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Archiver > TMG > 2000-01 > 0947888531

From: "Mills" <>
Subject: Re: TMG-L: Citations and Sureties in Shared Datasets (methodology?)
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 16:22:11 -0600

John Maybee notes:
>Lee Hoffman/KY wrote:
> > Yes, but in genealogical circles, the "preponderand of evidence" has
> > thrown out.

and John observes:
> Lee, I hope you just left out a <g> in the above sentence.
> Preponderance of evidence is the only way to determine
> many details. e.g. - There is no primary record that John
> Doe (b circa 1700) is the son of James Doe. <snip>
>Does this evidence "prove" that John was James son?
>I believe it does, even without primary evidence.

John --

What you are referring to is building a case, based on indirect evidence
from primary informants and original sources. No, that has not been "thrown
out." As I attempted to explain in my posting of a moment ago, in response
to John Ketcham, only the *term* preponderance of evidence has been
abandoned, because this *term* has a long-standing legal meaning that
conflicts with its genealogical application. The *term* has been replaced by
the *term* Genealogical Proof Standard, but the elements which made up a
sound p-o-e argument are the same elements that define GPS.

Do you have access to the special Evidence issue of NGSQ that came out in
September, that explained all this (no, it's not a rehash of the book
Evidence! at all <g>) and presented four case studies to demonstrate the
four ways in which genealogists use evidence to build cases? (i.e.:
- the use of complex direct evidence to prove identity;
- the resolution of conflicting direct evidence;
- the use of indirect evidence to correct erroneous direct evidence; and
- the assemblage of indirect evidence to prove a case that is not addressed
in any type of direct evidence [your situation].

If you are not an NGS member and did not receive the issue, copies are
available from NGS, which printed a special run of the issue to supply
continued demand. Check the NGS website.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
Editor, National Genealogical Society Quarterly

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