Board for Certification of Genealogists announcement

For Immediate Release, Board for Certification of Genealogists

18 January 2016
BCG today released a 2016 edition of the BCG Application Guide. The new guide implements two changes for initial applicants approved by the board last May. Two clarifications address common problems in new portfolios.
The most significant change will see applicants evaluated on their genealogically related educational activities. Initial applicants have long been asked to describe the activities that helped them prepare for certification but only now will this information be evaluated. The new practice is meant to stress the importance of development activities as these have been statistically shown to increase an applicant’s chances of attaining certification.
The second change limits the size of new applications to 150 pages. The new limit more realistically portrays the amount of material an applicant will need to prepare than did the two-pound limit it replaces. A related change limits Requirement 7, the kinship-determination project, to three generations. Applicants were previously allowed to submit additional generations if they wished, but extra generations are invariably more than judges need for evaluation purposes.
One of two clarifications addresses Requirement 5, the research report prepared for another person. Applicants submit many types of projects for this requirement, including genealogies, biographical narratives, case studies, and lineage-society applications. However, the application guide specifically requests a research report, not other types of commissioned projects. The 2016 guide makes this point clear.
The new guide also clarifies the request for a research question that is part of BCG’s two document work assignments, Requirements 3 and 4. Many applicants submit broad multipart questions that are too poorly framed to meet genealogical standards and that impede their ability to show evidence-evaluation and research-planning skills. The new application guide specifies that a “single” question be supplied.
BCG today also released a revised set of new-application rubrics. Several rubrics have been reworked to more clearly reflect evaluation criteria. Like the application guide’s clarification affecting the document work, two of those changes clarify the importance of Standard 10 and the need for research to address focused questions.
None of the changes affect renewal portfolios.
The new guide and rubrics can be downloaded from BCG’s website. The guide is available at <>. The rubrics are available at <>.

No more burials at Rest Haven- Alpharetta

Actual Factual Georgia: No more burials at Rest Haven

Andy Johnston for the AJC – 18 January 2016


Q: No one seems to know who owns the burial plots in the cemetery in downtown Alpharetta. I want to know if I can buy one. Who has the plot list of owners and are there any plots available for sale?

—Steve Beecham, Milton

A: There appears to be room for additional graves in Alpharetta’s historic Rest Haven Cemetery, but no plots are for sale.

Simply put, city officials and historians don’t know where all of the bodies are buried.

The cemetery dates to the 1860s, the Alpharetta Historical Society’s Connie Mashburn said, and many records have been lost or destroyed through the years.

Other graves are unmarked, which means any digging could disturb someone’s final resting place.

“Plots are not available for purchase for a number of reasons, most important of which, being that we cannot say for certain that our burial records are exhaustive and we would not want to re-sell an occupied plot,” city clerk Coty Thigpen said.

Prominent citizen Arthur Camp originally donated land for the cemetery more than 150 years ago. The city was incorporated in 1858 in what was then-Milton County.

Through the years, other land owners contributed property to the Rest Haven, which increased its size, Mashburn said.

The city, which owns and maintains Rest Haven, knows of at least 1,400 people who are buried there, but he said there’s a part of the cemetery where “there are no grave markers.”

Rest Haven, which is sometimes spelled Resthaven (“I’ve used it both ways,” Mashburn said.) takes a starring role in the city’s annual “Restless in Resthaven” tours, a guided event every fall.

Former citizens played by costumed actors stroll downtown and “rise from their gravesites” to talk about Alpharetta’s history.

Those buried in Rest Haven include: Teasley Upshaw, a former mayor; B-17 pilot Isham Oliver Teasley, who was killed over Italy in World War II; Civil War veteran James M. Dodd, who owned the Dodd Hotel (which was about a block from the cemetery); Mary Camp Manning, who along with her brother sold the land that became Alpharetta; Dr. Oliver P. Skelton, who helped save Milton County records during the Civil War by carrying them to Elberton; Nannie Hayes Teasley, Alpharetta’s first postmistress; and businessman Quilley Wills, who sold the land to Fulton County that became Wills Park.

“The cemetery is a who’s who of early Alpharetta,” Mashburn said. “It’s a history lesson just to walk through it.”