Accurate identification and documentation are paramount for successfully climbing the Family Tree of Man.

standards for the willing genealogistAccurate identification and documentation are paramount for successfully climbing the Family Tree of Man. But in our world of exploding interest in ancestry and need for genealogical truth in both the private and public domain, we have a conundrum. With genealogy being done by millions and millions, and the vast majority are not professional genealogists, how do we recognize the truth and trust the genealogist? With no established profession in genealogy to qualify and designate practitioners as professionals through higher education and competency testing, every genealogist who desires to produce “like a professional” needs knowledge, skills and competency recognition.

How does the hobbyist or avocationist achieve professional-like results without the genealogy college degree and advanced training in the essential core knowledge, methodology, skills, best practices, competencies, and ethics of such a scholarly pursuit as genealogy?

Fortunately, the genealogy world of the 21st century has standards that the willing genealogist can choose to follow as they discover, preserve and share their family history. These standards have been developed by the dedicated genealogists of the American Society of Genealogists, the Board for the Certification of Genealogists and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. Voluntary adherence to these standards enables the genealogist to produce recognizable and trustworthy genealogy for his personal use. Competency testing is available for all interested genealogists desiring recognition in the public square.

When a genealogist is really serious about his work, he will take the time to become knowledgeable and skilled in the family history research standards of these premier genealogical societies. This will greatly benefit the quality of genealogy the genealogist produces and make their work more trustworthy. Following these standards gives the willing genealogist the tools they need to accurately identify and document their genealogy and contribute to a truthful and trustworthy Family Tree of Man.

Submitted by Mary E. Petty, B.A. (History), B.A. (Genealogy)
Heirlines Vice President

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