Sunday, December 29, 2013

Thoughts on Discussions - about "PROOF" and such

Following much discussion (with a few approaching arguments) about the use of the term "proof" in genealogy circlesMr. Myrt and I spent a good 45 minutes talking about it ourselves before getting up this morning. (Yup, that's early morning pillow talk for two avid genealogists!)  TMI?

Discussion accomplishes several worthy goals:

1. Internalizing principles taught by Dr. Jones in Mastering Genealogical Proof and other industry leaders such as Elizabeth Shown Mills in the first two chapters of Evidence Explained.

2. Comparing and contrasting said principles with one's current research practices.

3. Comparing one's practices with innovative patterns developed by local genealogy friends.

4. Extending the discussion beyond the confines of one's immediate circle of fellow researchers, diligently seeking alternative thought.

5. Acknowledging changes brought forth by new found record groups and emerging technologies.

6. Careful to eschew 21st century definitions of legal terms, understanding colloquialisms from each ancestor's residence and time period.

7. Resolving to espouse best research practices.

Wouldn't you say this becomes a cycle of learning until we get old and set in our ways?

Additional worthwhile items on the web:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

G+ DearMYRTLE Community
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont


  1. Myrt, since you so generously recommended several of my publications that discuss proof, may I add the more-recent thoughts published at EE's website? (
    - QuickLesson 8: What Constitutes Proof? (October 2012)
    - QuickLesson 16: Speculation, Hypothesis, Interpretation & Proof (October 2013)

    1. Thank-you, Elizabeth. When perusing your website, I just gave up and recommended everything, but you are right to spotlight these two QuickLessons. I am happy to point my DearREADERS to them.

  2. There is an awesome reference list for my Evernote file.

    My struggle is not with the term "Proof", but is with the "paper trail" proof and a DNA proof, if DNA can be considered in that conversation.

    Thank you for this resource list.


    1. My challenge is to REMEMBER to use Evernote, now that I am committed, perhaps I need a big sticky note on the top of my monitor?

    2. No Myrt, you just need to make sure Evernote has loaded to your browser toolbar. That way, when you see something interesting on the net, the little Elephant emblem will help you remember to use it!

  3. Good Morning from North Carolina! I am glad that you had an early morning discussion yesterday with Mr. Myrt.

    Excellent information. I know when I research, I have made a point to not use the word "proof." Given that I have some paralegal training, "evidence" sticks in my head and after reading "Evidence Explained," I now drive my family nuts! Where is the "evidence"??? Show me the "evidence"!! This can get me in trouble too when I am knocking down family tales, which I'm sure you have experienced! :-)

    Happy Digging!

  4. Pat, what a great list! I plan to keep it as a study guide.

    And how fortunate you and your spouse are to have a shared calling!