APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2008-01 > 1200018780
Subject: Re: [APG] Genealogy Definitions/updated 10 Jan 08
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2008 20:33:00 -0600
My VistaPrint Electronic Business CardWhat happened?! I'm off working on something else for two days and y'all don't have this list of genealogy definitions all whipped into shape and ready to go? What's the deal? <G>
I apologize to those who felt as if they were being ignored. I had other stuff to do for the past couple of days. As you can imagine, doing this is very time-intensive as well as mind-bending, in addition to having the potential to really hack people off--which has definitely happened in some cases. (That's what I expect, however, when I start something like this; we can't get anywhere if we just back away every time there is a disagreement.)
I have just sat down and gone through ALL of the public and private emails on this topic, and I have incorporated and rewritten just about everything to the best of my abilities, generously stealing from what y'all have written, but still using my own skills and goals to finalize.
Only it's not "finalized." I've had the most trouble with forensic genealogist and heir searcher--hell, y'all don't even agree on what y'all do. So the definition has to cover the bare essentials that make one either a forensic genealogist or an heir searcher, without getting into all the various modes of operations and details. I'm sure y'all will let me know if I've failed yet again to get it exactly right <g>.
I think all the discussion (I avoid using the word arguments) about these definitions only highlight the need for them.
==Dee Dee King wrote: "Jeanne Larzalere Bloom and Sharon Sergeant have oh so eloquently summed up why I cringe every time someone comes to the APG-L with a statement that they've done family genealogy for years and now they want enter the profession as heir searchers or forensic genealogists because that's where they heard the money is. We should not be shy about saying that some of these job descriptions are advanced disciplines."
My comment is that is one of the very reasons such a list of definitions pertaining to the field of genealogy is so worthwhile. If you have thoughts about becoming a professional or doing a particular type of genealogical work, wouldn't it be instructive to go to one site (hopefully APG) and find this list that enumerated exactly what was involved in all fields?
==Jack Butler wrote: "Consequently, I agree that there is no need to distinguish between amateur and professional genealogists. As with the arts described above, the distinction is between genealogists and professional genealogists."
My comment: EXACTLY! No where in this list is the word amateur used. Even the simplest category "genealogist" is the one I use the most in identifying myself, even though I fit into other definitions on this list as well. No one should feel in the least bit slighted to fit into the category of "genealogist."
==Patricia Summers-Smith disagrees with the simple definition of genealogist and wrote: "I've considered the description of "genealogist" since this topic first appeared on the list and feel the definition of a "genealogist" on the compiled list is inadequate. All of the other descriptions define and differentiate somewhat in terms of "what they do" in order to explain "what they are".
Comment: Nope, the definition of genealogist is just like the others. It pares the category down to precisely what it means and what training or credentials or education are required--nothing more, nothing less. As such, it works perfectly, IMHO. To list all the things a genealogist does would be redundant to the topic of genealogical categories, and it would force the definition to address the quality and level of training/qualifications to be a genealogist. In fact, there are no training or qualifications required to call yourself a genealogist. Most of us that fit into that category are secure enough to simply call ourselves genealogists, with added explanations only for clients or people who inquire further, i.e., in a professional venue or situation--like on our web sites, business cards, or brochures.
And as I wrote previously: And as for the many discussions about the intricacies of what it takes to be a forensic genealogist or a librarian--those more lengthy explanations are more suited for an ARTICLE about that specialty. Here we are ONLY trying to inform people about the general categories that fall within the purview of genealogy.
OK, let the caviling and complaining commence! Read on . . .
A genealogist is one who studies the past and present of individual families and the kinship links among those families. Practitioners of genealogy may focus entirely on their own family, or they may pursue genealogy as either a profession or a scholarly field.
A family historian is another name for a genealogist who simply prefers this terminology.
A beginner, intermediate, or advanced genealogist is an individual who so designate him/herself as such in order to find the proper placement for their skill level in classes, lectures, and conferences.
A licensed genealogist is not a category with any meaning in the genealogical world. Similarly, the terms "amateur" or "hobbyist" are not terms with any meaning in genealogy, and these terms are often considered pejorative to the many genealogists who are not professionals in the sense of earning money for their work yet do their genealogical research in a professionally credible way.
A family genealogist is one who is the recorder and researcher for a particular family or a particular surname, either on a formal basis (distributing a newsletter, for example) or an informal basis (the go-to person for family information).
A professional genealogist is one who earns part or all of their livelihood from the practice of some aspect of genealogy.
A board-certified genealogist is one who has earned the credential Certified Genealogist (CG) from the Board for Certification of Genealogists www.bcgcertification.org through a rigorous examination that includes peer review of his or her written work. The credential designates the practitioner as someone who has met the rigorous standards of that field for knowledge and competence in core knowledge of source materials, record interpretation, research methodology, evidence analysis, and genealogical writing. (see also Certified Genealogist)
Certified Genealogist and CG are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Board-certified genealogists are those who have been authorized to use these distinctive designations after successfully completed a rigorous examination that includes peer review of their written work. The credential identifies the holder as one who has achieved proficiency in core knowledge of source materials, record interpretation, research methodology, evidence analysis, kinship determination, and genealogical writing. CG's must submit recertification applications for review every five years.
A credentialed genealogist is one who has earned some recognized genealogical credential, either earned or bestowed, such as (in the U.S.): CG, AG, FASG. A credentialed genealogist may or may not have a professional genealogy practice
A member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) is one with an interest in genealogy in some area, who has paid their dues to the organization, signed a code of ethics, and is accountable to the association for any questionable behaviors in a dispute with a client.
