Monday, December 12, 2016

Standards For Sound Genealogical Research

For the past few months I've been researching my paternal collateral lines going back to the children of my 4th Great Grandparents, Valentine Collins and his wife Dicey. In other words the brothers and sisters of the 2 son's of Valentine Collins I descend from, David Collins and Joshua Collins.

So far it's been a very interesting 'journey'. I've been using to find copies of census records, death records, etc., and Fold3 to find military records.

The most amazing thing I've found looking through different Valentine Collins family trees, is that not a one has accurate data or information, not a one.

The most consistent misinformation is Valentine's date and place of birth. There is no documentation that shows he was born in 1768 or where he was born, and it is impossible that he was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, as Wilkes County wasn't formed until 1778.

"Wilkes county was formed in 1777 from parts of Surry County and Washington District (now Washington County, Tennessee). The act creating the county became effective on February 15, 1778"
 In 1768 that area would have been Rowen County, North Carolina.

See North Carolina County Formation Maps

If you think it couldn't get worse there are a number of family tree's that show Valentine and wife passing away in 1808, and yet having children born after that date, go figure ? Valentine Collins shows up on the 1840 Morgan County, Kentucky U.S. Census:

Plus, not to mention that many of said children aren't even children of Valentine and Dicey Collins.

With that said, below are 'Standards For Genealogical Research', I think good standards to go by.

Genealogical Standards
Standards For Sound Genealogical Research 
Recommended by the National Genealogical Society

Remembering always that they are engaged in a quest for truth, family history researchers

* record the source for each item of information they collect.

* test every hypothesis or theory against credible evidence, and reject those that are not
supported by the evidence.

* seek original records, or reproduced images of them when there is reasonable assurance
they have not been altered, as the basis for their research conclusions.

* use compilations, communications and published works, whether paper or electronic,
primarily for their value as guides to locating the original records, or as contributions to the
critical analysis of the evidence discussed in them.

* state something as a fact only when it is supported by convincing evidence, and identify the
evidence when communicating the fact to others.

* limit with words like "probable" or "possible" any statement that is based on less than
convincing evidence, and state the reasons for concluding that it is probable or possible.

* avoid misleading other researchers by either intentionally or carelessly distributing or
publishing inaccurate information.

* state carefully and honestly the results of their own research, and acknowledge all use of
other researchers’ work.

* recognize the collegial nature of genealogical research by making their work available to
others through publication, or by placing copies in appropriate libraries or repositories, and
by welcoming critical comment.

* consider with open minds new evidence or the comments of others on their work and the
conclusions they have reached.

© 1997, 2002 by National Genealogical Society. Permission is granted to copy or publish this
material provided it is reproduced in its entirety, including this notice.

I'll be posting the results of my research in the near future, stay tuned.

That's my 2 cents....

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