13 March 2003


Contact: Kathleen W. Hinckley, CGRS, Executive Director, Association of Professional Genealogists, P.O. Box 350998, Westminster, CO 80035-0998, phone 303-422-9371, fax 303-456-8825, e-mail

Prepared by: Richard F. Robinson, CGRS, Information Officer, Association of Professional Genealogists,



APG Hits Record 1400 Members


While many organizations are finding membership numbers declining, one worldwide group is growing in record numbers and becoming more active on the home front—the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG).


When Gordon Hillman of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada joined the association this week he became the 1400th member of this international organization, a milestone in its 24-year history. The Association of Professional Genealogists was established in 1979 by 19 genealogists who saw the need to set professional standards in a growing, unregulated field.


After researching genealogical records in Canada and Europe for 40 years, Hillman said he joined APG because he recognized a need to “share expertise with those in the profession,” which he can do nearby in the association’s Ontario chapter.


“Reaching 1400 members signals renewed growth and awareness of APG's position as the association for aspiring and practicing professionals in genealogy,” said fellow Canadian Sherry Irvine of Victoria, BC, president of APG. She is hoping to surpass 1500 members by the organization’s 25th anniversary in 2004.


Leading Organization


APG, based near Denver, Colorado, is the leading worldwide professional organization devoted to promoting high standards in the field of genealogy. All APG members sign the association’s code of ethics governing their professional conduct when they join and again at each renewal.


Members are spread throughout the United States and Canada and in 20 other countries. They often rely on the organization’s online and print membership directories to promote their services and its local chapters, brochures, quarterly journal, online communications, and professional management conference to expand their skills.


New activities


Under Irvine, the association has recently embarked on a program to increase awareness of its expertise and to take positions on important genealogical issues. For example, the APG executive committee passed a resolution in February supporting the effort to block the state of Florida’s proposed budget cutbacks that would dismantle the Florida State Library.


“My goals are to improve the association’s services and promote the welfare of the genealogical community,” said Irvine, CGRS (Certified Genealogical Records Specialist). “With the increasing popularity of genealogy, the public needs to know it can turn to our members for reliable, professional services and, should anything go wrong, to our professional review committee.”


The One To Turn To


Many people today are turning to the resources of APG for trustworthy genealogical information with good reason, according to Executive Director Kathleen W. Hinckley, CGRS.


Most prominent North American genealogists can be found on the APG roster.


For instance, the list includes Kay H. Freilich, CG (Certified Genealogist), CGL (Certified Genealogical Lecturer), president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists; Carolyn J. Nell, AG, commission chair of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists; Thomas W. Jones, CG, CGL, and Claire M. Bettag, CGRS, CGL, coeditors of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly; and Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG (Fellow of American Society of Genealogists), an eminent lecturer and author of the standard-setting manual Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian.


But APG also welcomes members in related fields, such as researchers, historians, librarians, archivists, writers and editors, lecturers, booksellers, and publishers. One example of the group’s diverse membership is James L. Hansen, FASG, reference librarian at the Wisconsin Historical Society who received the Filby Prize for Genealogical Librarianship from NGS last year. APG does not require members to obtain genealogical credentials (postnominals after their names) from a certifying organization but encourages it.


People researching family histories also contact APG headquarters daily, looking for a professional genealogist (they are referred to the online membership directory, which is updated daily) or seeking research assistance, noted Hinckley.


For further information about APG, please visit its Web site at or call (303) 422-9371.