Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2008-02 > 1202941691

From: "Christy Fillerup" <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Viewpoint on Professional Genealogy
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 15:28:11 -0700
References: <E0A83B72EEA04584B67DAB05BCB30744@ESMPC><A1A340E694564CF898B46BDBA79F3E38@ChristyPC><D6625FF35797475598C453B892856B15@ESMPC>
In-Reply-To: <D6625FF35797475598C453B892856B15@ESMPC>


You are absolutely right, I do often wonder how I will know when I am ready
to take on clients. Because of that I am working toward BCG Certification.
I'm a perfectionist, and it will probably not happen until next year, but I
am hopeful that it will happen. While I work on my certification portfolio
I plan on taking on small client jobs and record look-ups - ease into the
shallow end of the pool. I am absolutely confident that BCG Certification
is the right choice for me, I will learn so much through the process, and it
will give me the validation that I need. The opportunity to have some of my
genealogy idols review my work and make suggestions is something I simply
can't pass up.

To all those who have chosen not to pursue BCG Certification or ICAPGEN
Accreditation I want to make it clear that I in no way think that choice
bears on the quality of your work, or your right to be a professional
genealogist. If a genealogist's work product is good, it will speak for
itself, regardless of who has reviewed it. If their work product is not,
their reputation will suffer, and so will their business. I believe it is
the job of every professional genealogist, as well as APG, to educate the
public on what they should look for in good work product. If this is done
correctly an educated public should be able to make their own educated
choice of professional.

Christy Fillerup

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 1:18 PM
Subject: Re: [TGF] Viewpoint on Professional Genealogy

> Christy wrote:
>> I welcome a clear cut
>> career path to becoming a professional genealogist. I welcome more
>> stringent guidelines for entry into APG. I do not welcome the notion
>> that
>> this process should take me 25 years before I'm ready to take on my first
>> client.
> Christy, some individuals "do genealogy" for 25 years and produce work of
> just about the same quality they produced in their first couple of years.
> Other individuals who take advantage of every means available, as you have
> said you do, have been able to produce superb client work in 3-5 years
> after
> the "bug bites." As Elissa says, "mindset" makes a difference. (My late
> husband, a university prof in history, had a "dream" of being a
> songwriter.
> He died, earlier than he thought, leaving boxes and boxes of songs and
> tapes
> that he never did anything with. Our oldest son had the same dream. He
> left
> home at 19 for the Big Apple to make it happen. It happened. In every
> career, it's all about how badly one wants it.)
> The other night, I commented about the despair I felt in the early 70s,
> with
> each issue I received of Mary Bondurant Warren's _Family Puzzlers._ I
> thought I would never be able to learn all I needed to know to be a real
> genealogist. In the meanwhile, as I worked on Gary's Louisiana family, I
> became known for what I did know about that society--to the point that I
> could have been working 125 hours a week pro-bono for all the people who
> wrote asking for help.
> That's the point at which I decided that maybe I did know enough to be a
> professional genealogist, specializing in Louisiana's French/Spanish
> culture. So what if I didn't know all I wanted or needed to know about
> Anglo-Protestants all across the South; I simply wouldn't take those
> assignments. That's also the point at which I decided that before I took
> genealogical clients, I owed it to the public to find out if I did,
> indeed,
> know as much about research in that society as I thought I did. The way to
> find that out, I decided, was to apply for certification on the basis of
> my
> Louisiana work.
> I passed. I also found out from the judges that I didn't know as much as I
> thought I did. :) But I knew enough to meet the minimum standards. It's
> been
> 25+ years since then, and I'm still learning.
> In your whole posting, Christy, I sense an underlying question: How do I
> know when I'm really qualified to call myself a professional? One route
> might be the route I took. Submit samples of your work for peer review.
> You not only find out whether you're ready, but you'll also have
> personalized feedback from some of the best genealogists in the
> country--and, odds are, you'll have a credential that will help you obtain
> the best clients possible.
> Elizabeth
> ------------------------------------------
> Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
> Samford University Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research
> -------------------------------
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