The Standards Include:

  • Reasonably exhaustive research—emphasizing original records providing participants' information—for all evidence that might answer a genealogist's question about an identity, relationship, event, or situation.
  • Complete, accurate citations to the source or sources of each information item contributing—directly, indirectly, or negatively—to answers about that identity, relationship, event, or situation.

  • Tests—through processes of analysis and correlation—of all sources, information items, and evidence contributing to an answer to a genealogical question or problem

  • Resolution of conflicts among evidence items pertaining to the proposed answer.

  • A soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion based on the strongest available evidence. We conduct a reasonably exhaustive search in reliable sources for all information that is or may be pertinent to the identity, relationship, event, or situation in question.

The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS)

No, this discussion is not about the navigation device. The Genealogical Proof Standard is a GPS of another kind. It ensures that professional genealogists have performed to a standard approved by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Any genealogist can adopt this standard, for his or her own, to help ensure reliable work. The following is quoted from Genealogy Standards (Washington, D.C.: Board for Certification of Genealogists, 2014).