At ‘s AGM in December the possibility of changing the name of our organisation was discussed at length.  It was agreed that the idea would be put to an Extraordinary General Meeting during the year.  The EGM has been set for 27 May 2015.

The basic reason for the proposed change is the growing confusion caused by the similarity of ‘s name and that of the US-based Association of Professional Genealogists (APG).  When was founded APG was little known outside of North America.  In recent years APG has spread across the world.  Consequently, ‘s role as an organisation providing accreditation has been confused with APG’s role as a networking and support organisation.

At the EGM members will be asked first to vote on whether to change the name.  If the decision is yes, members will be asked then to vote on a number of possible new names.

In advance of the EGM we are asking members to get involved in a discussion process.  There are two phases in this process.

  1. Between now and 16 April we are asking you to submit new name ideas and discuss proposed names on a private forum on our website. Tell us what you think of suggestions as they appear. When putting forward a name proposal yourself please highlight it in the following format: “I PROPOSE ‘Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland'”.
  2. Between 18 April and 25 April you will be asked to vote in an online survey on the proposed names coming from the discussion.

The most popular names resulting from this survey will be put before the EGM.  In addition, two more possible names may be put forward by the Council.  It should be noted that this whole process, suggestions and discussion must remain confidential among members.

While not wishing to limit the discussion, the Council feels that some guidance is necessary.  Key elements that need to be conveyed in the name are:

  • an organisation connected with Ireland
  • an organisation for people with accreditation, certification or credentials
  • an organisation for people with expertise in genealogy

It is worth noting that the word ‘Professional’ need not appear in the name.  None of the organisations in other countries that provide credentials for professional genealogists use ‘Professional’ in their name.

Please bear in mind how the name might be abbreviated on its own and with the addition of ‘M’ for Member and ‘F’ for Fellow.

Steven C. ffeary-Smyrl


  1. There are seven accrediting bodies in genealogy internationally and it’s interesting that just a few months ago one of them changed its name. The Chambre Syndicale des Généalogistes et Héraldistes de France (CSGHF) has become SYGENE, taking the initials from SYndicat des GENEalogistes. I thought that was interesting. Here’s my translation of the notice on their new website (assisted by Google Translate and then modified):

    “35 years after its creation, the Chambre Syndicale des Généalogistes et Héraldistes
    de France (CSGHF) has evolved.

    “Dynamic, anxious to promote professional genealogy in all its diversity, in France and abroad, our professional association resolutely turns towards the future and chooses to become
    Le SYGENE, (SYndicat des GENEalogistes)
    L’alliance des Généalogistes professionnels”

    Paul Gorry

  2. Very interesting info on the French change of name Paul. We should be able to come up with some good ideas!

    Anne-Marie Smith

  3. As Steve says, one thing to be kept in mind is the acronym of any new name . It can’t trespass on existing turf – AIG (“Amercan International Group”) is out, for example – and it would be best if it could form a unique internet address. So maybe “Accredited Genealogists Ireland” (, but not “Accredited Irish Genealogists”.

  4. What about “Association of Accredited Professional Genealogists Ireland” (A). This just adds “accredited” to the name.

  5. All good ideas so far!

    What about “Accredited Body of Genealogists in Ireland” it forms part of our ‘signature’ already, and initials would be ‘ABGI’, just changing one letter? Internet address would be ( MABGI, FABGI etc..

  6. I am going for something simple. SGI – Society of Genealogists in Ireland
    or IGA – Irish Genealogists Association

    The latter fits better with prefixes MIGA and FIGA but I prefer the former (SGIM and SGIF???) !!!

    AGI is good and an alternative to Accredited Genealogists Ireland could be Association of Genealogists in Ireland?

  7. I think it’s important that we stress the fact that the members are accredited. That’s got to come across with whatever name we decide on.

  8. My own opinion is that accreditation must be abundantly obvious in any new name that we choose. In reality, it’s not just that we work as professional genealogists, but that we are accredited by an acknowledged accreditation body.

  9. In relation to Anne-Marie’s suggestion, the problem is that the organisation is not “Accredited” but “Accrediting”, and being a member of an “Accrediting” body suggests that you’re an assessor rather than someone assessed and accredited.

    Michael’s suggestion of “Society of Genealogists in Ireland” is to close to the “Society of Genealogists Northern Ireland”, a non-accrediting support organisation for professional genealogists. Also, it doesn’t get across the accreditation aspect.

    Do you get my point(s)?

  10. Hello fellow Apgians

    I like John’s Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI). It has a modern snappy feel to it and is functional. I also like Association of Accredited Genealogists in Ireland (AAGI). I have been racking my brain to come up with an alternative catchy, chic, cool name but to date my creative juices have remained still.

    So, as we used to say around the campfire in my younger scouting days………. AGI AGI AAGI – AYE! AYE!! AYE!!!


  11. I’m just wondering about Margaret’s proposal. Is it “Association of Accredited Genealogists Ireland” or “Association of Accredited Genealogists in Ireland”? I’m not sure whether Margaret purposely left out “in”!

  12. Hello,

    I had been thinking also of Accredited Genealogists in Ireland [AGI] before I read John’s and other comments above.. Shorter with 3 letters rather than 4 letters?

  13. Just a thought: if we use the term “accredited”, I think we need to define the term. Accreditation is provided by an umbrella “body”. People become accredited to a body. In this case what is the “body” or organization providing the accreditation?

  14. I like “Association of Accredited Professional Genealogists in Ireland” as it prevents us being MAGIs or FAGIs and has initials close to what we had. In fact, it just sounds the same…
    I also agree that accredited or accrediting should come into any new name.

  15. I know it’s the last day, but I’d just like to add another suggestion. While I like Margaret’s “Association of Accredited Professional Genealogists [in] Ireland”, I feel that “Association” and “Society” are over-used in genealogy. “Institute” is a word that was considered in the very early discussions on the name change, and I feel it has more of a suggestion of a professional body. For that reason, I PROPOSE “Institute of Accredited Professional Genealogists in Ireland” (I; MI; FI) AND “Institute of Professional Genealogists in Ireland” (IPGI; MIPGI; FIPGI). In the latter I think the inclusion of “Institute” and “Professional” implies accreditation. Both are not too far away from as they roll off the tongue and neither is similar to another genealogical organisation anywhere.

  16. I have read through the suggestions and I think all all have some merit.
    However, I do like Paul’s suggestion of including the word ‘Institute’ and ‘Professional’ in the title which as he suggests, implies accreditation.

    I would like to SECOND HIS PROPOSAL OF:
    “Institute of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (IPGI; MIPGI; FIPGI)

  17. I think that “Institute” makes us seem like something we’re not, like an educational establishment or something.

    We’re not a society; we’re closer to being an association.

  18. I agree that the new acronym should be snappy and easily remembered. I tend to favour AIG or A. I haven’t got any better suggestions.

  19. Hi everyone. Sorry I’m ‘last minute dot com’ on this but I’ve been busy with other stuff! Here are a few suggestions incorporating the essence of other suggestions :-

    1. APAGI – Institute of Professional Accredited Genealogists in Ireland

    2. PAGI – Professional Accredited Genealogists in Ireland

    3.PAIG – Professional Accredited Irish Genealogists

    4. IPAG – Ireland’s Professional Accredited Genealogists

    5. IAGI – Institute of Accredited Genealogists in Ireland.

    Best wishes, Rob

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