Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Document, Document, Document

The thrill of the hunt. Your first official find. You are looking on the web and find your grandfather on the census. This is great. You are so excited. You add the birth date and his parent’s information. You are on a roll and want to find more so you forget to document the census. How does this hurt you?

The first way that this affects you and your tree is making it less reliable. If you or someone else is not able to trace your steps and prove the information you have, then the genealogy tree is unreliable. There is a lot of information online and not all of it lives up to the genealogical standards of proof. Our genealogy work should always live up to these standards because they are universal.

This does not mean that you can not have a working tree where you put information that you find that you are working to prove or disapprove. You just need to make sure that it is marked as that. The information that you share with others should be information that you can prove with the Genealogical Proof Standards.

What are genealogical standards?

Genealogy is all about proof. Your conclusions about ancestors must have acceptable conclusions or "proof" that the right people are related or attached to a certain event. These proofs are called the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). The GPS consists of five parts:

1. You have searched all the available records for the person in the era and places they were known to be located.
2. You have full source citations of all the information you have found for the person.
3. You have analyzed and connected all collected data.
4. You have resolved all conflicting data.
5. You have a soundly written conclusion.

Where can you find more information on this topic? Keep an eye on future blogs here and visit the Board of Certification for Genealogists

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