"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 22 June 2000

Genealogical Standards

Recently, one of my readers asked: What are good standards for collecting information, evaluating evidence and compiling my genealogical results?

The answer to that question is found in a new book entitled, “The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual,” which addresses these concerns and I would strongly recommend it as a “must have” for any genealogist, historian or library. In this book, written by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) is a “uniform standards of competence and ethics” for genealogists.

It does not matter if you are a beginning or experienced genealogist, or somewhere in between, you will find this book to be a concise and a uniform standard for documenting and recording your genealogical information.

This well-written book is arranged in several easy-to-read sections. It begins with an Introduction – When Standards Apply. The first chapter addresses “Research Standards.” The first task it undertakes to explain is the five-step process for Meeting the Genealogical Proof Standard. The chapter next address the 56-steps in Data-Collection Standards, Evidence-Evaluation Standards, and Compilation Standards. By adhering to the standards outlined in this chapter, genealogists’ will increased the reliability of their research. Additionally, these are important standards to consider when hiring a professional researcher.

The most important information this chapter provides are standards for various forms of documentation and for analyzing evidence along with examples for each kind of document, including information taken from the Internet. This last feature is important because many first-time or hobby genealogists accept information found on the Internet or on CD-ROMs as fact. These standards remind you that the information from these sources is not always reliable should only serve to provide to hints/directions for your research.

Teaching Standards in genealogy are considered in the next chapter beginning with Standards for Lecturers, Standards for Instructors, and Standards for Writers. These are important standards and should be to be considered with hiring speakers for your genealogy and historical society meetings and seminars. Next, the book undertakes to explain Genealogical Development Standards that includes Continuing-Education Standards. This chapter recommends ways to continue developing your skills as a genealogist and/or historical researcher.

Lastly, the seven Appendixes provided numerous examples and formats for: genealogy reports (letter, formal and memorandum formats); proof summaries; compiled lineages; compiled pedigrees; and, compiled genealogies.

This 125-page book provides sound standards for genealogists and in my opinion is a book every genealogist and library should be required to own. Copies of this book area available for $19.99 from Ancestry.com, Inc. at their website http://www.ancestry.com or by calling 1-800-ANCESTRY.

Two Genealogy Newspapers

“The Family Tree” newspaper is published bi-monthly (6 times a year) by The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library in Moultrie, GA. The Odom Library is the repository for 112 Scottish Clans, family organizations and groups. The library serves as a central source of information and a place of study for those concerned with their Scottish heritage as well as those of other ethnicities. The newspaper has a circulation of 76,000 and usually contains 28 pages of genealogical information. To subscribe write: The Odom Library, P. O. Box 2828, Moultrie, GA 31776-2828. There is no subscription fee although the library asks for a $6.00 postage donation.

“Louisiana Roots” newspaper is published bi-month (6 times a year) for genealogy and history lovers with ties to the State of Louisiana. To receive your complementary subscription write: Louisiana Roots, Subscription Dept., P. O. Box 383, Marksville, LA 71351. There is no subscription fee although they ask for a $6.00 postage donation.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/2670/ COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 19 Jun 2000 and was last revised on ________ 2000

Copyright © 1999, 2000 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604