Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2010-01 > 1263848479

From: Jeanette Daniels <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Client research performed by a CG versus an AG
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 2010 13:01:19 -0800 (PST)
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In-Reply-To: <01ac01ca986a$0419de80$0c4d9b80$@net>


I don't really enjoy being the person to blow the whistle on every bad
or phony genealogy published over all the years.  I prefer to educate
my students to recognize when things aren't document-able and how
to spot questionable information. 

As you are aware from a previous post a while back, for whatever
reason, a well-known genealogist did come up with a very strange
report of my Hanson line that was beyond a reasonable stretch.  I
can understand any genealogist regardless of who it is making a
mistake.  I've made plenty over the years.  But because he blasted
the research of another and then made up the story about who
"really was the ancestor, etc." I classify him as making up a
false genealogy. 

I have found similar with well-known genealogists and have
even seen their phony reports.  Here is where the line gets gray. 
It is difficult to report these things when someone is still alive or recently
dead with plenty of adoring family, friends, and genealogists who
revered them. 

I think it is just best to educate those students of genealogy to
recognize how to spot the well-meaning but incorrect mistakes
as well as those who wrote to make themselves look better than
someone else.  That is why HGC has an 3 credit course called "Ethics
and Fraud in Genealogical Research." 


----- Original Message ----
From: "" <>
Sent: Mon, January 18, 2010 11:13:46 AM
Subject: Re: [TGF] Client research performed by a CG versus an AG

Jeanette wrote:
>  I have seen fabricated reports from CGs as well. 

Jeanette, this statement is horrifying. I'm not questioning it. What needs
to be said here is this:  If, anytime, under any circumstances, you or
anyone else encounter such a situation, please do alert the Board for
Certification of Genealogists.

I might also add that for three decades BCG had a problem because another
group sold both CGs and AGs ($50 for the CG, $25 for the AG). No qualifying
exam existed. Over the course of that group's operation, almost every
complaint BCG received about a "CG" was someone affiliated with that
group--someone over whom BCG had no control except the threat of legal

The group is now defunct, a relatively recent situation. However, there are
individuals who still use those so-called credentials after their names.
There are also, as a point of fact, individuals who are not legitimately
certified and did not purchase bogus credentials from the other group who,
nonetheless, simply add CG after their name. Some say, "I know as much as
any Certified Genealogist; therefore, I'm entitled to call myself one." That
problem has recently popped up on some of the new websites created to
"broker" professional services.

As with everything else about this field we love: We can't take any document
or any claims "at face value." We have to verify. Also, in my opinion, we
have to feel a sense of responsibility for the integrity of our profession.
When our work uncovers errors or frauds, we owe it to genealogy to make
known that error or that fraud.


Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
Trustee and former president, BCG

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