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Genealogy Ethical Guidelines & Standards
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Whether you are a hobby genealogist, society member, serious researcher, or a professional genealogist, ethics affect your work. Adherence to ethical standards as they apply to your research and your interactions with others should be of concern to all researchers. Genealogists are faced with diverse ethical decisions in their research including black sheep ancestors, adoption, non-paternal events, and revealing family secrets. This course begins by looking at what is ethics in genealogy and the history of genealogical ethics and continues by exploring ethical considerations when sharing your genealogy online and in print, DNA testing, and while visiting libraries and archives. Ethical standards for professionals will also be explored including interacting with clients and the public.

Course Content

Module 1
Ethics & Genealogy: An Introduction

What is Ethics?
  • Ethics in Genealogy
  • Historical Ethics Examples
  • Examples of Genealogy Ethical Statements
  • Consequences of Non-ethical Behavior


    Module 2

    Ethics & The Professional
    Ethical Standards
    Working with Societies
    Contract Work

    Professional Writing
  • Suggested Content: Copyright and Disclosures
  • Copyright Notice
  • Creative Commons License
  • Disclaimers
  • Presentations and Handouts

    Social Media

    Module 3

    Ethics & The Family Historian

    Online Trees and Other Postings
  • Volunteer Websites
  • Terms of Use: Subscription Website Look-Ups
  • A Few More Things to Consider

    Using Photographs from the Internet
  • FindAGrave

    Brick and Mortar Research
    Social Media

    Module 4

    Ethics & Genealogy Societies

  • Now, what about the newsletter?

    Presentations and Presenters
  • Contract
  • Recordings
  • Payment
  • Handouts

  • Benefits
  • Privacy
  • Board
  • Social Media

    Module 5

    Ethics & Publishing
    Itís Online!

    Fraudulent Pedigrees
  • Gustav Anjou

    But I Pay for that Subscription!
    Living People
    Black Sheep
    Publishing Permissions

    Module 6

    Ethics & Genetic Genealogy
    Answer my Email??!!
    Published Ethical Standards and Guidelines


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