Archive for March, 2009
I don’t own a gun. I am not in the occupation of private security. I do not provide private security services. I only have nearly 40 years of professional genealogy research services business experience, knowledge and background to share my perspective on SB 1243. I am a professional genealogist whose company has provided professional genealogy research results for clients covering all aspects of my chosen field of endeavor in every state of the union as well as internationally. I am passionate about my occupation and professionalizing the profession called Professional Genealogy Research Services and the work that the US Government calls Genealogy Research Services. The bill SB 1243 does have direct impact on the profession. Why?
The design process of any bill includes a definition of terms and proposed placement in the legal code- statues, etc. Because Heir Finders do genealogy research as a significant part of finding heirs and because doing genealogy research is the core business or work activity of professional genealogy research services of which heir finders or Forensic Genealogy is a specialty, SB 1243 by its very existence, is an attempt to define and codify the genealogy research by one of those specialties, heir finding, and thereby the “profession”. Go read the Texas Constitution and Statues for TITLE 10. OCCUPATIONS RELATED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AND SECURITY – (CHAPTER 1702. PRIVATE SECURITY). Do you see yourself defined by the regulations of the occupation Private, Security?
A wise man once said: “When any quasi-profession begins to show signs that it cannot govern or manage itself, they are subtly inviting some government regulatory agency to step in and say we will govern you.” In my book, when you let someone else define you, and regulate you under their understanding of what you do, and the profession does nothing or denies that this definition or codifying has anything to do with the profession, then “silence gives consent” as Sir Thomas More ala Robert Bolt wrote in a “Man for All Seasons”.
I recognize that Professional Genealogy Research Services is a quasi- profession and still emerging. I am committed to its growth and development and want to see the pie defined and codified and divided by qualified practitioners who have a vested interest in the profession, the practitioner, the consumer, and the legacy of their work in the public domain. I am very interested in working with such professionals who believe in self policing of their work by a viable, sustainable, sovereign profession for practitioners who do genealogy research as a career and livelihood in all of its specialties and aspects.
Written by Mary E. Petty, B.A. (History), B. A. (Genealogy)
(from copyrighted material, © 2009, Heirlines Family History & Genealogy, Inc. All rights reserved.
Heir Finders do genealogy research which is gaining information derived from public and private records, an excluded work activity set by current Texas Law: “Chapter 1702 under subchapter N–”§ 1702.324. CERTAIN OCCUPATIONS…(b) This chapter does not apply to: 5) a person who: (A) is engaged in obtaining information that is a public record under Chapter 552, Government Code, regardless of whether the person receives compensation;” Heir Finders do not do security work as currently defined by Texas Statue 1702.
To conduct business and provide their services, Heir Finders do genealogy research in public and private records, no matter how much they charge, or how they charge, or who they charge, or how they got the job to look for the heir in the first place. They do genealogy research to find the heir. SB 1243 wants to change the rules and definition of private security work occupation to include heir finders (someone who does genealogy research.)
My concern is, because Heir Finders do what we do, ie: genealogy research, they are professional genealogists as is now constituted in our “quasi- profession” of both self appointed and professionally designated practitioners. And what is to stop some legislator in the future from calling the rest of us professional genealogists in this quasi profession: heir finders in the security occupation?
I think this heir finder regulation is only one of many such efforts that have happened or will happen in attempts to regulate our practice of professional genealogy research services. I still say we need to organize as a profession with rules of qualifying membership including education, training, experience, and so on. We need to make this move from quasi to sovereign profession. That is the only way we can institute best practices and standards, and protect our profession; and root out the bad practitioners and bad practices.
Submitted by Mary E. Petty, B.A. (History), B.A. (Genealogy)
© 2009, Heirlines Family History & Genealogy, Inc. All rights reserved.