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Genealogical Proof

Much family history material on the Internet and elsewhere is clearly unreliable (e.g. a “first marriage” at the age of 79, followed by several children and death at the age of 130). Other material may also be unreliable but less obviously so. We should not blindly accept computer-generated “hints” and unsourced statements but consider whether they make sense and also weigh them against evidence from other sources.

So, key questions for family historians are:

  • “Can I be sure that what I am reading is accurate?”
  • “What does it really say about the family I am interested in?”

You may like to listen to this interview in which Christine Rose advises how to build a solid case for family history facts and interpretations. It considers how to select sources of information, evaluate the evidence and set out a clear conclusion.

Christine Ross speaks from an American perspective, but most of her comments are directly helpful to researchers across the world. There are also opportunities to give course feedback, download an audio file and/or a well-presented course handout.

This item is one of many hundreds of free audio and video presentations that you can discover at the Learning Center of FamilySearch.


Francis Howcutt
FFHS Archives Liaison

29 May 2014

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