Power-Up SIG Notes: Research Goals and Process

Research Goals and Process

  • Research Goals
    • Do we need them? When?
    • What do they look like?
      • Like blanks in the pedigree chart
      • Questions – what do I know? What do I need to know?
  • Research Process
    • Do you use a system?
      • Depends on question, of course
      • Usually start general – google, ancestry.com, other trees, census
    • Do you use a research log?
      • Query & correspondence log
      • Online search log – where, search terms, date, spelling variations, results
    • Do you use software?
      • Looks intriguing, but also sounds like duplicating work done with genealogy software
      • Maybe to organize a really hard research problem?
  • Genealogical Proof Standard

“Proof is a fundamental concept in genealogy. In order to merit confidence, each conclusion about an ancestor must have sufficient credibility to be accepted as “proved.” Acceptable conclusions, therefore, meet the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). The GPS consists of five elements:

  • reasonably exhaustive research;
    • complete, accurate citations to the source or sources of each information item;
    • tests—through processes of analysis and correlation—of all sources, information items, and evidence;
    • resolution of conflicts among evidence items; and
    • a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.

Each element contributes to a conclusion’s credibility”
—Board for Certification of Genealogists