Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards


Author: Mills, Elizabeth Shown
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 678 pp.
ISBN: 9780806320724


In 2001 twenty-three genealogists collaborated to produce the first-ever textbook outlining professional standards and practices in the discipline of genealogy. Edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills, the groundbreaking Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers & Librarians (ProGen) addressed not just genealogy sources but also strategies and analytical skills, best practices and standards for historical research, and how to conduct a genealogical business. It remains a go-to manual for genealogists.

Now a new generation of genealogical educators have given the field an entirely new guide to the profession of genealogy–offering fresh insights and new specialties, grounded in more-solid standards and wider experiences and applications. In twenty-six chapters, written by twenty-two experts and edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills, Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards (ProGen PPS) is an invaluable resource for professional genealogists and students, as well as all family history researchers. “From genetic and forensic genealogy to ethics and contracts, business structures, marketing, writing, editing, and preparing books for press, ProGen PPS promises to inspire thought processes and ignite new discussions (Billie Stone Fogarty, M. Ed. President, Association of Professional Genealogists).

“Searching for roots” is a popular hobby, but genealogy is a discipline. From courts of law to government agencies, from medical research projects to television shows, reliable genealogical research is an essential in modern societies. The public sector needs professionals who know historical archives well but, more importantly, understand the strengths and weaknesses of individual records. It needs professionals skilled not only in research principles but the far more difficult challenge of proving identities and kinship. It needs professionals who understand proof and the standards that produce reliable evidence.

ProGen PPS provides a complete course of instruction to prepare genealogists for a career in a complex field. Whether you discover this career path as a young adult or come into genealogy as a mature researcher trained in another professional discipline, ProGen PPS will ground you in the essential practices, standards, and language of genealogy–those expected by courts, government agencies, and others who commission research. If you are a librarian or archivist who assists family historians on a daily basis, ProGen PPS provides a framework to coach them well. If you are a family or local historian, seeking to learn and preserve your heritage, ProGen PPS will help you avoid common pitfalls and guide you through the production of quality works.

“ProGen PPS is a landmark volume with an abundance of new material and thought. The collective talents of today’s generation of key influencers bring together unsurpassed knowledge of our craft that simply must be studied by novice and expert alike!”–David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS, Chief Genealogical Officer, FamilySearch

About Elizabeth Shown Mills
Elizabeth Shown Mills, the architect and editor of both Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice &
and 2001’s Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers
& Librarians,
has been cited by her peers as the most influential genealogist in the post-Roots era.
As a pioneer educator in standards-based research and a developer of problem-solving strategies for proving identities and kinships, Mills edited a major scholarly journal for 16 years and both taught and directed programs in the field’s leading institutes for three decades. Widely published by commercial and scholarly presses in genealogy and history, as well as literature and sociology, her fifteen books include GPC’s best-seller Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace and its companion series, QuickSheets.

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