Thursday, 24 April 2014

Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group 2 Chapter 6 Homework

Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013), 6. 

[Book available from the publisher at 

Chapter 6: 

Genealogical Proof Standard Element 4: Resolving Conflicts and Assembling Evidence

  1. We have conflicting evidence when 2 or more items providing evidence are not in agreement.
  2. If we wish to proof our hypothesis then all the evidence to support this must be in agreement or we must explain why we think there is disagreement or we think that the evidence supports one conclusion compared to another.
The other questions deal with discussing the analysis of the evidence and the types of evidence that are in conflict. In another post I have discussed conflicting direct evidence the conclusion of which looks at the reliability of the evidence and the time frame for when the information was recorded.
Please see my post on dealing with conflicting information  

In evaluating any conflicts it is important that all factors are taken into consideration, even eyewitness accounts can be false, if the person reporting the information has a reason to hide the truth. Being unable to determine where the information originated can make that information appear as hearsay, which is why it is important to cite sources accurately, and to discuss and review any factors which may have a bearing on the validity of the information.
Analysis & correlation are essential ingredients when deciding whether there are any serious conflicts which require explanation as we assemble the evidence needed to write our conclusions. A clear understanding of why, what, when, who by and for what purpose a record was created comes with experience and if necessary additional reading around the subject area. Beginners cannot expect to fully understand all the records they may need to use, and this may mean that to truly reach a conclusion may in some cases take years.

This next Sunday 27th April 2014 we shall be discussing The Written Conclusion which should help pull together why we need all 5 parts of the Genealogical Proof Standard and why all parts are interdependent.

1 comment:

Russ Worthington said...


This next chapter is the one that scares me.

Your comments on this chapter are great. I know that when I find everything in agreement, I actually try to find a claim that might present the conflict. I question IF I have followed step one, that is reasonable exhaustive research. Have I found all of the records to prove or disprove my hypothesis or conclusion.

Thank you,