The March 2007 issue of the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly published the results of a member survey. It is the most recent portrait (of which I am aware) of the community of professional genealogists. In 2012, the APG conducted another membership survey, but its goal was not to paint a portrait of the community, but to determine the direction of the future of the organization. Its results have not yet been published.
I believe it is time for a new portrait of the professional genealogy community. A lot has changed in the past five years:
- Ancestry.com instituted (and then discontinued) the ExpertConnect program, introducing many genealogists to the profession and strengthening the client market.
- Social media and the Internet–including blogs, Facebook, and Twitter–decimated the “wall” between professional genealogists and our avocational counterparts.
- The membership of the Association of Professional Genealogists has grown from just over 1800 members to over 2500 members.
- APG has grown into a truly international organization, with chapters in Ontario, Canada, and Western Canada, as well as the Internet-based Virtual Chapter. New chapters are currently being organized in the British Isles and Australia/New Zealand.
The most glaring omission in APG’s previous surveys is that the surveys targeted only those professionals who were, at the time, members of APG. There are many professional genealogists who are not members of APG, for various reasons.
As this blog’s stated purpose is to support and educate professionals and aspiring professionals, I have designed a survey to try to meet these goals. I would like to produce a portrait of the professional genealogist community. This survey is not, in any way, sponsored or endorsed by the Association of Professional Genealogists or any other organization.
I would like to invite any who consider themselves professional genealogists–whether your business focus is research, education, publishing, or something entirely different–to complete this survey. Please share this post freely, so that the survey might reach those professionals who may not otherwise find it.
The survey is anonymous–it does not inquire the names of any respondents. The questions are relatively straightforward, and should not take more than 5 or 10 minutes to complete.
[Click here for answers to some common questions/concerns regarding the survey. Added 21 Feb 2013.]
The survey will be open for one week, beginning today, 19 February 2013, and closing on 26 February 2013. Sometime in the future I will discuss the results in this blog.
Note: I do recognize that there is one shortcoming inherent in the survey. As it is being produced and shared online, only those professional genealogists with an online presence will be able to respond. In today’s world, with the Internet as prevalent as it is, am hoping that this will create only a small, reasonable, and acceptable margin of error.
 Sharon Tate Moody, CG, “Who Are We?: A By-the-Numbers Look at the Average APG Member,” Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, March 2007, 5–7.
 “Chapters,” Association of Professional Genealogists (http://www.apgen.org/chapters/index.html : accessed 19 February 2013).
 Minutes, Association of Professional Genealogists Board Meeting, FGS Conference – Birmingham, Alabama, 31 August 2012, “Board Meeting Minutes,” Association of Professional Genealogists: Members Only (http://www.apgen.org : accessed 19 February 2013); content available to members only.