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HGF Monthly Meeting – Genealogy Research Methods – Allen Peterson, CG
March 2 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Applying the Genealogical Proof Standard to Genealogical Research
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
(Munchies and mingling start at 9:00 am)
Bayland Community Center
6400 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77074
Genealogists construct lineages using records that were rarely created or intended for genealogical purposes. Ideally, these records provide indisputable evidence for names of parents, dates, spouse’s names, and children. But how is research successfully conducted when indisputable evidence is not forthcoming. How much trust can be placed in genealogical records? When is a connection in a pedigree considered proved? When information seems to imply an answer, is this enough? How do genealogists deal with issues such as conflicting information, absence of records, multiple people with the same name, two names for a mother, a disappearing ancestor, name changes, the wrong parents named on a death certificate, or illegitimacy? These problems need resolution before connections in a pedigree is considered proved. These situations require a proof standard.
The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) was developed to help genealogists build a solid genealogical case for research conclusions. The GPS is applied when indirect or negative evidence implies a conclusion. It also supports findings based solely on direct evidence. The GPS provides a method to measure the soundness of research.
This presentation will teach the basics of evidence analysis and how to apply the GPS to researching complex genealogical problems. The importance of developing focused research questions will be discussed. Several case studies will be presented that demonstrate how to use the GPS in genealogical research to find answers to complex relationship, identity, and event questions.
Allen Peterson, CG is a Trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) and was vice-president of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History from 2016 through 2018. He directed the Katy, Texas Family History Center (annex of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City) for the past seventeen years (1999-2016). He is accredited with ICAPGen, member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Houston Genealogical Forum (HGF), the Society of Genealogists in London (SoG), the Derbyshire Family History Society, the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society, and the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH).
His research has principally focused on England. He has also extensively researched records for Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Utah.
In January, 2019, The National Genealogical Society (NGS) named Allen Peterson as one of the co-editors of their premier publication, National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ). He has published articles in the NGSQ as well as peer reviewed numerous articles during the past ten years. His articles have also appeared in the NGS magazine, the Jackson County (North Carolina) Genealogical Society’s Journey’s Through Jackson and the Derbyshire Family History Society. He has also authored and published two family history books.
Allen holds BS and MS degrees from Brigham Young University in geology and retired after working forty-two years in the oil and gas industry from Apache Corporation as a petroleum geologist in 2017.