Is BCG really going to update “The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual”?

Yes.  I might be the last to know but according to Dr. Tom Jones they will issue another edition next year.

When I questioned him about the differences, he stated it was more clarifying in its approach rather than a rewrite.  I definitely got the idea (although not necessarily stated by Dr. Jones) that there was going to be more information about what constituents a “reasonably exhaustive search,” a topic that he spent some time on in his cruise lecture.

In his presentation, Dr. Jones discussed at length  the word “reasonably” and how critical it is to the phrase “reasonably exhaustive search.” He urged us all to analyze what we have rather than collecting sources that are “different” but have the same root source.  Two statements that refer to a single source does not add up to three sources, just one.  You might check out my previous blog posted as I illustrated the use of a methodology presented by Dr. Jones for analyzing sources.

A “reasonably exhaustive search” should be comprised of:

  1. “at least two independent sources in agreement”
  2. like all good science, be replicable by competent genealogists
  3. include some primary information
  4. include some original sources
  5. cite root sources in lieu of derivative sources or secondary information and
  6. cite root sources of databases, indexes etc.

These, together, seemed like a reasonable standard to me but if you look on p. 8 of your BCG Standards Manual you will see that it is not stated as explicitly.  So, I will be waiting for the next edition of the Manual to see if it includes a more careful assessment of what constitutes a “reasonably exhaustive search.”  Note:  in the lecture he actually covered all five of the elements in detail.

Note: the above was used with permission of Dr. Jones who also supplied citation for the original article which was printed in APG Quarterly.  Thanks, Tom!

Happy hunting!


What I have done since the last post: made breakfast, watched a bit of the MSU/Northwestern football game and got ready to run some errands downtown.


Thomas W. Jones, interviewed by Jill Morelli, September 2012; notes privately held by interviewer, address withheld, Seattle, Washington, 2012.

Thomas W. Jones, “The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS): What It is and What It is Not,” lecture, 2012 Genealogy Conference and Cruise, September 2012, hosted by Wholly Genes, Inc., syllabus p. 47-50, augmented with handwritten notes by Jill Morelli (address withheld), Seattle, Washington, 2012.

Thomas W. Jones, “How Much Searching is ‘Reasonably Exhaustive’?,” Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly 25 (March 2010): 25–33

Board for Certification of Genealogists, The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (Washington, DC: Turner Publishing Co., 2000) p. 8.


One comment on “Is BCG really going to update “The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual”?

  1. Well, thanks to your post, I’m actually the last to know! Appreciate the insight and information! ~Jen

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