The first trustees represented different groups. Among the names are a veritable who’s who of genealogy: Dr. Jean Stephenson, John Frederick Dorman, Walter Lee Sheppard Jr., and Milton Rubicam from ASG; Colonel Carleton E. Fisher, Mary Givens Bryan, and O. Kenneth Baker from NGS; and Dr. Roy F. Nichols, Dr. Walter Muir Whitehill, and Mary Lucy Kellogg representing historians, archivists, and/or librarians. The remaining trustees were Cameron Allen, Meredith B. Colket Jr., Kate F. Maver, Isabeth E. Myrth, Herbert F. Seversmith, and Kenn Stryker-Rodda. The first board meeting was held in April 1964.

Since that time, BCG certification (designated by the postnomial “CG”) has grown into one of genealogy’s highest honors. Becoming a Certified Genealogist involves proving your research and documentation skills through the creation of several of genealogy’s most common work products, including transcriptions, abstracts, a case study, and a compiled genealogy or compiled pedigree. These products undergo an intensive peer review process by other certified genealogists, who judge your work against a set of rubrics based on The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual.

Among many other accomplishments, Certified Genealogists were instrumental in the creation of the Genealogical Proof Standard.

For a more detailed look at the certification process, Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, and Dr. Thomas W. Jones, CG, present a certification seminar at various national and regional genealogy conferences. This seminar has also been video-taped, and can be viewed on the BCG website as well.

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