Details of the Code of Ethics Review Process

Read more about the Committee’s work and the reasoning behind each change by downloading the PDF.

Code of Ethics Review Committee Members

In addition to their considerable experience as genealogists, committee members brought their own perspectives, expertise and concerns to Code of Ethics issues.

  • LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG®, CGL, FASG. In addition to a long career of leadership in the field, had, as past President of the Board for the Certification of Genealogists, led that organization through its most recent update to its code of ethics, with notable additions addressing the ethical use of DNA and the privacy rights of living people.
  • Debbie Kennett, as a UK resident, brought a critical non-U.S. perspective to discussions, as well as significant prior published thought work on ethical issues surrounding DNA and privacy.
  • Jessica Taylor, as founder, President & CEO of Legacy Tree Genealogists, Inc., gave voice to the important perspective of the commercial professional genealogy community.
  • Mark A. Wentling, MLS, CG®, Chair. As adjunct professor of genealogy at the University of New Haven, and a business owner specializing in probate work for attorneys and traditional genealogy, brought perspectives on where new genealogists, particularly those working with law enforcement, have trouble understanding existing standards and ethical expectations in the field, as well as other issues common in business interactions.

Input for Committee Process

Subject Matter Expert Interviews and Articles 

  • Steve Little, National Genealogical Society AI Program Director
  • Blaine Bettinger, Leveraging Artificial Intelligence Tools for Genealogical Research, published in the APG Quarterly 38 (Dec.2023): 8.
  • Dr. Claire Glynn, founding director, Online Graduate Certificate in Forensic Genetic Genealogy program at the University of New Haven

Internal Data

  • Chair of the Professional Review Committee, summarizing the types of ethics complaints received
  • Executive Director, sharing issues raised to her office
  • APG Member Survey, identifying members' most important areas of concern
  • 2016 Review Committee document on last Code revisions

External Data

The committee review included a wide range of other organizations' documentation regarding their codes of ethics, and non-discrimination statements, as well as a review of relevant laws, regulations, and guidelines. View the full list in the PDF above.