- A reasonably exhaustive search;
- complete and accurate source citations;
- analysis and correlation of the collected information;
- resolution of any conflicting evidence; and
- a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.
- Source - the information; e.g. death certificate, Bible, homestead file, census, book, necklace, website, interview, etc.
- Citation - the record of the source; what and where
What about those who are not beginners; are you following the GPS? Do you follow some of them? Are certain ones more important than others?
I'm issuing another challenge. The next time you spend any time doing research, keep track of exactly what you are doing. How many steps of the GPS do you usually follow?
As a beginner I had never heard of the Genealogical Proof Standard. As I am going back through all of my research (see this post) I am finding that I have a lot of information that I didn't know I had. For example: I was messaging a cousin of a cousin on Ancestry.com. She listed the information she had for William Eugene Rutter (a sibling of my gr-gr-grandmother, Dora Rutter-McCall). On the 1910 census his occupation is "farmer, homestead." I've transcribed this census multiple times, but it never clicked until she had written it out. The BLM database has a William E. Rutter listed in the same county as the census. If I had followed all of the steps of the GPS I would have discovered this information years ago when I first found the census.
So the Genealogical Proof Standard is for everyone all the time. Get the word out: use it!