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 contained on this website to be as accurate as possible and I have put literally thousands of hours of work into trying to make it so. If you notice any errors or omissions please contact me and provide what you believe to be the correct information (with source references) and I will research it further, with a view to putting things right.

 

I have used primary sources wherever possible to ensure accuracy but mistakes will occasionally and inevitably creep in. My principal sources are original documents which provide the best possible evidence. Although these sources are increasingly found online, there is nothing like going to the Records Office and examining these old documents in person. This is especially true for me as I am usually the youngest person in the room by a good thirty years!

 

You will be pleased to know that I don’t just pick names at random from websites and make up trees, as many other people tend to do. If the evidence is not there, the link is not there.

I told you it was boring!

It should be noted that it is sometimes difficult to absolutely prove some of the earlier relationships (pre-1800) and that where they appear they may well be a “balance of probabilities” fit. For example, I look at the witnesses on marriages (which are often siblings), event locations, signatures on documents, ages, relationships, wills,  naming conventions and so on. On these occasions, I look at all of the surrounding evidence in order to represent a very best fit, based on all of the available evidence. It is often difficult, that far back in time, to prove relationships beyond all reasonable doubt especially when every male is called William or John and every woman is called Mary or Elizabeth, but the available evidence will usually point towards the best possible interpretation of that evidence. If the evidence is not available I won’t just guess at the relationships, and in these cases will not show a link. This does not mean that my interpretation is the only one, and I particularly welcome contact from anyone who disagrees with me, so we can thrash the problem out together.

 

The credibility of statements made about the identities and relationships among ancestors is important in giving authenticity to the story of our family history. This credibility standard is known as the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). It is used to assess the reliability of genealogical statements that other people make.  Meeting the GPS consists of a five-step process:-

 

  1. Conduct a reasonably exhaustive search in reliable sources for all information that is or may be pertinent to the identity, relationship, event, or situation in question;

  2. Collect and include in our compilation a complete, accurate citation to the source or sources of each item of information we use;

  3. Analyze and correlate the collected information to assess its quality as evidence;

  4. Resolve any conflicts caused by items of evidence that contradict each other or are contrary to a proposed solution to the question;

  5. Arrive a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.

 

It is important to keep these tenets in mind when conducting genealogical research. Consequently, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that the information collected is properly recorded and the sources of information cited. It is only through these careful efforts that we can build an authentic family tree and credible website.

 

On this website are various reports into branches of the family and within those reports, it is important to note that where a birth date is given, and it is prefixed ‘Bef.’ then the date shown is a baptism date, as opposed to a birth date. This is an important distinction to make. Similarly, where a full death date is shown as ‘Bef.’ then that date will be a burial date.

 

I have removed details of living people on all documents and pages on this site. Please be assured that any information that you provide to me containing living people will not be published anywhere or forwarded on to anyone else. 

 

Finally, I would add that although I have researched, compiled and verified this information many other people have contributed to my genealogy project by supplying information on “their” branches of the tree, especially post-1911. I, therefore, take this opportunity to thank all the other researchers for taking the time and trouble to supply me with details of their research and their immediate family. I appreciate all the assistance that I have received from others and certainly do not want to take any credit for their efforts. 

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