This article is a first attempt to generate discussion and academic analysis of the modus operandi
of genealogy and genealogists. Genealogy is on the verge of becoming a recognised profession and an academic discipline, with one or more qualification routes. This article summarises the author’s philosophy, motivations and experiences in establishing educational/training courses and qualifications in a University context. Definitions of genealogy and related concepts are discussed, in the light of an epistemological analysis. Such philosophical considerations are rarely discussed among professional genealogists. It is hoped this article will be a stimulus to more enlightened debate of the epistemological and philosophical bases of family history-type genealogy. There is also a dearth of research into the motivations of amateur and professional genealogists, and almost no scholarly scrutiny of genealogy as an academic discipline. Nor can it be dismissed as “a branch of history”; genealogy and history are related but separate disciplines with overlapping skills-sets.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited