APG-L Archives

Archiver > APG > 2008-01 > 1201565442

From: Dee Dee King <>
Subject: Re: [APG] APG Digest, Vol 3, Issue 65
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 16:10:42 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <mailman.84007.1201559925.18604.apg@rootsweb.com>

Betty Clay said :

Last year at NGS, I was persuaded to join APG. I'd always refused
because I had no intention of trying to earn money in genealogy., but
I was enjoying this list and felt I should support its
sponsors. During this year of membership, I've become more and more
convinced that I am not welcome among a rather large and vocal group
of members. Restricting membership has been the major topic of
conversation here for quite a long time, settling down and then being
renewed again and again. I, too, would rather invest my time and
money in a group that welcomes me. I know that there are many in APG
who do welcome members who share their philosophy even when not
wishing to earn money with genealogy. They just aren't as
vocal. But I'm weary of being made to feel inferior and unwelcome. I
seriously doubt that I'll renew the membership.

Betty Clay


Betty, let's go back in time. You're at that APG booth and receive the invitation to join. You receive a colorful APG brochure that explains the organization's mission and objectives. The brochure includes the umbrella concept and says that all are welcome to join. You know you have no intention of trying to earn money from genealogy, but you do learn from the list and you want to support that educational experience.

So you look over the brochure and you see membership categories that are inclusive of anyone who wants to join. (The following terms are just for the example.) You see that there are those in the profession who are "Senior Members", maybe they are full time genealogists, have credentials, whatever. Then you see that there are "Junior Members", maybe folks who work part-time in genealogy, "transitional genealogists" entering the profession, whatever.

Then you spy the "Supporting" or "Auxiliary" or "Associate" member category that clearly welcomes everyone who wants to join, supports professionalism in genealogy and accepts the code, but for folks who aren't professional genealogists.

Which membership level would you have signed up for? And if we clearly gave folks options that did not make many of them feel like they HAD to earn a living in genealogy in order to be a member, would we still be having these conversations?

To use myself as an example - when I decided to work towards becoming a professional genealogist, I knew joining the profession's trade associations was necessary. Frankly, I was shocked that anyone could join APG without any qualifications whatsoever. Had there been a category for "I Am A Fee-Based Researcher But Am Working Real Hard to Become a Professional Genealogist", I'd have checked that category in a New York minute. Because that is what I was. There was no problem in honestly identifying myself - to myself, other members or to John Q Public who saw my name in the membership roster.

As it stands now, except for the associate membership for husbands/wives of full members or employees of full members, we have one category of membership that at least latently suggests everyone is a professional genealogist earning money in the field.

My interest in accurately defining membership is not suggested to exclude folks. It's meant to help take the pressure off folks who want to be part of APG but are not professional genealogists. While saying it's also OK to focus on the needs of the core membership.

Best regards,

Dee Dee King, Certified Genealogist
133 N Friendswood Dr Suite 325
Friendswood TX 77546
telephone/fax 281-431-3525
Member Association of Professional Genealogists,
Event Coordinator of the Lone Star Chapter.

CG and Certified Genealogist are Service Marks of the
Board for Certification of Genealogists used under
license after periodic evaluations by the Board.

This thread: