Coming from OnBoard, September 2016

OnBoard: Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists is scheduled to publish in September 2016. We’re pleased to offer a preview of some of its content.

“Standards and Forensic Genealogy”

Forensic genealogists use genealogical skills and methods to help resolve legal problems. Most practitioners of the specialty provide expert opinions relied on by legal professionals. Giving us a look into the world of forensic genealogy, Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG, explains how adherence to the principles in Genealogy Standards underlies success in forensic work.

“Investigating and Evaluating Family Artifacts”

Genealogists who are lucky enough to have inherited a cherished heirloom may wonder about its background. Pam Stone Eagleson, CG, shows how thorough research and applying genealogy standards and guidelines used by museum curators and educators can reveal the stories behind our family artifacts.

OnBoard publishes three issues per year. A subscription is included in annual associate fees and is provided to applicants “on the clock.” Subscriptions are also available to the general public for $15.00 per year (currently) through the BCG website, here. Issues back to 1995 can also be ordered online, here.

The words Certified Genealogist are a registered certification mark, and the designations CG, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.

Welcome from the BCG Treasurer

Welcome to BCG’s blog! I serve as treasurer of BCG, probably because in a previous life I worked as a banker and a financial planning analyst. As a nascent genealogist during the 1990s I was working in isolation. There was no social media. I was so “green” that I did not know about the existing opportunities to meet other hard-core genealogists. I thought I was good at genealogy but worked alone, without the benefit of review by peers.

In March 1999 I applied to BCG. By seeking certification, I hoped to find out if my work was good enough for me to be a professional genealogist. If not, I wanted to know which skills I needed to strengthen. During the agonizing process of assembling my portfolio I found I had a great deal to learn, but I eventually mailed what I thought was the most perfect portfolio the world has ever seen. My application was not a slam-dunk and required arbitration. Fortunately, despite all the faults in that “perfect” portfolio, I was granted BCG’s Certified Genealogist credential.  

Jeanne Bloom, CG

I now work as a full-time professional researcher and conduct projects for government agencies, attorneys, authors, newspapers, heir-search firms, professional genealogists, and family researchers. My areas of expertise are Illinois, with a concentration in Cook County research, and heirship searches and forensic genealogy. I am also a lecturer, writer, and editor.

Since 1999 I have continued to grow as a genealogist, acquiring knowledge and skills through applying BCG’s standards. The standards are the invaluable, collected wisdom of those genealogists who came before us. The standards are not solely for BCG associates or for those who desire to be Board-certified. Any genealogist who follows the standards will save time, will make more efficient use of limited financial resources, and will avoid many brick walls.