Evaluating Evidence in Genealogy

Even those new to family history research can learn the basics of properly evaluating evidence in genealogy. Once you learn the simple process and begin practicing it, you will find yourself mentally evaluating evidence as you discover each new piece of information about your ancestors. As you get into more complex identity problems and work with less standard sources, better evidence analysis will improve the quality of your research and increase the likelihood of solid conclusions about your ancestors' lives. Read More »

FREE Online Genealogy Workshops

As amateur genealogists, we often don't know what we don't know. Terms like GPS, conflicting evidence, exhaustive research, citation, triangulation, and others can leave the new genealogist overwhelmed and ready to head back to our favorite online service for the low-hanging fruit. If we are going to do this research thing, we need to education ourselves. You never know when it will pay off in a completely unexpected way, and no one wants a family tree with someone else's relatives in it because they just didn't know any better. Read More »

Getting Started with Genealogy... What I Wish I Had Known

Twenty-two years ago when I bought my first how-to book about genealogy, I couldn't even imagine what would be available to the amateur genealogist just 10 years later. I am still learning (and making lots of mistakes), but my interest is more serious, my research is more detailed and well-documented, and my criteria for accepting the validity of claims is more stringent than even a couple of years ago. I could have saved myself countless hours and quite a bit of frustration if I had known just a few important tips before I started entering data in my family tree software. These 5 tips will help you avoid frustration down the road. Read More »

Genealogical Proof Summary Example: Theodocia Ann Giles

Proof summaries are automatically generated by Evidentia using the information gathered when you input the claims made by each source. The proof summary makes it easy to view all of the sources associated with a single supposition so that you can evaluate it in light of all of the information you have gathered. Each claim is broken down into direct (states the claim), indirect (the claim is implied), or negative (the claim is based on the absence of information in a source, such as a census without a person in the household) as well as primary (the person recording the information was there when the event happened), secondary (the person recording the information received it second or third hand), or undetermined (it isn't known whether the source is primary or secondary), which helps you to come to a conclusion that you can back up with reliable evidence. Read More »