Have you ever wondered what those capital letters mean after somebody's name? I think most people know the basic ones like MD, MBA, BS, BA, and PhD. But I have no idea what genealogical credentials mean or stand for. This is why I was pleased to see a great article about this in the Ancestry Daily News for August 25, 2005 titled, "Genealogy’s ‘Alphabet Soup’: A Consumer’s Guide to Credentials" written by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG.
According to Elizabeth's article, her credentials stand for Certified Genealogist (CG), Certified Genealogical Lecturer (CGL), and I'm not quite sure what FASG stands for, but it means she is a member of the American Society of Genealogists whose credential has been "tested" in the sense that she publishes extensively in peer-reviewed journals and her published works have withstood further testing by the profession.
Here are a few key points from her article:
The acronyms we typically see in genealogy come in five types:
* Earned genealogical credentials
* Honorifics from genealogical societies
* Educational degrees (rarely in genealogy)
* Credentials earned in other fields
* Abbreviations of everything under the sun, added to a name that imply that one has genealogical credentials.
* CG (Certified Genealogist)
* CGRS (Certified Genealogical Records Specialist)
* CLS (Certified Lineage Specialist)
* CGL (Certified Genealogical Lecturer)
* CGI (Certified Genealogical Instructor)
After reading this article I thought of the Anne of Green Gables series of books, because once Anne Shirley gets her degree, almost every person she talks to mentions her B.A. Perhaps I should start signing B.S. after my name, though those initials have another meaning we won't mention.