Tar Heel Genealogical Services, Inc
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Standards

As with any professional service, there are set standards that genealogists are expected to follow. One of these standards, as set by the Board for Certification of Genealogists, is:

        The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS)

 This standard states that any documentation claiming to be genealogical "proof" must include:
  • a reasonably exhaustive search;
  • complete and accurate source citations;
  • analysis and correlation of the collected information;
  • resolution of any conflicting evidence; and
  • a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.

The researchers at Tar Heel Genealogical adhere to this standard as well as the standards of ethics put forth by the Association for Professional Genealogists and the code of conduct written by the Board for Certification of Genealogists:

Code of Ethics and Conduct

Each individual certified by BCG signs the following pledge:

As a practicing genealogist, mindful of responsibilities to the public, to the genealogical consumer, and to scholarship, I hereby pledge

  • To strive for the highest level of truth and accuracy in all phases of my work;
  • To act honorably toward other genealogists and toward the field as a whole;
  • To adhere to the Board for Certification of Genealogists' Standards of Conduct;

    (and, if engaged in research for others)

  • To act in my client's best interests; and
  • To protect my client's privacy.

To protect the public

  • I will not publish or publicize as fact anything I know to be false, doubtful, or unproven; nor will I be a party, directly or indirectly, to such action by others.
  • I will identify my sources for all information and cite only those I have personally used.
  • I will quote sources precisely, avoiding any alterations that I do not clearly identify as editorial interpretations.
  • I will present the purpose, practice, scope, and possibilities of genealogical research within a realistic framework.
  • I will delineate my abilities, publications, and/or fees in a true and realistic fashion.

To protect the consumer (client or colleague)

  • I will keep confidential any personal or genealogical information given to me, unless I receive written consent to the contrary.
  • I will reveal to the consumer any personal or financial interests that might compromise my professional obligations.
  • I will undertake paid research commissions only after a clear agreement as to scope and fee.
  • I will, to the best of my abilities, address my research to the issue raised by the consumer and report to that question.
  • I will seek from the consumer all prior information and documentation related to the research and will not knowingly repeat the work, as billable hours, without explanation as to good cause.
  • I will furnish only facts I can substantiate with adequate documentation; and I will not withhold any data necessary for the consumer's purpose.
  • If the research question involves analysis of data in order to establish a genealogical relationship or identity, I will report that the conclusions are based on the weight of the available evidence and that absolute proof of genealogical relationships is usually not possible.
  • If I cannot resolve a research problem within the limitations of time or budget established by contract, I will explain the reasons why.
  • If other feasible avenues are available, I will suggest them; but I will not misrepresent the possibilities of additional research.
  • I will return any advance payment that exceeds the hours and expenses incurred.
  • I will not publish or circulate research or reports to which the consumer has a proprietary right, without prior written consent of the consumer; I will observe these rights, whether my report was made directly to the consumer or to an employer or agent.

To protect the profession

  • I will act, speak, and write in a manner I believe to be in the best interests of the profession and scholarship of genealogy.
  • I will participate in exposing genealogical fraud; but I will not otherwise knowingly injure or attempt to injure the reputation, prospects, or practice of another genealogist.
  • I will not attempt to supplant another genealogist already employed by a client or agency. I will substitute for another researcher only with specific, written consent of and instructions provided by the client or agency.
  • I will not represent as my own the work of another. This includes works that are copyrighted, in the public domain, or unpublished. This pledge includes reports, lecture materials, audio/visual tapes, compiled records, and authored essays.
  • I will not reproduce for public dissemination, in an oral or written fashion, the work of another genealogist, writer, or lecturer without that person's written consent. In citing another's work, I will give proper credit.
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