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Crunch time around here

So it’s crunch time for The Legal Genealogist.

Just about four and a half years ago, something amazing happened.

I was credentialed by the Board for Certification of Genealogists — my first credential, received in February 2012, was that of Certified Genealogist®.

GPS A to BIt was a powerful moment for me as a genealogist, a validation through peer-review of my understanding of the best practices of our field. And I wrote about it at the time: “Certified, yes; certifiable… well…”.

And — sigh — certification is good for five years.

You did read that part about the “four and a half years ago,” right?

So guess what I’m doing…

Recertification requires the submission of a handful of work samples, one of which must meet those best practices of our field, embodied in what our field calls the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). The GPS, as you all know, has five constituent elements:

• Reasonably exhaustive research;

• Complete and accurate source citation;

• Analysis and correlation of the sources, data, information and evidence;

• Resolution of conflicts in the evidence; and — here comes the big one I have got to finish —

• Writing up the sound conclusion reached as the result of the other four elements.

It’s still a way to get from point A to point B, the way the GPS works in navigation — but it’s not quite the same thing, is it?

This week, then, I’m going to be focusing on finally ensuring that I can meet the GPS on one previously-neglected part of my own family research: a question of identity for a specific ancestor.

I’ve done bits and pieces of the research over time, but now it’s time to make sure that there aren’t any missing bits and pieces, that the source citation information is complete and accurate, that I haven’t overlooked the significance of any of those bits and pieces, that the conflicts have a resolution that can be defended, and — sigh — that it gets written down in a readable way instead of in hundreds, even thousands, of little notes to myself in one place or another.

Look for me at the Family History Library, engrossed in deed books and tax lists and court records, in marriage books and, yes, divorce records, in pension files and county histories.

And wish me luck, will ya?

It’s crunch time…

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