What is the Genealogical Proof Standard and Why Should You Use It?

What is the Genealogical Proof Standard, and why should you be concerned with it in your research? That’s a good question for most beginning genealogists. The Genealogical Proof Standard is the standard of proof set by the Board of Certification for Genealogists that states what type of proof is acceptable to show a relationship beyond a reasonable doubt. Its use is required for articles on genealogy and family history that are published in scholarly and recreational genealogical journals. Most published works of genealogical family history need to use this standard to be taken seriously in the genealogy community, as well.

Even if you don’t plan on publishing anything, you should still be using it in your research, and ideally, should use it from the very beginning. Having the Genealogical Proof Standard in your work from the start will save you a lot of time and effort going back over old research and examining what you did before if you ever have a question about whether a previous genealogical conclusion you came to is correct. It is also useful to already have in place if you come across new information that may possibly change the research you’ve already done on a person or a branch of your family…

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