The way things are today in professional genealogy research services is that professional genealogists get to define themselves and what they do. It truly is a buyer’s beware marketplace, whether the so-called professional is doing genealogy personally, volunteering, pro bono publico, or commercially. Without the constraints of a profession, it is anything that is wanted and can be sold to the consumer.

As a practitioner in professional genealogy research services at Heirlines (, I have a commitment to formal professionalism and to the profession, to my fellow practitioners, to future practitioners, to the consumer, and to the public domain family tree. This is my standard. It is the philosophical motivation of my practice. I share my views on this list in anticipation of that future day when others will likewise desire a real formalized profession in genealogy research services. This is in the best interests of all stakeholders.

As a side note, in reviewing the website for the qualified members-only career organization for 150,000 psychologists, American Psychological Association , I found some very useful information in my study of professionalism. I learned about their eligibility requirements and the career focus of this professional organization. I look forward to the day when Professional Genealogy Research Services has a similar membership of 150,000 professional genealogists who are qualified to practice genealogy and thereby raise the quality of results on the private and public domain family tree. And as such, are authorized experts to educate, teach, write, speak, lecture, and talk to the public, the consumer, future practitioners, and their fellow practitioners about their career work in family history and genealogy: pro bono publico and commercially for a fee.

Submitted by Mary E. Petty, BA (History), BA (Genealogy)

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