Each individual certified
by BCG signs the following pledge:
As a practicing genealogist, mindful
of responsibilities to the public, to the genealogical
consumer, and to scholarship, I hereby pledge
- To strive for the highest level of
truth and accuracy in all phases of
- To act honorably toward other genealogists
and toward the field as a whole;
- To adhere to the Board for Certification of Genealogists'
Standards of Conduct;
(and, if engaged in research for others)
- To act in my client's best interests;
- To protect my client's privacy.
To protect the public
- I will not publish or publicize as fact
anything I know to be false, doubtful, or
unproven; nor will I be a party, directly
or indirectly, to such action by others.
- I will identify my sources for all information
and cite only those I have personally used.
- I will quote sources precisely, avoiding any alterations
that I do not clearly identify as editorial interpretations.
- I will present the purpose, practice,
scope, and possibilities of genealogical
research within a realistic framework.
- I will delineate my abilities, publications,
and/or fees in a true and realistic fashion.
To protect the consumer (client
- I will keep confidential any personal
or genealogical information given to me,
unless I receive written consent to the
- I will reveal to the consumer any personal
or financial interests that might compromise
my professional obligations.
- I will undertake paid research commissions
only after a clear agreement as to scope
- I will, to the best of my abilities, address
my research to the issue raised by the consumer
and report to that question.
- I will seek from the consumer all prior
information and documentation related to
the research and will not knowingly repeat
the work, as billable hours, without explanation
as to good cause.
- I will furnish only facts I can substantiate
with adequate documentation; and I will
not withhold any data necessary for the
- If the research question involves analysis
of data in order to establish a genealogical
relationship or identity, I will report
that the conclusions are based on the weight
of the available evidence and that absolute
proof of genealogical relationships is usually
- If I cannot resolve a research problem
within the limitations of time or budget
established by contract, I will explain
the reasons why.
- If other feasible avenues are available,
I will suggest them; but I will not misrepresent
the possibilities of additional research.
- I will return any advance payment that
exceeds the hours and expenses incurred.
- I will not publish or circulate research
or reports to which the consumer has a proprietary
right, without prior written consent of
the consumer; I will observe these rights,
whether my report was made directly to the
consumer or to an employer or agent.
To protect the profession
- I will act, speak, and write in a
manner I believe to be in the best interests
of the profession and scholarship of
- I will participate in exposing genealogical fraud;
but I will not otherwise knowingly injure or attempt
to injure the reputation, prospects, or practice
of another genealogist.
- I will not attempt to supplant another genealogist
already employed by a client or agency. I will substitute
for another researcher only with specific, written
consent of and instructions provided by the client
- I will not represent as my own the
work of another. This includes works
that are copyrighted, in the public
domain, or unpublished. This pledge
includes reports, lecture materials,
audio/visual tapes, compiled records,
and authored essays.
- I will not reproduce for public dissemination,
in an oral or written fashion, the work of another
genealogist, writer, or lecturer without that person's
written consent. In citing another's work, I will
give proper credit.
For a copy of the BCG Code of Ethics
brochure, click here.