APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2009-03 > 1237899745
From: Jeanette Daniels <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Mormon News
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 06:02:25 -0700 (PDT)
Peggy and Mary,
I have read both of your posts a few times to make sure that I was understanding each of you. Mary I do understand because I know her personally and know that she had her husband, Jim, make their living from genealogical research. That is the only way that they make their living and have done so for close to 40 years now. I don't know Peggy's background so I am unable to comment about her commitment to genealogy as a profession at this time. I agree that there is a need for an "entity" to govern the "professional genealogist" and standards are important. I do realize that it will take individuals who have truly worked as genealogists in the strictly professional sense to actually be the ones making the decisions. Amateurs and hobbyest genealogists don't understand what it takes to support themselves with only genealogical research income. There will always be the need for auxiliary genealogy-related professions which the "umbrella" theme of
the APG covers. But their input for a "professional genealogical entity" to govern those who are making their living from genealogical research would not be helpful, in my opinion.
I personally have never had to support myself or a family from my genealogical research. I have done genealogical research on a part-time basis for many years while raising my children but have retired from that to pursue the creation of educational standards for those who want to be professional genealogists. I could not do this if I had not worked part-time as a professional genealogists because I would not understand how to work with clients, what it actually takes to successfully research someone else's genealogy, and the standards I set for myself versus what I found working with published sources, databases, and original record sources. I have learned by trial and error as I stumbled through records wanting at first to find my own ancestors and later those of my clients. I personally feel the need to write down what I know so that those genealogists coming after me won't have to "reinvent the wheel" to learn the same research strategies,
etc. that I now easily do. Living in Salt Lake City, I have met many professional genealogists like Jim and Mary, that only make their income from doing genealogical research for clients. I realize that that is difficult for those not living in this area to grasp because so many on this list have other jobs that support them and genealogical research as part-time jobs or as a hobby.
As Mary stated in her email, professions evolve with certain standards. Those are necessary. Certain things need to be in place in order to create the type of "entity" that Dee Dee was referring to. She is involved in her own way of pursuing what is necessary there in Texas for herself and other professional genealogists. It will be very interesting to see the results of the SB that is now being considered in Texas.
Years of experience working in the genealogical research field will determine what is important for the professional and for the profession. Actually work towards improving the profession should be the goal. The trivial problems found along the way need to be abandoned for much higher purposes.
From: Peggy K. Reeves <>
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 12:57:59 PM
Subject: Re: [APG] Mormon News
Elizabeth wrote: (with regard to the first standard in the Genealogists
> The problem here lies not with the standard, but with the present
> application of it. For those of us who have signed the code, that provision
> is a moral imperative we agree to live by.
I agree completely! We can't even know how to apply the BCG standard
unless we can first identify the entity. What is familysearch? Are
they a professional company, a nonprofit organization composed of
amateurs, or a church? A church cannot also be a business, and a
business cannot also be a church. A nonprofit full of untrained
amateurs should not be getting contracts to be in charge of original
records, doing the work for professionals, and giving their shoddy work
to a company that will make us pay for it. None of the three entities
should be making exaggerated claims about their accuracy rate, saying
that things are checked and double-checked by two people when it is
constantly proven otherwise with some pretty drastic and frequent
examples. It seems that people on this list want to make Familysearch
any or all of the three entities, depending upon whatever is most
convenient for the situation at hand. The only thing that has been
fairly consistent is that when challenged about anything, people want
familysearch to instantly become a church, accusing the person bringing
the challenge of "religious bias". Regardless of which of the three
entities familysearch claims to be, they have been knowingly and
admittedly, for many years, publishing material that is "questionable"
in nature and "unproven", often without permission, and professionals
should not be a party to this or be defending this, according to the BCG
standard that I quoted.
I agree with Dee Dee that there needs to be some entity step up and do
the job right, one that has a professional standard of quality control
and honesty. I just don't believe that can happen as long as
professionals are complacent enough to continue to defend the unethical
behavior and shoddy work of a huge entity like familysearch, simply
because people feel that they don't have any choice. We always have the
choice to do what's easy or to do what's right.
"I will not publish or publicize as fact anything I know to be false,
doubtful, or unproved; nor will I be a party, directly or indirectly, to
such action by others."
I'm not going to argue this, but I do feel that people need to consider
it. Thanks for your time.
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