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Search your Family History and Build Proof

A well researched and accurately documented genealogy is important to preserve your history. A Family tree is only as good as the sources that support it. The documents should contain information that helps to build a solid ancestry. This is accomplished by looking for sources that help to create a unified ancestry. Proving that family members belong together as a unit is a research process. Some people call this process "clustering".

Heritage begins with a question of identity, relationship, event or situation. Genealogists must gather and analyze data from sources to formulate answers to questions based on the resulting evidence. Finding original documents that link relatives such as parent-child, spouse and other blood relative relationships, help to verify kinship.

Find Sources and Validate your Heritage

Many hobbyists have taken up genealogy because of the amount of data that is readily available over the internet. They are taking what they find as being gospel, and copying anything and everything as fast as they can. This would be ok if everyone had proof to back up their information, but the majority of hobbyists do not. It takes one file to be copied by a user, who assumes the information of one or more individuals is assumed to be the person they are researching. Misidentified people based on circumstantial evidence causes an epidemic of lost heritage. This can also happen by solely relying on indexed data, which can be wrong due to errors created by the person interpreting the hand writing from an original document, or another index. Other issues arise when a primary document is found, but the data doesn’t match what was thought to be true and contradicts other primary sources. This can be caused by an ancestor on purpose or by mistake. So how do we evaluate and use the intelligence that is found?

Genealogists use Proof Standards

Building a reliable tree requires family search obtaining, analyzing, and evaluating sources. Proof standards are used to rate the reliability of the document its self, the details of the information in the document, as well as who recorded, signed or verified the data. This helps genealogists to build a credible tree by establishing relationships, life events, and other genealogical details with evidence. Depending on whose standards you use, there are different steps and processes. But all are meant to achieve the same goal, recording a family history that is close to the truth as possible.

Outlined below is the proof standard. You might not be inclined to go through all these steps, because it is too complicated, or don’t have the time, or don’t want to spend that much effort on creating a reliable history. The rules and standards can be overwhelming and not practical for the mainstream genealogist. But to have a tree that is as accurate as can be, some genealogy search guidelines should be followed.
  1. Conduct a reasonably exhaustive family search.
  2. Add complete and accurate source citations.
  3. Analyze the information for the facts that it confirms, or contradicts.
  4. Resolve any conflicting evidence.
  5. Have a sound coherently written conclusion for your ancestor.

Our Progress Rating Charts Helps to Visualize your Research Progression

Bridging the gap between the proof standards and helping to educate the genealogy hobbyist, we have created an easy to use Progress Rating Guide, customizable for your needs. It takes into consideration important life events, building relationships, and source reliability, quality and information. It gives the genealogist a sense of ‘the big picture’ of where they are and what they should work on next within their tree.

The Progress Rating Guide also includes a Color Coded Chart which is grouped into six different color codes, indicating the completeness of a tree which helps guide you visually to understand where you need to do more family search. Our tools help users to build a reliable heritage that can be shared with present relatives and future generations.

progress rating chart for 5 generations at a glance