The Board for Certification of Genealogists
independent organization not affiliated with, or part
of, any group
A certifying body not a membership society
A nationally and internationally recognized organization
THE BOARD'S MISSION
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.
THE BOARD'S VISION
Of genealogical practice: a profession
or avocation that
- is of value to society's understanding of its history;
- 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
- 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.
THE BOARD'S ACTIVITIES
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.
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
The Board does not offer a course of genealogical instruction.
Its commitment to education is expressed in the following
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.
an educational newsletter, is published each January, May, and September. It carries news, associate profiles, and feature articles on certification, genealogical standards, skillbuilding, and sources. OnBoard is free for certified associates and preliminary applicants. It is otherwise available by annual subscription. Subscriptions and back issues can be ordered here.
- The BCG Application
Guide, which sets out the requirements and procedures
to be followed by applicants for certification; and
- A complimentary tri-fold pamphlet series that describes
specific aspects of research or the process of applying
for certification. Click the following links to download
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.
For consumer protection, BCG offers the public an arbitration
service. Should a problem ever arise with the conduct of
one of its associates, BCG will mediate the case if brought
to it on formal complaint. BCG reserves the right to rescind
certification in instances of flagrant violation of the
THE BOARD'S ORGANIZATION
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:
Current Board Term
|Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL
|Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG
|Dawne Slater-Putt, CG
|Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG
|Stefani Evans, CG
|Laurel T. Baty, CG
|Warren Bittner, CG
|Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG
|Michael Grant Hait, Jr., CG
|Alison Hare, CG
|Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL
|David McDonald, CG
|Debra S. Mieszala, CG
|Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL
|Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
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.
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
Advertising Manager: Stefani Evans, CG
Advertisment Designer: Sharon Tate Moody, CG
Booth Coordinator: Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG
Certification Publicity Releases: Debra Mieszala, CG
FGS Delegate: Kay Haviland Freilich, CG,
General Counsel: Donn Devine, JD, CG
Intellectual Property Chair: Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG
Mail List Archivist: Pat Stamm, CG, CGL
Ombudsman: Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG,
OnBoard Editor: Will White, CG
Records Preservation and Access Delegate: Barbara Mathews, CG
Skillbuilding Track Coordinator: Kay Haviland
Freilich, CG, CGL
Small Conference Coordinator: LaDonna
Webmaster: Amy Larner Giroux, CG, CGL
Outreach Committee: Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, Chair
CindyLee Butler Banks, CG
Laura DeGrazia, CG
Stefani Evans, CG
LaDonna Garner, CG
Amy Larner Giroux, CG, CGL
Barbara Vines Little, CG
Dave McDonald, CG
Debra Mieszala, CG
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL