Re: Genealogical Proof Standard

Jan Murphy

Hello Terry --

A couple of points.  A) You may already be aware that the Strathclyde course (and Family Historian itself) uses the term "primary" and "secondary" in a way that differs from the usage in the USA where people are following the model of Elizabeth Shown Mills and her book Evidence Explained. For your reference, here are a few links that might be of interest.  (I took the Future Learn course when it was first offered and Mills' work was mentioned in passing with little discussion.) 

This shows Mills' method of evidence analysis, where "primary" and "secondary" refer to the information inside the sources. Sources themselves are treated as containers separate from the information and are described as "original" vs. "derivative" (e.g. indexes are derivative) or authored. 

If you are curious about the development of Mills' model, she makes an article available via her website Historic Pathways. 

Working with Historical Evidence from NGSQ's special issue talks about why the earlier model of "primary" and "secondary" sources is not sufficient for genealogy. You can also download the earlier version of the Process Map.

Until you are comfortable working through the evidence analysis, you may want some guides. Some people like Evidentia software, which will generate a report about what you've done already. I have not tried incorporating my Evidentia reports into Family Historian.  Take a look at the Training and Support on the navigation bar to see a step-by-step guide, which will give you a quick overview of how the program works.  Currently the reports can be generated in PDF or HTML format. I haven't yet tried incorporating reports from Evidentia into Family Historian, but I suppose one could copy and paste into a Note. We'll have to see wait for the new version of FH to see what's improved there. 

Other useful links about the GPS:
Genealogy Explained's Genealogical Proof Standard flowchart

Board for Certification of Genealogists website.  See the Ten Minute Methodology section for examples of proof statements and proof summaries. I also recommend looking at the work samples, the articles from OnBoard, and other materials in the Skillbuilding area. 

Jan Murphy

Join to automatically receive all group messages.