29 May 2008


Don't judge a book by its cover, or an organization by its name.

The Board for Certification of Genealogists exists "to foster public confidence in genealogy as a respected branch of history by promoting an attainable, uniform standard of competence and ethics among genealogical practitioners, and by publicly recognizing persons who meet that standard."

It claims to be "nationally and internationally recognized."

The vast majority of those certified, the officers and trustees are US based. The organization is US registered. The example documents on the web site relate to US situations.

In practice it's a US organization.

It would be more appropriate to call it the US Board for Certification of Genealogists.

The Society of Genealogists is a British registered charity whose objects are to "promote, encourage and foster the study, science and knowledge of genealogy". Members benefit from its library, publications and educational programs.

It has offices and its library in London, England. The members of the Board of Trustees reside in the UK and I believe the vast majority of members do too.

In practice its a British, and mainly English and Welsh, organization.

It would be more appropriate to call it the British Society of Genealogists.

These are just two examples of organizations, both of which by all evidence provide valuable services, but where the title suggests a deceptively broad geographic scope of operation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like many large countries, the US and UK like to think they are the most important in the world, so national organizations don't have to identify their country. Look at British postage stamps. How many "The National Archives" are there? (At least ours includes Canada in its name and initials.)