Genealogical Proof Standard

The Debate About Certification, etc.: The Courtroom Argument Concludes

Second of a multi-part series The story so far: a probate case is being tried to the court.  The plaintiff, Mr. Cousins, is represented by the firm of Gried Avarice Mammon & Lust LLP. His attorney, Patricia Lust, must show client’s relationship to the decedent in order to prevail in the case.  She has called as a witness one Jeanne …Continue reading →


Breaking News: Man Smashes Through Brick Wall in Louisiana!

I have done it!  I’ve made my greatest genealogical discovery ever!  For five years, my top research priority has been to discover the parentage of my great-grandfather, Richard Gines of Shreveport, Louisiana.  Following an intensified search this spring and summer, I can now say with the appropriate degree of confidence utilizing the Genealogical Proof Standard, that I have solved this …Continue reading →


Insomnia–The Genealogist’s Friend

A few nights ago, I was having difficulty falling asleep.   Rather than fight the feeling, I thought I’d just get up and cruise the Internet for a little while. I went first to and noticed that their Texas death certificate collection is now about 50% complete.  So I just typed in the name Manson to see what would come …Continue reading →


There’s No Such Thing as Proof

If, as a genealogist, you believe that you can “prove” something, well, you need to be re-educated. . . . In genealogy, we talk about evidence and data sources, and the Genealogical Proof Standard.  We don’t talk enough about what is meant by “proof” or how “proof” is distinct from evidence,or about the multifaceted nature of proof (which means our …Continue reading →


Will the Real Julia McDavid Please Stand Up?

Some Issues Concerning the Evaluation and Analysis of Evidence We’ve been playing a genealogical version of To Tell The Truth in which Julia McDavid, born in the nineteenth century and with a daughter named Helen, has challenged us to find her on the 1880 and 1900 censuses. The problem is that there are several persons with the name “Julia McDavid” …Continue reading →


Evidence, Hypotheses, Analyses

This week we resolved the question of whether I’d been researching “wrong Longs” as the parents of my great-grandfather, James William Long. I said that in an upcoming post we’d show how we did that. Out here in the hinterlands, the NGS NewsMagazine arrived a couple of days ago. As usual, it’s got a number of excellent articles. One that …Continue reading →

August 2015
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