• Michael Larman

Episode 08 Show notes

Hi and Welcome to Downundergenealogy podcast I am your host Michael Larman this is episode 08

You can reach me online at

Today I will be discussing the genealogical proof standard

Now I think the hardest thing to learn is genealogical proof standard

How do you know if your records are solidly proven for still hunches or guesses? Use the genealogical proof standard as a set of rules that were established by the board for certification of genealogists

I would recommend a book on sources and citations it is

Referencing for Genealogists: Sources and Citations Paperback – 1 Jul 2018

by IAN G. MACDONALD (Author)

All these were from the family search wiki page

The Genealogical Proof Standard was established in the genealogical field to guide serious researchers in writing and assembling a family history that would be "as close to the truth as possible. The GPS, a five-step process, involves these components:

Conducting a reasonably exhaustive search for information that is or may become pertinent to an identity, relationship, event, or situation being questioned;

Collecting and including a complete and accurate citation to all sources of each and every item of information used;

Analyzing and correlating the information to assess its quality as evidence;

Resolving conflicts caused by items of evidence which contradict one another or are contrary to a proposed solution for the question; and

Arriving at a soundly reasoned and coherently written conclusion. (1)

In genealogical and family history research, many searches begin based wholly or in part on a family tradition or story. Traditions concerning relatives and ancestors who have lived and died in past times may have existed over several generations and even several hundred years, depending upon the culture and circumstances of their lives. Before a tradition can be accepted as fact, however, it must be verified. In the years or centuries of its telling, the "facts" surrounding a tradition may have expanded greatly or been altered so completely as to bear no resemblance to the original account. Often, unravelling the mysteries of a family tradition require an even greater research effort than simply beginning the search with some basic known or suspected fact about a person or problem. Unfortunately, disproving all or part of a family tradition may become an unhappy experience for a novice researcher, as the family may have cherished its tradition as part of who they are. This researcher has observed reluctance and refusal to give up such traditions in some families, even when the documentary evidence does not support it, or in some cases, specifically contradicts it.

While proof beyond "a shadow of a doubt" is not required in the GPS, genealogists must recognize that any statement made regarding an ancestor or lineage can never be the final word. It always remains possible, in fact, this writer would say it is almost a certainty, that new evidence will be found one day, forcing the researcher to re-examine and re-evaluate his or her original statement or statements, and determine if they are still valid or in need of revision.

I strongly recommend that researchers always adhere to the principles of the GPS in both their research and writing. Whether your research is meant only for your immediate family's use or for publishing and sharing with a wider audience, any reader should be able to pick up your work and trace back the steps you took to arrive at the conclusions you reached. In today's world of genealogical and family history research, exemplary research and documentation methodology are required elements we should all strive for in our work.



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Ok well thank you for listening to this week's podcast be sure to visit

For show notes and more also like if you leave any comments or suggestions on the website that would be great hope all you join me for next week's podcast thank you see you next time!

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