Genealogy: Researching your family tree. WEEK FOUR: (A reasoned conclusion…
Genealogy: Researching your family tree. WEEK FOUR:
Establishing proof and the Genealogical Proof Standard:
Proof is essential so that you can be sure that you have the right ancestor but also so that others can feel confident in your work.
The Genealogical Proof Standard are a number of independent points to the standard, theses are that research has been reasonably exhaustive, information has been analysed and correlated, conflicting evidence has been resolved, sources have been cited or referenced, a reasoned conclusion has been created.
Genealogists have come to terms with the notion of probability, that usually you can only be 90 - 95% certain that someone is your relation due to inaccuracies in the records, common surnames giving a number of possible matches, possible illegitimacy. At some point, we all have to accept the most probably answer and move on, that means we have to come to terms with a level of uncertainty.
Research has been reasonably exhaustive:
This does not mean that you have to access and explore every possible genealogical record that might be of use in answering your question. The following six criteria assure that your research has been "Reasonably Exhaustive"
At least two independently created sources are in agreement.
You have loved at sources competent genealogist would examine.
You have used/ included some primary information.
That you included some original records.
You used primary and original documents where these are findable.
You use all findable sources listed in an index or mentioned in a related source.
A reasoned conclusion has been created:
To fully establish proof you must communicate it by writing up your conclusions. There are three options for presenting a conclusion and which on you choose will depend on the complexity of the question and answer.
A proof statement:
Coukd be a sentence contained withing a larger report on a family or piece of data.
A proof summary:
Could be one or more written pages containing lists or narratives stating facts that support or lead to your conclusion.
A proof argument:
Is a documented narrative that contains an explanation of why the answer given to a problem should be considered to be proven.
Evaluation of Evidence:
These can include many government created documents such as birth certificates, military registration records, naturalisation records and so on. Questions to consider for each source are: what information can be gained from this source, how reliable is that information can we trust that the source is telling the truth, after looking at the source what research could we undertake next.
How Autosomal DNA testing can help genealogists:
The attraction of an atDNA test is that it can be taken by males and females, it tests all ancestral lines can reveal relationships within a fairly recent timespan of around the last two hundred years, rather than the much longer timespans often involved in Y-DNA testing.
At present, this test seeks to report results back to around five generations with confidence. matches are usually reported in ranges such as 2nd to 3rd cousins, 4th to 5th cousins and greater than 5th cousins. these results may help you to investigate unknown cousins and reveal information about branches of your family when you have been unable to trace using documentary sources.
A DNA test is a test in which someone's DNA is analysed too see if their DNA matches with someone else's DNA. This will show if their is an DNA relation between different people.
This can help genealogists to prove if their is a relation between different people with possible family connections.