Friday, October 19, 2012

APG - Association of Professional Genealogists

Tomorrow is our fall meeting for the Oregon group of APG. In joining APG on the national level as part of my college class for Professional Genealogists, it became apparent the importance of this national group. Since 2004 this organization provided some of my greatest learning experiences. Within my computer document files under my name, then family history, and finally under APG is the history of my interactions with the group. While the annual  membership fee of $65 a year seems costly, it provides some of my best client connections. 

In October of 2004 the Oregon APG group held their meeting after the Genealogical Council of Oregon conference at the Red Lion Inn in Salem, Oregon. That was my first attendance at a state conference and APG meeting. Attending with a few friends, this was certainly an eye opening experience with those involved in our state genealogy organizations. Since that time my attendance to the bi-annual state genealogy conferences was consistent, while my attendance at APG meetings was more sporadic. Currently APG meetings are held quarterly, usually in Eugene as to be centrally located in the state for members who reside anywhere from California to Washington, but mostly in Oregon.

For the last two quarterly meetings several of us have attended by using Skype. This is a very nice way to maintain participation when one is unable to attend in person. The Eugene location is two hours from my home, while Dallas, Oregon where we are meeting tomorrow is one hour away. While the group attending is not usually very large, it seems to be flexible with new faces at every meeting. By looking online at the APG website, one can view a list of those members residing in Oregon. There are thirty-four members from Oregon, and at least seventeen are familiar to me.

The benefits of membership in APG include the Publications, Voting for the Executive Committee, eligibility for local chapter membership, a website listing, a discount for the annual Professional Management Conference, and participation in the APG email list. The email list is very active and it is a great support from fellow members. Kathleen Hinckley is coordinator for the office and serves the needs of the members. The Executive Committee has twenty-four members who are elected annually on a rotating basis.

When visiting the website at, the following headings lead to a wealth of information: Home, Directory, About Us, Activities, Chapters, Membership, and Publications. Under the Directory one can search by name, location, research specialty, or geographic specialty. Under the general list are the name of the person, organization or website affiliated with, city and whether or not accepts clients are found. From here one can click on the individual's name and find the following information.
Under the Summary tab:
Service Description
Professional Credentials
Academic Degrees
Professional Learning Certificates
Research Specialty
Time Period Specialty
Geographic Specialty
Service Categories
Accepts Clients
Contact Information
Under the Extended tab:

In creating my profile and presenting to the public in this format it makes me very visible to people wanting to know more about me. Recently I worked with someone who did not know me personally and I was able to direct her to my blog, which connects directly to my APG profile. It is nice to have this information displayed in a professional manner for future contacts.

For the Oregon group there are four members who are Certified Genealogists and three who are Accredited Genealogists. It is nice to know who has earned these credentials. Since joining there have been many upgrades to the website and I am very pleased to see my education degrees and learning certificates displayed. This is a wonderful way to recognize the professional steps taken in becoming educated in the field of genealogy. I am grateful for APG and the many people who work to sustain this organization. Tomorrow will bring a much needed infusion of energy and knowledge from our local group. Look for a group near you, or participate in the virtual chapter, or by long distance through Skype.

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