French Genealogy, ICAPGen

My Accreditation Journey — Level 1 Project Results


I received the best email today!  My Level 1 project for ICAPGen PASSED!!


For those of you who do not speak ICAPGen, let me break that down a bit.

ICAPGen is the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists.  In order to earn the Accredited Genealogist Credential, applicants must pass three levels of testing.  The Level 1 project is the first step in the testing process.

Each candidate must choose an accreditation region.  I chose France.

A Level 1 project consists of a four-generation research report that is no more than 40 pages, a pedigree chart including only the four generations in the report, family group sheets for each family in the report, a document file with no more than 40 documents, and a research log.  Those are the items that are turned in.  However, those items must meet specific standards as outlined in the application guide.

The research objective must be clearly stated at the beginning of the report.  Background information on what was previously known should also appear near the beginning of the report.  All facts or information items must have a citation.  All information in the report should be analyzed correctly.  Transcriptions, abstractions, and translations should be used where appropriate.  The summary should review the main points and reinforce the conclusions.  The report should include specific suggestions for future research.

The Level 1 project is no small task.

I completed most of the research for my project before I started counting my time spent on the project.  Despite that, these are my project stats:

  • 417 hours 1 minute spent to complete the project
  • 37-page report with 18,684 words and 131 footnotes
  • 28 records in my document file that were fully transcribed and translated from either French or Latin
  • 355 unique entries in my research log
  • 88 signatures used to help prove the linkage between generations three and four

I am so delighted that I passed!  It was a lot of work, but I learned so much and was very pleased with the end result.

Participating in the ICAPGen Level 1 Study Group was an essential part of my preparation.  I cannot recommend the study groups highly enough.  If you are interested in accreditation, consider participating in the study groups.

As I was in the final weeks of preparing my project, I stuck this post-it note to one of my computer monitors:



It can be so easy to include unnecessary information in any genealogy report.  For the Level 1 project the objective is to prove the parent-child links between each generation.  The report is not storytime or let-me-tell-you-about-all-the-cool-stuff-I-found-while-researching time.  This note was a constant reminder to focus on the linkage as I outlined and wrote my report.  After I submitted my project, I couldn’t throw it away.  It was my friend and is now a keepsake.

I submitted my project in September.  Level 1 projects are reviewed by at least two experts for that region.  Projects typically take about six months to be reviewed.

Now it’s time to prepare for the Level 2 & 3 tests.




Happy Wednesday, I hope you and your loved ones are happy, safe, and healthy!!  xoxo



Image courtesy of Pixabay artist Walkerssk.