Where can I learn more about genealogical proof?

While the last post was my opinion about proof, I should have noted how my opinions have been shaped by some of the literature I have been reading.  I would like to share some of those sources with you so you can explore them as well.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, “Working with Historical Evidence: Genealogical Principles and Standards,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 87 (September 1999) 165-184.  This is the lead article of an entire issue that looks at evidence and how it supports (or not) the conclusions.  A virtual textbook.  I especially gravitated towards the graphic A Research Process Map, which gives us a vocabulary to differentiate sources, information, and evidence.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007)  Especially noteworthy is the first chapter on Evidence Analysis.

Board of Genealogical Certification, The Genealogical Proof Standard, http://www.bcgcertification.org/resources/standard.html.

There are some others but it seems to me that these are the seminal works.  A couple of others build slightly or are a variation on the themes of these three (e.g. Greenwood’s Researcher’s guide where he admits it was rewritten by Ms. Mills with the NGS article in mind.

How does one decide?…..carefully.

Happy hunting!


What I have done since the last post:  I am trying to learn (quickly) how to get around the parish records and censuses of Norway.  It’s much like Swedish records but not entirely…far fewer censuses (only 5 vs. annually in Sweden!).  While the search mechanism’s of the census seem more of a mystery to use, the parish records are much easier!


4 comments on “Where can I learn more about genealogical proof?

  1. Sheri Fenley says:

    I can’t believe that I am just now hearing about your blog! I am so close to having enough nerve to “Start the clock” and reading about your thoughts and experience are giving me hope! I look forward to reading more of your journey to certification! Thank you!

    • jkmorelli says:

      Well, I am just an enthusiastic worker and thought that the materials that are sent don’t tell you much about the process of applying.
      Of course, I believe that everyone’s process will be different. For example, I have a friend who is far more qualified than I who is taking a completely different route. She is attending all the conferences, taking the “high octane” classes etc, but hasn’t written anything. I just decided to start writing. The application “clock” is not yet ticking. If you have questions or comments I would love to have a discussion about those as well. I would be interested in knowing how you found my blog and why did you start even thinking about applying?
      Thanks for joining.
      PS. And by the way, I only started this blog about a month ago.

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