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Methodology

I am the first to admit that this section is pretty dull, so please feel free to skip over it!

 

I want the information on this website to be as accurate as possible, and I have put literally thousands of hours of work into making it so. If you notice any errors or omissions, please contact me and provide what you believe to be the correct information, why you believe that you are correct, and ideally with source references. I can then research it further to ensure that I have the correct information. 

 

In my research, I prioritise primary sources to guarantee the reliability of the data. My main resources are original documents, which offer the most robust evidence. While many of these sources are now accessible online, nothing compares to the experience of visiting a Records Office and examining these ancient documents firsthand. Often, I find myself as the youngest person there by at least thirty years!

 

Rest assured, I do not simply choose names randomly from websites to construct family trees, as is often the practice.  You would not believe the number of people who simply assume that just because a person has the same name, it must be their person. If there is no supporting evidence to establish a connection, I will not show a connection. 

I told you it was boring!

The Genealogical Proof Standard 

The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) is a framework used by family historians and genealogists to establish the reliability of their findings. It serves as a guideline for assembling a credible and well-substantiated family tree. Understanding and adhering to the Genealogical Proof Standard can significantly enhance the accuracy and integrity of your genealogical research. Here’s what it involves:

  1. Conduct a Reasonable, Exhaustive Search: Researchers should explore a wide range of high-quality sources to gather as much relevant information as possible. This includes primary sources, such as birth, marriage, and death records, and secondary sources and informed contributions from other researchers. The aim is to leave no stone unturned in the quest for evidence.

  2. Cite All Sources Thoroughly: All information used to establish a genealogical claim must be accompanied by a clear and precise citation. This allows other researchers to verify the findings and lets you recheck your work if needed.

  3. Analyse and Correlate the Collected Information: This involves critically evaluating the reliability of the information obtained. The researcher must consider each source’s context, the information’s relevance, and how it integrates with other data. Conflicts between sources should be resolved through further research and analysis.

  4. Resolve Conflicting Evidence: If discrepancies arise among the collected data, the researcher must address these conflicts before making a conclusion. This might require prioritising one piece of evidence over another based on its reliability, or it may involve seeking additional sources to corroborate one of the conflicting pieces of information.

  5. Arrive at a Soundly Reasoned, Coherently Written Conclusion: The conclusion must be well-reasoned and clearly documented after thorough research and evaluation. It should also be logical, reflecting all the evidence and reasoning used in the process.

 

The Genealogical Proof Standard is a method and a commitment to conducting thorough, accurate, and ethical genealogical research. It ensures that genealogical conclusions are based on reliable evidence and sound reasoning, providing a valuable structure to guide amateur and professional researchers in uncovering family histories.

How does this work in practice?

It can be seen that researching genealogy effectively involves a blend of rigorous methodology, patience, and a keen eye for detail. Here are some foundational principles to guide good genealogical research:

  1. Start with What You Know: Begin your genealogy research from your own knowledge and family information. Collect as much data as possible from living relatives and home resources such as old photographs, letters, diaries, and legal documents.

  2. Work from the Known to the Unknown: Always move from confirmed facts to new information. Establish a firm base of what you know before expanding into unknown territories in your family history.

  3. Cite Your Sources: This is crucial for verifying the validity of your findings. Document where each piece of information comes from, whether it’s an interview, a public record, or an online database. This practice aids in rechecking facts and assists others in following or verifying your research.

  4. Use Primary Sources When Possible: Primary sources like birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates are more reliable because they were created at the time of an event with firsthand knowledge. Secondary sources can be used but should be approached with more caution.

  5. Be Objective: Approach your genealogy research without preconceptions about what you might discover. Be prepared to find and accept information that may be surprising or challenging.

  6. Evaluate Evidence Carefully: Analyse the information critically, looking for consistency and reliability. Be mindful of potential errors in original records and consider the context in which the information was recorded.

  7. Look for Corroboration: Try to confirm each piece of information with multiple independent sources whenever possible. This cross-checking helps to build a more accurate family history.

  8. Stay Organized: Keep your research and records well organized. Use software or a system that allows you to easily store, retrieve, and sort through the information you have gathered.

  9. Respect Privacy: When dealing with recent generations or living relatives, be mindful of privacy concerns and sensitive information. Obtain permissions where necessary, especially when publishing information that involves others.

  10. Continue Learning: Genealogy research techniques and resources continually evolve. Stay updated by joining genealogy societies, attending workshops, and reading the latest publications in the field.

  11. Collaborate with Others: Engage with other genealogists and family historians. Collaboration can lead to sharing of information and breakthroughs that you might not achieve on your own.

  12. Be Patient and Persistent: Genealogy research can be time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. Results might not come quickly, but persistence and a systematic approach often yield rewarding discoveries.

 

These principles form the backbone of effective and ethical genealogy research, helping enthusiasts uncover accurate family histories and preserve them for future generations.

On this website, you will find various reports on different branches of the family. It is crucial to note that if a birth date is prefixed with 'Bef.', this indicates a baptism date rather than the actual date of birth. This is an important distinction. Similarly, a death date marked as 'Bef.' refers to a burial date.

I have ensured the privacy of living individuals by omitting their details from all documents and pages on this site. Please rest assured that any information you provide that includes details of living persons will be kept strictly confidential and will neither be published nor forwarded to anyone else.

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge that while I have researched, compiled, and verified the information presented here, many others have also contributed significantly to this genealogy project, particularly with information post-1911. I am immensely grateful to all the researchers who have shared details of their branches of the tree and their immediate families. I deeply appreciate their assistance and do not wish to claim sole credit for their efforts.

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