• Genealogy Standards: You Need to Know Now

    caution tapeYou have found some intriguing information on an ancestor that has you very excited.

    It is a significant event

    Gives dates and places

    May even promise to break through a brick wall


    What it does not have is a proper source citation. Do you believe it or not?

    I share the following story with you to demonstrate why learning to use and strictly follow the Genealogy Standards and Guidelines may be the most important lesson you learn.

    Here is why Genealogybeginner.com’s Lesson 1 – The Big Five Genealogy standards and guidelines is so important!

    Genealogy Believe it or Not

    While working on collecting documented evidence to use in a biography for an ancestor. I ran across a web page that claimed to place my ancestor in North America 15 years earlier than previously thought. It also connected him with a notable historic person.

    There are two reasons why this information is both extremely exciting and misleadingly dangerous.

    Family Tree Excitement

    • The source had the BDM information correct
    • Another tie to this notable person and my ancestor has been well documented in government sources.

    Ancestors in Danger

    These two facts make the information I found plausible. However, I have not run across this particular event in any known primary or secondary source.

    So, although excited to find this reference, the first thing I did was look for a source citation for the event. Sadly there was none listed, in fact there were no source citations listed for anything. Far too often this is the case and far too often misleading information is assumed to be fact by trusting, inexperienced ancestor hunters.

    A Caution for the Genealogy Beginner

    1. Indexes, databases and published family trees

    Indexes, databases and published genealogical works are wonderful research helps when used correctly. They are not EVER to be considered sources under any circumstances. Indexed information, although associated with a primary source record, is not the record itself.

    2. If you can not document the source it is simply genealogy fiction

    When recording your information provide a complete and full citation of your sources. Without this information all the work you have done is simply fiction.

    Everything you need to know about genealogy standards and guidelines is available to you right here at genealogybeginner.com.

    Subscribe today for your need to know lesson on Genealogy Standards & Guidelines

    Image credit: haleyb412 via Photobucket

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