About the ASG

The American Society of Genealogists is an independent society of fellows dedicated to serving the discipline of genealogy through promoting the highest standards of genealogical scholarship. Our purposes are:

  • To advance genealogical research standards and to encourage publication of the results.
  • To secure recognition of genealogy as a serious subject of research in the historical and social fields of learning.

The American Society of Genealogists (ASG) was founded in 1940 by three distinguished academicians—Arthur Adams, John Insley Coddington, and Meredith Colket (see ASG History). It was incorporated in 1946 as a non-profit educational organization in the District of Columbia. An honorary society, ASG is limited to fifty life-time members designated as Fellows (identified by the initials FASG). At the time of its founding, nothing existed to certify competent genealogists, nor was there a method to honor significant achievement in the genealogical field.

Election as a Fellow of the ASG is dependent on nomination by current Fellows — external nominations are not considered. The central criterion is the quality of a genealogist’s published work. Emphasis is upon compiled genealogies and published works that demonstrate an ability to use primary source material; to evaluate and analyze data; to properly document evidence; and to reach sound, logical conclusions presented in a clear and proper manner.

From its inception to the present, ASG has served, and continues to serve, the field in a variety of ways. Significant contributions include:

  • The Genealogist, published twice yearly and edited by Charles M. Hansen and Gale Ion Harris, is one of the most prestigious journals in the field of genealogy. It publishes high-quality genealogical articles including single-family studies, compiled genealogies, and articles that solve specific problems.
  • The ASG Scholar Award, created in 1996, offers $500 toward tuition and expenses for the National Institute on Genealogical Research, Washington, D.C., or the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama.
  • The Donald Lines Jacobus Award, established in 1972 to encourage sound scholarship in genealogical writing, is presented to a model genealogy published within the previous five years. The Society also awards a Certificate of Appreciation to individuals or organizations whose contributions to genealogy are so merited.
  • The Board for Certification of Genealogists was created by ASG in 1964 as a professional accrediting body for genealogists. Although BCG is now an independent entity, fellows of ASG have numbered among the trustees and officers throughout the Board’s history.
  • The ASG was instrumental in establishing the National Institute on Genealogical Research in 1950. Since NIGR’s incorporation in 1989, ASG holds a designated seat on the Board of Trustees.