Genealogical Proof Standard–Chapter 3 Homework

January 18, 2017



Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case 4th Edition Revised, (San Jose, California: CR Publications) 2014.

Chapter 3 of this book, Evaluating the Records, is something we need to do, for everything we might consider putting into our genealogy database. I do this several times, during the process of my data entry.

  1. Looking at the description of the item in question. For example: the description of an online database. Who created the record group, what was it’s purpose, what am I looking at
  2. When crafting a Citation (I do this up front) I need to determine what I need for the Citation, but that also makes me think and evaluate why I want to use this record
  3. Evaluate this “new” record as it is entered in relationship with other records for a specific Event or Fact
  4. Does it make sense in context with the other information or does it present conflicting information

The best example I can think about is a profile I have in an Online Tree.


It looks straight forward, the information is cited appropriately. But, this view is only showing my “current thinking” or some might call it my conclusions. But, if I were to look at the Alternate Facts (ALT Facts), I have a different view.


As each of these entries were entered and cited, they were evaluated, made sense as stand alone entries and entered, but when I put the Census Records in context of the other records, there is conflicting information.

Although my current thinking, is that this person was born in Indiana, but I need to resolve the conflicting information. The “current thinking” is that this person was born 11 Mar 1824 in Indiana, based on an email from the family researcher and a Find-A-Grave entry. There were 7 other records that indicated this person was born about 1825, 1828 in Ohio or 1829, in Indiana.

There is conflicting information, as far as I am concerned. a year or two difference in the same place from Census Records, may be OK, but in this case, after evaluating the Birth Fact, I am not so sure.

Further evaluation of the data at hand, I find that the Contributor for the Find-A-Grave Memorial is the author of the Email that I had received for this profile.

Bottom line on this one, I am not sure that my “current thinking” is correct. I am not disagreeing with the family researchers, but I know that I must find a more reliable record, original if possible, to resolve this conflicting information. I have not completed my Reasonably Exhaustive Research.


We’re Related APP–Another View

January 16, 2017

I have seen a Chart going around, called Ancestor Tracking. I did a blog post a while ago about this from on Master Genealogy Database:

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – What’s Your Ancestral Name Number?

Here is what the Chart looked like in 2012


About 25% of the first 10 generations.

I decided to see what my We’re Related Database looks like, all from the APP.


I am now almost at 30%. This along means that I may be able to added these additional people to the database.

But, in reality, I actually have pushed back to more generations in my research.


Of course, the percentage doesn’t look very good, but it would be adding about 100 direct line Ancestors.

There is a note at the bottom of the chart that says “Unknown Names not counted”. I have those profiles in my database, may know a little about them, just don’t know their name. Mostly spouses of a person whose name I do know.

I am working a cleaning up my APP database before I take the APP data in enter it into my Master database. I was going to merge the APP Data into my Master database, but I think I am just going to hand enter the data, the same way I did in the APP Database. That forces me to really look at the data.

I have developed some tools within my database that I want to implement into my Master database based on this exercise.

We’re Related APP –16 Jan 2017 Update

January 16, 2017

Sorry, have been quiet recently, but still working on the We’re Related project. I think I may have had a break through on someone of interest in my database, but could not figure out where he fit in. But that’s for another Blog Post. My notes and earlier findings, along with the APP has given me some information to research.

I have 107 APP Cousins in my database and I have done some analysis that I want to share so far. Looking at the Common Ancestors from the APP, I have 30 of them in my existing database. Because I was tracking which of my Grandparents the Common Ancestor was part of “that line”, it didn’t surprise me which Line I have done the most research on, what were involved with the APP cousins.

Of the 30 Common Ancestors that are in my existing database 9 of them have issues. As it turns out, all 9 were through my most researched line. Here is what the issues are:


No Direct Relationship


Half Cousins


Spouse of the APP Cousin


Other issues

This comes after the data is in my database and the evaluation of the relations is review with the program I use. The 5 issue that I have identified are problems with a relationship around the Common Ancestor. For example: A second spouse, where I come down from one spouse and the APP Cousin was from the 2nd spouse.

I have been able to identify that the APP cousin was really the spouse of the APP Cousin.

The 4 with “other issues” are ones where I need to revisit the data entry and and APP data.