A genealogical lecturer is someone who, either on a volunteer or a paid basis, delivers oral presentations that address genealogical
topics--typically but not necessarily, sources, methods, and standards--accompanied by appropriate lecture enhancements of an audio, visual, or written nature.
Certified Genealogical Lecturer and CGL are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. They identify an individual who has earned the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board, and, after five years, has passed further examinations of skill as a genealogical lecturer.
An Accredited Genealogist (AG) is one meeting the requirements of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen), an independent testing, non-profit accrediting agency. Examinations are given to applicants demonstrating sufficient theoretical and practical research backgrounds. Separate tests and testing methods (written reports, essay questions, foreign language abilities, oral exams, and case study solutions) are given for each geographical area and subject of specialization. AGs have passed a rigorous, proctored, timed, written exam on the history, paleography, document contents, record availability, and research techniques appropriate for their region of accreditation, and must have shown that they can conduct research independently, work efficiently, and produce a concise report of their findings within set time limits.[Question: is this credential for life or must it be renewed?]
A genealogical instructor is one who teaches a formal course of study or an integrated series of lessons that teach students to conduct their own genealogical studies. That instruction may take place in a local venue such as a college or university setting on in a specialized venue such as a genealogical institute. An instructor is able to plan a comprehensive teaching experience that is internally consistent across the full series, with the appropriate teaching aids.
A forensic genealogist is one qualified through a combination of education, training and work experience to be employed or retained by attorneys, law offices, estates, courts, corporations, governmental agencies or other entities to perform genealogical work in legal issues as an independent third-party researcher, analyst, reporter and witness. A forensic genealogist does not work for the benefit of any specific individual or group.
An heir-searcher is one hired by, or an agent for, individuals or groups to pursue their rights and interests in a court of law, and usually receives payment based on a percentage of the amount recovered for the individual or groups. In contrast to a forensic genealogist, who is a disinterested third party, the heir searcher works in the interests of the client(s).
A genealogical librarian is one employed by a library or archive to assist people from many disciplines in researching family histories and kinship ties, most often through the use of published materials. This assistance can be directly to the library customer while providing reference services, bibliographic instruction, or genealogical programming. Some librarians further the research process behind the scenes by providing interlibrary loan services, cataloging genealogical and local history materials, or creating finding aids.
Professional librarians are those who have received advanced educational training in the library field. A post-graduate degree
equivalent to a Master of Library Science (M.L.S.) is most often considered the minimum level for most professional library positions.
An archivist is one who works with unpublished materials, to collect, inventory, arrange, preserve, and create finding aids for unique materials in a wide variety of media; assists researchers; and plans and directs exhibitions, publications, and other outreach programs to broaden the use of collections and to enlist support for archival programs.Being employed as an archivist generally requires undergraduate as well as post-graduate degrees.
A house historian is a practitioner of genealogy and/or history in which one specializes in researching the history of a building and of the people who were involved with that building. Specialized skills include knowledge and use of census, city directories, tax records, land records, contracts, newspaper research, and for National Register of Historic Places and Federal Tax Credit applications, knowledge of the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, Restoration, or Preservation of historic structures, including a solid foundation in architectural history and in the specialized terminology used to describe buildings.
A corporate historian is one who compiles and/or maintains the history of a corporation, a business, a government institution, or some other corporate entity, using a broad range of specialized skills, which include genealogy. Specialized knowledge and at least an undergraduate degree (up to and including a Ph.D. if the institution is large) are usually requirements.
Genealogy Lineage Specialist is one who engages in the type of research, writing, and documentation in establishing the kinship ties qualifying an individual for membership in a lineage society such as the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) or United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). Qualifications are generally a deep level of experience with the lineage society to which the client is applying.
A genetic genealogist is someone who uses DNA analysis in combination with genealogical research to enhance knowledge about kinship ties, including using DNA comparisons to confirm or deny kinship links; and who interprets and reports results in a manner understandable by a layperson. A vast commitment to achieving understanding of DNA analysis is required.
A molecular genealogist is a person who has been trained to apply DNA testing to genealogical scenarios. He or she may be a technician who has training in DNA and genealogy, or may have a degree or degrees in molecular biology or genetics..
A DNA project coordinator is one who oversees a genetic project, usually a surname, ethnic, haplogroup, or geographically based project, designs the project and coordinates the findings; he or she also keeps the participants of the project informed, usually as an unpaid leader, and also seeks out new members to test to amplify the accuracy of the genetic findings. Another name for this person might include DNA surname study coordinator or a similar title that reflects the precise nature of his or her duties. As with a genetic genealogist, a DNA project coordinator may not have a degree or accreditation, but must have acquired a depth of knowledge beyond the ordinary about DNA and DNA testing, as well as interpreting results, in addition to having management or administrative skills.
A private investigator is
A preservationist is
A genealogical editor is someone who edits or has significant input into the writing and production of a genealogical publication. Skills in grammar, spelling, and style-usage are generally required, as well as an understanding of serving the needs of the readers of that publication.
A local historian is a genealogist who has acquired an in-depth knowledge of the history of his or her local area.
A genealogical web master is one who designs and maintains the web sites for genealogists, genealogical organizations, and geographically oriented genealogical web sites. Technical expertise, either by experience or education is generally required when done for clients, although many people are able to use available simplified web tools to set up and maintain a web site..
A genealogical photographic specialist is one who understands and can interpret the history of photography, the various types of photography, and the clothing and hair styles of past eras, in order to make reasonable conclusions in a genealogical context, such as time period, social class, and geographic area.
And, Paula Stuart Warren, what do you call yourself, since you work in a
very specialized field?
And what about people who specialize in analysis of photographs within the
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