Anyone have experience with the BCG?

+2 votes
I'm wanting to improve my overall research skills and came across the BCG's qualifications and standards, which, so far, look pretty spot on to me (and which have thoroughly side-tracked me for the last few days).

I wanted to check with the wider community if anyone has any experience getting through the process, and if they felt it was a worthwhile thing to do?  In other words, pros and cons of getting a CG?
in The Tree House by Matt Engdahl G2G6 Mach 1 (13.2k points)
BCG? CG? It's an idea to abbreviate only when you have spelled out the full name the first time you mention it.
I added the abbreviation expansions below.
Thanks Doug!

3 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
I haven't gotten the CG and haven't started the process (yet). I keep going back and forth. That said, I have taken a lot of the training that lays the groundwork for completing it and have found it invaluable I do know a number of people who have completed their CG and have re-certified.  or are in the process of recertification. If you want to be a professional it increases credibility.  The training has made me a much better genealogist.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (418k points)
selected by Matt Engdahl
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback!

So far I'm just using the Standards themselves, which certainly seem to enforce a level of rigour that I'm no accustomed to (at least in "modern" research).

I think I'll persist for now and see how far I get working out a portfolio.

They do require a high level of rigor. There are some workbooks that were written for NGS but could help. Mastering Genealogical Documentation, by Thomas W Jones, and Mastering Genealogical Proof , by Thomas W Jones are two very good ones. Documentation for BCG is all based on Evidence Explained. Tom recently retired after years as the Editor for the NGS Quarterly. The NGS workbook on Genetic Genealogy in Practice. 

0 votes
I considered it when I was planning my retirement. I think understanding the standards and approaches is important, but that certification is not necessary unless you are planning to offer professional services. My personal decision was that my time would be better spent on getting up to speed on genetic genealogy techniques rather than peparing for certification.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (630k points)
My experience also.  I’ve taken some of the National Genealogical Society on-line courses that were very good and helpful.  I don’t intend to work for money or write for publication, so I’m happy to focus on just improving my skills.
Thanks for the feedback guys!

You raise an interesting point regarding the desired outcome of the exercise. The idea of professional genealogy appeals to me, however given the likely financial gains, it would have to remain a labour of love...!
Although more and more people are researching their family history now I think the client base for professional genealogists is reducing due to the volume of datasets and free advice which is now available online. However, genetic genealogy is a growing market as more people search for biological families.
That makes pretty good sense - and frankly, if someone wants it as a hobby then where's the fun in paying someone else to do it, unless there's a particular area that they cannot handle themselves.

My experience of "free" advice has been variable, however.  It's usually fine for short and clear questions with a specific target, but you cannot expect volunteers or group members to spend days or weeks helping you with your research.  Which is fair enough.  I'd say if there was a market, it'd be in the "brick-wall" field, transcribing or translating long documents, verification, and so on, but less so in establishing whole genealogies.

Either way, I think the cert might be good, but only if taken with a view for extended learning or self-improvement, rather than hoping for a career...!
+1 vote
BCG = Board for Certification of Genealogists

CG = Certified Genealogist

NGS = National Genealogical Society (USA)

BU = Boston University

IGHR = Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research

GRIP = Genealogy Research Institute in Pittsburgh

SLIG = Salt Lake Institute for Genealogy


The NGS online courses are very good as are the BU courses.

IGHR, GRIP and SLIG have excellent, in person intensive training in a 5 day workshop environment.

I have personal experience with NGS courses and IGHR and GRIP. I will be attending SLIG in January. My wife has been to all 3. I like the immediacy and immersive approach of othe Institutes.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (418k points)
edited by Doug McCallum
Thank you Doug!  I was so confused - worked out that it was some sort of certification but still did not know what the heck.. thanks for clearing that up
You are welcome. It is easy to forget that acronyms aren't universally understood.

I do think that the courses for certification are very useful to non-professionals. Once the basic courses are done, you can then focus on what you are most interested in. This year I focused on writing and what it takes to present complex cases to someone else. Required for certification, but it sure helps to know how to explain how you proved that a name change occurred and who the parents of that person were when all the public records (3 marriages and death. certificate) were wrong.
Confusiom easily reigns with acronyms.There is a British IHGR ( Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies which also does online courses.
Thanks Doug!

I clearly assumed that people would magically know what I was writing about. :)

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