In addition to the 30, I have 15 more, where I am one generation short of the Common Ancestor in my existing database. 2 more Half Cousins appear and the Spouse of another Half Cousin. 2 need a little more research.

People in Database


Record Hints


Photo Hints


Story Hints


Based on my experience with the Hints, it would appear that the data isn’t too bad. From what I have experienced with hints, the Relationships, Dates, and Places increase the number of hints. The ones that I have followed or just looked at, they appear to be good hints to follow.

Of the 45 profiles mentioned above, 30 of them are Facebook Friends. 5 of my non-Facebook Friends are among the group where the Common Ancestor is already in my database and I haven’t found any issues with yet.

Clearly having Colonial New England and Maryland ancestors have helped these numbers.

5th Cousin 1x Removed to 9th Cousin 1x Removed are in the list of 45 people.

We’re Related APP–So where are we ?

January 3, 2017

I am caught up, at least until yesterday, with my data entry and analysis. For what ever that is worth.

APP Cousins


Famous folk


Facebook Friends


In Existing Database


Famous folk Common Ancestor


Facebook Friends Common Ancestor


Not in Database


Famous folk Common Ancestor


Facebook Friends Common Ancestor


One Generation Short


Famous folk Common Ancestor


Facebook Friends Common Ancestor


The One Generation Short means that I have the descendant of the Common Ancestor in my existing database. My next step is to fill that gap for my existing database.

I guess I was pleasantly surprised at the number of Common Ancestors that I already had in my database, or was only a generation short. It sort of is confirmation, to me, that my database is close. BUT, the Source of “my line” in the APP, is my own data. I can tell that by the number of times certain of my direct line ancestors appear in the APP.

When I go back to researching my own ancestors, I will focus on the results of the APP.

The Bad News is that I have one APP Cousin, where the APP has a several hundred year gap. I have 1 APP Cousin where I am a 1/2 Cousin, due to a 2nd marriage. I have 2 APP Cousin’s where I am related to the Spouse, and 3 APP Cousins that I have disproven.

I have been tracking, based on my Grandparents, where the APP Cousins fit in. ALL 4 Grandparents are represented, not necessarily equally, but are represented.

Two of my grandparents were from Colonial Pennsylvania and that was about 40 of the Common Ancestors. Colonial New England Ancestors are 24, and the other 26 were Colonial Maryland.

My APP Database has 1,738 people in it, and I just checked the Hints in the Ancestry Member Tree and there are 8,117 Record Hints, 1,950 Photos, and 206 Stories. So there is plenty or records to prove or disprove this database. I do not plan on use that database, but to return to my existing database, using the experience of this project to firm up my own research.

Looking at the Hints, there are many, many records that I have not seen before, with some records allowing me to get “across the pond” more frequently, because I am seeing those U.K. records in the hints.

I continue to think that the We’re Related APP is a Tool to help me expand my research. Actually, perhaps that is to Focus my research.

Bottom line here, I think this 2 month project has been worthwhile, for me at least, but attempting to evaluate this APP as a research tool. Can’t wait to get back to my own research.

Genealogy Proof Standard–2017 Study Group Chapter 1

January 3, 2017

Getting ready for the 2017 Study Group on the book Genealogical Proof Standard, Building a Solid Case by Christine Rose, I discovered that I may have talked about Chapter 1 in an earlier blog post.

We’re Related–Clean Tree Report

I say that, because I am not sure that a Clean Tree reflects that I am working toward the steps that are discussed in this chapter. Yes, it is clean to a viewer, who might not know about the GPS or understand what they are looking at. On a mobile device or in the Ancestry Member Tree APP, but it does not reflect GPS. I have come to call the Clean Tree a Conclusion Based Tree. I was introduced to that term a couple of years ago. Didn’t like it then, don’t like it now.

HOWEVER, in doing some study of the features in an Ancestry Member Tree, keeping the GPS in mind, specifically in Chapter 1, the “Messy Tree” with the available features on the online tree, does both.

I see the Conclusion Tree (No ALT Facts), but can turn the ALT Facts ONE to see “how I got to the conclusion”.

