Ireland’s Family History Specialists

Genealogical Proof Standard

The Genealogical Proof Standard is a guideline for establishing the reliability of genealogical research with reasonable certainty. We are dealing with often incomplete and contradictory records. So, it is important not to ‘jump to conclusions’. We are all excited if we believe to have found that 18th Century ancestor. But you cannot be certain that this is indeed a member of your family, until you have tested the piece of information rigorously. Even then it may still not be 100% accurate, but it is as close to accurate as we can get to given the information and sources available to us.

As outlined in “Genealogy Standards” by the Board for Certification of Genealogists, the Genealogical Proof Standard consists of five elements:

  1. A reasonably exhaustive search for all pertinent information
  2. A complete and accurate citation to the source of each item used
  3. Analysis of the collected information’s quality as evidence
  4. Resolution of any conflicting or contradictory evidence
  5. Arrive at a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion

A genealogical conclusion that meets these standards can be considered proved. and the Genealogical Proof Standard

We at will always adhere to the Genealogical Proof Standard. Therefore, if we find information on people who might be your ancestors, but do not meet the standard, we will tell you so. This means you will have to treat this information with caution, you cannot assume that they are your ancestors. This might sometimes be disappointing, but we believe it is more important to get the facts right.

Tree Verification using the Genealogical Proof Standard

Unfortunately, quite a few family trees have people in them who on closer inspection are not members of the family at all. We are therefore quite happy to ‘fact-check’ your family tree using the Genealogical Proof Standard. We will report back to you those members of the tree that require additional verification.

If you are not sure your tree meets the Genealogical Proof Standard, Contact Us now!


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