APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2007-12 > 1196981503
From: Thomas Jones <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Ethical Membership
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2007 17:51:43 -0500
I'm the outspoken member in Richmond Diane mentioned. Her view of the
president's column in the September /APGQ /differs somewhat from mine. I
don't want to be personal or confrontational, but I believe that
present-day and future professional genealogists should discuss issues
the column raises. Because /APGQ/'s readership includes the general
public, this seems to be an appropriate place.
The column uses a golf analogy to explain why APG, like the PGA, must
have /professional /in its name. Despite my remarks in Richmond, this
makes good sense, . The next section, however, confuses me on that
point, because it argues that genealogists can meet professional
criteria without taking money for their services, opposite of the
situation with golf. The column draws on law-enforcement to explain why
APG need not require members to demonstrate professional qualifications.
That analogy confuses me further, because it describes the role of
law-enforcement regarding the general public, not within its profession.
If the parallel demonstrates the intended point about professional
monitoring, anyone would be free to practice professional
law-enforcement as long as no one filed a complaint. I'm not a member of
that profession, but I don't believe it works that way. Rather than
convincing or enlightening me, the column left me puzzled.
The column did show me that reputable genealogists do not share an
understanding of what /professional/ means. I don't have the answers
either, but my hope is that discussion here and in the members' forum,
/APGQ/, board and committee meetings, and elsewhere will clarify this
concept and help APG fulfill its potential. In fact, I have every reason
to believe this already is happening.
Parenthetically, I also have to say, while recognizing parallels between
APG and the PGA, the large image of a golf green under the title "To Be
a Professional Genealogist: What Does it Mean?" jarred me. I hope
magazine browsers don't get the sense that professional genealogy is a
leisure activity of retirees or it gives us lots of time for golf.
That's not my view of what it means to be a professional genealogist,
but it was my first reaction to the page. In any case, I'm certain the
unfortunate implication was accidental.
Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CG, FASG
Member, National Capitol Area Chapter
CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are
service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under
license by certificants after periodic evaluation. The board name is
registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Diane Gravel, CG wrote:
> I also fully agree with Elizabeth's response to Elissa's question, and
> certainly hope that the situation was purely hypothetical. Of equal concern
> is the other "hypothetical" mentioned in Melinde's email regarding a
> national speaker being pulled out of a banquet, after publicity and
> publication of the syllabus, because the speaker's comments were
> "unapproved" by the APG EC. The underlying problem is the same in both
> Obviously, some rather dramatic events have occurred to trigger this
> discussion. Reading between the lines here, I suspect that these
> "hypotheticals" are related to APG's future direction and those issues
> identified in the president's article in the September issue of the APGQ. In
> that article, Sharon Moody presented the case well, and I found myself
> agreeing with many points raised by her with respect to our professionalism
> and the criteria for membership in APG. However, I also attended the
> Roundtable at NGS in Richmond where a well-respected member shared a very
> strong opposing view. Unfortunately, the Roundtable audience consisted of
> about 60-70 people, whereas the president's article in APGQ addressed the
> full membership.
> I felt then, as I feel now, that the full membership needs to hear both
> sides of this discussion. These issues will define us as an organization for
> many years to come. If the APG EC has indeed made decisions, including
> inappropriate editorial control, intended to suppress an opposing viewpoint,
> it is unfortunate and needs to be addressed *now*.
> Diane Gravel
> Thornton, NH