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Workshop: Using the Genealogical Proof Standard

Workshop: Using the Genealogical Proof Standard


  • Learn to use the GPS
  • Apply the GPS to existing Geni profiles
  • Utilize the GPS to solve genealogy problems
  • Do we need to evolve Geni specific "best practices"?


  • Start a new discussion for each case, be sure to link the Geni profile
  • Ask general questions
  • Share your own successes / failures using GPS
  • Make suggestions for peer review practices


  • "The GPS guides you to a place where anyone who looks at your sources and follows your reasoning will come to the same conclusion you did as being the most probable (most likely)."

The Genealogical Proof Standard


As genealogists we strive to do quality work. How many of us on Geni follow the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS)? Probably most experienced genealogists do, but probably many novice genealogists have never heard of it.

Proof is a fundamental concept in genealogy. In order to merit confidence, each conclusion about an ancestor must have sufficient credibility to be accepted as proved. -- Board for Certification of Genealogists

Here's a brief video introduction to the Genealogical Proof Standard (24 minutes)

The elements are:

1. A thorough and reasonably exhaustive search for all relevant information regarding an individual or family

2. A comprehensive analysis of all of the available information on an individual or family as to its quality and believability or accuracy as evidence

3. A logical and truthful resolution of any conflicting or contradictory evidence discovered

4. A complete and accurately phrased citation for each source used in your research, with a footnote attaching each source to its use in your research notes or writings

5. A sound, exhaustively researched conclusion regarding your research based on all of the evidence you have discovered and analyzed

The book: Genealogy Standards (50th Anniversary Edition), compiled by Board for Certification of Genealogists (2014).


further reading