The trick now, is how do I convey some of my research to a Guest on that tree. In most cases, IF you look at the details or Alternate Facts, you see pieces of the Fact, like Abt Year as one Fact, State for the same fact but a different citation, and the Preferred (Clean View) with the complete date and location.

Using the features that I described in that blog post, I think the Messy Tree does reflect the GPS as described in this Chapter. I would not call my Ancestry Member Tree a Conclusion Tree, but my “Current Thinking Tree”. Afterall, there are new records coming online every day.

I did a Video about this topic, if you are interested:

Back2Basics – Clean vs Messy Online Tree

We’re Relater–Update

December 30, 2016

Lots of work going on. But thought that I would stop for a moment and give an update. The numbers below are from a hand count, so they may be off a little.

Direct Line Ancestors


In Existing Database


Not in Existing Database


Common Ancestors


In Existing Database


Not in Existing Database


Common Ancestors Famous People in Existing


Common Ancestors Facebook Friends


I thought it that it was interesting as to how many of the Common Ancestors were in my existing database. Now, this has to be taken with a grain of salt, as to My Line, in the APP is probably my own data. But at the same time, there are possibly 205 new direct line ancestors to  research for.

Of the 91 APP Cousins, 45 of them are Facebook Friends. All four of my Grandparents have been represented. Colonial New England, Colonial Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey in my existing database is what is capturing these APP cousins.

None of this is proven, not sure that it will be proven in this file, but is certainly opening up some resources that have not been available in the past. It trying to validate the APP Data, I am seeing lots of new and great databases that I have not seen before. Also, some Family History Books are bringing hints to the database.

Of the 1,662 people in the database, there are 7,628 Record hints, 1,866 Photo Hints, and 197 Story Hints on

Lesson Learned: So Many Hints, So Little Time.

We’re Related–Clean Tree Report

December 26, 2016

While working on this We’re Related project, a member of my Facebook Group want’s to see an Online Tree without the use of Alternate Facts (ALT Facts). I have been using the term “Clean Tree” or a “Conclusion Based Tree.”

When you look at this Online Tree, all you see are Facts or Events, with all of the documentation attached to that fact. The reader of this online tree can look at the supporting documentation to see how I arrived at these conclusions.

For example: My Great Grandfather


One birth Fact, One death Fact, a couple of family event, but pretty clean presentation.

Here is what his profile looks like in my Working online tree.


So, I get what my Facebook cousin was talking about. This one is messy. Each Fact reflects the information that I received from the source document.

The Clean Tree, you can still see what information came from what source.


This Clean Tree is only my Direct Line to see what a “Clean Tree” might look like. This tree is really of no value, except to explore what a Clean Tree, not a messy one, might look like.

I don’t want to spend any more time on a Clean Tree, but will share my observations of this file and tree.

This database was started with 76 We’re Related APP Cousins.

What I found was my ability to prove or disprove the We’re Related lineages.

I first worked off of the Data Error Report, which my program has to tell me that there is a problem with the data. of the 20 Errors, I was not able to Prove or Disprove 9 of the errors, due to the lack of hints to records to help resolve the data problem. 6 of the Errors were DATA ENTRY issues. To me, that was a key to some of the problems in this file. 2 of the 20, I was able to identify a man who married twice, and a female where I found 2 people with the same name, same place, similar dates.

With all of the Data Errors identified and/or resolved, I wanted to see IF there were hints for me to find Records to prove or disprove the accuracy of the APP data.

Of the 76

50 People, I can not prove. Not hints to follow up on, to find a record that indicate that the app was right.

25 People, where I have hints to work off of, to prove of disprove the data from the APP.

1 person, I was able to prove that the APP was correct.

Please understand, that the Clean Tree was not after the correctness of the data, but only the view of the Online Tree.

I want to put this piece of the project aside and get back to real research. But, thought if might be of interest to provide a summary of my findings while working on a Clean Tree. (no ALT Facts, but ALL Facts documented).

This tree is Private, not searchable, but if you are interested AND are an We’re Related APP Cousin, please let me know.

The Screen Captures above, give an indication as to what a Clean and a Messy Tree might look like. Oh, and I do understand why my cousin wants to see a Clean Tree. I get that.

Lesson Leaned: Check your own DATA ENTRY, as you go, and often

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