Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Genealogical Proof Standard

Hello All -

I thought I would briefly introduce the concept of the genealogical proof standard. It is also called the "5 step process." This is a very important process in all forms of doing research on one's family history. In researching family history it is more then just finding the names, dates, and places of ancestors - it is vital that time is taken to make sure that the information that is found is valid/correct.

Genealogical Proof Standard
The Genealogical Proof Standard is a credibility standard by which any researcher should be able to develop a conclusion based on their research.

The steps are as follows:
1. Conduct a thorough search for all records and information that pertain to the question. 2. Always collect and include a complete citation for each of the sources used in the research. 3. Analyze the data that has been collected, being sure to evaluate the quality of the evidence. 4. When conflicting data is found, resolve them through evaluation of the resources and the validity of those sources until there is no question. 5. Arrive at the conclusion that is best supported by the evidence.

Standards are a must in genealogy. The computer in performing genealogical research is a wonderful tool, but it can also allow erroneous information to spread like wild fire. If every genealogist would apply the Genealogical Proof Standard to their research process, there would be a lot less misinformation available. It will make for a much better and credible family history.

Until Next Time -
Carolyn of MGS

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