Welcome to the BCG blog! I am Stefani Evans, a BCG trustee and member at large of the executive committee. I first sought BCG certification because I wanted to know whether my work met the standards established by our field’s leading genealogists. If it didn’t, I wanted to know where I needed to improve. After I was certified in 2005, I continued to revisit the judges’ comments and suggestions to ensure that as I honed my skills I addressed my shortcomings. Recertification every five years offers associates the opportunity to receive new comments from BCG judges on how we may further develop our skills.
As a historian, I see genealogy and history as mutually beneficial. Consciously or not, my genealogical background shapes my history projects by guiding my questions, methods, and approaches. Similarly, when I seek answers to the traditional genealogical who, what, when, and where questions, my historical self urges me also to ask why and how.
I do my best work when I keep in mind the standards promoted by BCG, especially the Genealogical Proof Standard. Elissa is right when she says that standards are for everyone, and I encourage all genealogists who aspire to their best to apply for certification. The process of assembling my first portfolio changed me. My priority switched from one of seeking assurance from others to that of upping my game. If the judges deemed my work insufficient, I would have continued to learn and resubmit until it passed muster. Staying current with certification keeps me on my toes. It ensures that I continue to meet standards, grow my knowledge, and improve my craft.