How I approach my research
Planning to use this page to document my research strategies. Thoughts and links for those of you who want to do a bit of digging yourselves and an aide memoire to myself when I get stuck.
Genealogical Proof Standard
I wish that I had paid more attention to genealogical proof standard when I first started my research. This would have saved me time that has been wasted climbing the wrong tree on a couple of occasions. I am gradually working through and checking source documentation and challenging some of the conclusions I have previously drawn. Even now, I still find the urge to push on and come back to the documentation later is strong. I should really slow down and pay more attention to the following standards:
- Reasonably exhaustive search
- Complete and accurate citation of sources
- Analysis and correlation of the collected information
- Resolution of conflicting evidence
- Soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion
Sources – Who, What, When, Where
Writing source citations in approved format takes time and practice. Even a citation in the wrong format is better than no citation at all. As a minimum the citation should cover who, what, where and when. One of my next tasks is going to be to review my direct line ancestors and check and update my citations using these questions. The “when” question is particularly useful in determining whether new records may have become available which could give additional confirmation or raise questions about the validity of earlier conclusions.