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Why Certification?

In all arenas of life, practitioners are judged by their skill and ethics. Genealogy is no exception.

As a researcher — personal or professional — you depend upon thousands of people unknown to you. You exchange research with others. You copy information from books and data bases. You write libraries, societies, and government offices. You hire professionals to do legwork in distant areas and trust them to solve your problems.

How do you assure yourself of reliable results? How can you judge the skills and ethics of those who provide your data?

Since 1964, genealogists have looked to BCG for consumer protection, skill assessment, and respected credentials. Based in our nation's capital, BCG is independent of any society, although its trustees and judges are always national leaders in the field.

Board-certified genealogists, whether professionals or highly skilled hobbyists, pass rigorous tests and subscribe to a code of ethics. For consumer protection, BCG offers the public an arbitration service, should a problem ever arise with the conduct or work of a BCG associate.

Whatever your interest in genealogy — wherever you live — the Board for Certification of Genealogists can help you meet your needs and goals. Click here for a brochure on genealogical certification.

Genealogy and Skiing – how do they parallel each other?

Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, answers this in her BCG luncheon talk at FGS 2012 in Birmingham, Alabama, “Certification: Not Just for Over-achievers.” This humorous talk explores the parallels between skiing and all levels of genealogists. Giving myriad reasons for certification, from young mothers to those who only work for their own families to those who want the self-improvement feedback, Pam emphasizes that certification is for everyone who wants to have their skills tested. Reasons are as varied as each individual but all are welcome to apply. Click here To enjoy this 23-minute luncheon speech.


BCG Certification


Why I became certified...

Some of our BCG associates were asked to give a short extemporaneous statement of why they sought, and maintain, the CG credential and the various pathways they took to get there. Click on the audio controls below to hear what they had to say.


"I first earned certification . . . because I had spent time around colleagues who had been
certified and whose work I wanted to emulate."


"In my mind there has always been a connection between librarianship and certification."


“I actually applied for certification twice and I had different motivations each time I applied.”


David McDonald


Beth Stahr


Michael Hait



"Being certified has given me entre to a community of professionals that I greatly admire."


"I think I did it a little backwards though."


“I knew lots of people who could tell me how great I was doing and very few people who could tell me the truth about how I was doing.”


J. H. Fonkert


Pamela Boyer Sayre


Harold Henderson



"I am going to recommend that none of you take the path that I took."


“I wanted to make sure that my work for my family history was the best it could be.”



“That has been one of the most important criteria in my professional career.”


Joan Hunter


Linda Geiger


Kathleen Hinckley



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