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Free APG webinar tonight: professional ethics

There’s one thing professional genealogists — and their clients — both need to understand and understand thoroughly: there are codes of ethics that govern the way a genealogy business is to be run.

Three colorful arrow signs reading Right, Wrong and It Depends,As Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, put it in his inaugural Helen F.M. Leary Lecture at the 2007 National Genealogical Society conference, the abiding underlying principles are those of honesty, courtesy and confidentiality.1

Or, as The Legal Genealogist puts it, we’re all to be guided by three rules we learned in kindergarten: tell the truth; play nice with others; and don’t tell tales out of school.2

So… if you’re a professional genealogist, or an aspiring professional genealogist, or the client of a professional genealogist, or an aspiring client of a professional genealogist, how do you figure out what those rules mean in real life situations? Where are the ethical pitfalls of professional genealogy?

Courtesy of the Association of Professional Genealogists, I have the honor of facilitating an exploration of those issues tonight in a free webinar: Right, Wrong, or It Depends: Ethics for the Professional Genealogist. Though the emphasis will be on what the professional should and shouldn’t be doing, those of us who hire APG members and other professionals can learn too. And these, after all, are the rules we should follow even when we’re just helping out a friend.

The webinar will start at 9 p.m. Eastern (8 p.m. Central, 7 p.m. Mountain, 6 p.m. Pacific), and though it’s entirely free, registration is required. There are a few seats left, so take advantage of this educational opportunity from APG. After tonight, it’ll be available only in the members-only section of the APG website.

Register for this free webinar here:

Hope you’ll join me and APG tonight.


  1. Thomas W. Jones, “Honesty, Courtesy, & Confidentiality: Ethics for Family Historians,” S-414, 2007 National Genealogical Society conference, Richmond; audio available on Jamb Tapes (
  2. Judy G. Russell, “The Ethical Genealogist,” W-116, 2015 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference, Salt Lake City; audio available on Fleetwood Onsite (
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