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About BCG

The Board for Certification of Genealogists
An independent organization not affiliated with, or part of, any group
A certifying body not a membership society
A nationally and internationally recognized organization


To foster public confidence in genealogy as a respected branch of history by promoting an attainable, uniform standard of competence and ethics among genealogical practitioners, and by publicly recognizing persons who meet that standard.


Of genealogical practice: a profession or avocation that

  • is of value to society's understanding of its history; and
  • requires training, experience, and advanced skills.

Of genealogical clients: those who benefit from the practitioner's efforts, regardless of whether:

  • the results are delivered in writing, orally, or online;
  • work is done for a fee, or for a salary, or without compensation; or
  • the practitioner's own or another person's ancestry is the subject of study.

Of certification: an important step in one's personal growth as a genealogist and a vital part of maintaining quality and public confidence in the field.

  • For genealogists, certification says "I care about the quality of work I compile for posterity."
  • For consumers, certification offers reassurance and a recourse as they seek professional help in a field that is still, for the most part, free of governmental regulation.


Celebrating 50 years

The following audio presentations were given at the request of BCG in celebration of its 50th anniversary. Used with permission from the speakers.

  • David McDonald, CG, FGS Conference, BCG luncheon, 22 August 2013, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, “No Diamonds, No Cherries: Celebrating a Jubilee.”
  • Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL, ASG-BCG Banquet, 12 October 2013, Salt Lake City, Utah, “We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby” — Standards for the 21st Century.

Promulgating Standards

Since its beginning in 1964, BCG has promoted standards in genealogical research (see BCG History). In 2000, it codified standards in The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual. In 2014, it updated, reorganized, expanded, and clarified those standards in Genealogy Standards. These landmark works have made standards readily accessible to all genealogists, whether or not they envision applying for certification.


The Board does not offer a course of genealogical instruction. Its commitment to education is expressed in the following programs:

Education Fund

The BCG Education Fund, a tax-exempt charitable trust, advances the educational aims of the Board for Certification of Genealogists by funding learning programs and by providing incentives for study and scholarly research.


Sponsorships and Cosponsorships

Recognition of Certified Persons

The BCG Certification Roster, a listing of the names, addresses, category designations, and other information about certified associates, is published electronically elsewhere on this website.

Dispute Resolution Process

For consumer protection, BCG offers the public a complaint-resolution service.  Should a problem ever arise from a professional relationship with one of its associates, BCG will attempt to mediate the matter if brought to it as a formal complaint. If mediation is unsuccessful, the complainant may elect binding arbitration, to which BCG associates are already subject. BCG reserves the right to rescind certification in instances of flagrant violation of the Genealogists' Code, or failure to comply with an arbitration decision.



The Board consists of fifteen trustees, a professional executive director, and a panel of approximately forty-five judges. Trustees are elected by the certified associates to serve three-year terms. Officers (president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and executive committee member at large) are elected annually by the trustees. All trustees are certified, and all serve without compensation.

The BCG Officers and Trustees are:

Name Position
Current Board Term
Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG President
Stefani Evans, CG Vice President
Dawne Slater, CG Secretary
Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG Treasurer
Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL Member-at-large
Laurel T. Baty, CG Trustee
Michael Grant Hait, Jr., CG Trustee
Alison Hare, CG Trustee
Harold Henderson , CG Trustee
David McDonald, D. Min., CG Trustee
Debra S. Mieszala, CG Trustee
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL Trustee
Nancy A. Peters, CG Trustee
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL Trustee

BCG Executive Director
Nicki Peak Birch, CG

BCG Emeritus and Retired Associates

It is the policy of BCG to offer Emeritus status to a certified person who has had a long and distinguished career with BCG who is retired or semi-retired, to be determined on a case-by-case basis by vote of the trustees. It is also the policy of BCG to offer Retired status to an associate who has been Board-certified for more than twenty years and who is retired from the active practice of professional genealogy for monetary gain. A list of these associates is available here.

Annual meeting

The scheduled annual meeting takes place in the fall, usually in October, at a site chosen at the previous annual meeting. Additional meetings are held throughout the year, often just before or after a national conference. Meeting results are reported in OnBoard.


To view BCG's bylaws, click here.

Appointments and Committees

ACTION List: Laurel T. Baty, CG
Advertising Manager: Sara Anne Scribner , CG
Assistant Treasurer: Darcie Hind Posz, CG
Booth Coordinator: Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG, and Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL
Facebook: Dawne Slater, CG, and David McDonald, D.Min, CG
FHL Liaison: Susan Farrell Bankhead, CG
General Counsel: Donn Devine, JD, CG
Intellectual Property: Malissa Ruffner, JD, CG
LinkedIn: Jean Atkinson Andrews, CG and Dawne Slater, CG
Marketing and Survey: Harold Henderson, CG
OnBoard Editor: Nancy A. Peters, CG
Press Releases: Harold Henderson, CG
Records Preservation and Access Delegates: Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL and Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt, CG 
Renewed ACTION: David McDonald, D.Min, CG
Skillbuilding Track Coordinator: Kay Haviland Freilich, CG, CGL, and Julie Miller, CG
Small Conference Coordinator: LaDonna Garner, CG
SpringBoard Blog: Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, and Judy Kellar Fox, CG
Twitter: Dawne Slater, CG
Webinar Committee: Michael Grant Hait, Jr., CG
Webmaster: Amy Larner Giroux, PhD, CG, CGL


Copyright 2007-2015 Board for Certification of Genealogists . All Rights Reserved.