TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2009-01 > 1231180563
Subject: Re: [TGF] 2 kinship determination project questions
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2009 12:36:03 -0600
>I want to emphasize that it was made VERY clear to me that the KDP DOES NOT
HAVE A REQUIREMENT OF TWO GENERATIONS OF INDIRECT OR CONFLICTING EVIDENCE.
Only a requirement for two proof summaries which can be based on direct
For all who may want additional clarification, the following is the text of
a clarification BCG recently issued:
Requirement 7, Kinship-Determination Project
This insert clarifies the requirements for the Kinship-Determination Project
on pages 8-9 of the 2007 (and 2005) issues of The BCG Application Guide. As
instructed in the first bullet (or check mark) of the checklist starting on
page 8, the project must include proof summaries for at least two
parent-child relationships in different generations. When preparing your
proof summaries, please note these points:
. Whether you choose to present direct, indirect, or conflicting evidence,
each proof argument must discuss why you feel your conclusion is valid.
. Your discussion of each kinship must demonstrate use of the Genealogical
Proof Standard, as well as Standards 44-49 in the Standards Manual.
. Your discussion must be supported by full source citations.
Proof arguments are illustrated in the Standards Manual, Appendix D: Example
2, Proof Summary: Source-Cited Text Format. (Please note that Example 1 of
Appendix D: Cover- Sheet List Format does not apply to narrative
discussions.) Other examples of kinship proof arguments can be found at
Please see the Application Guide for a full description of the other
criteria for the Kinship-Determination Project.
A Christy points out, you do not have to have two generations of indirect or
conflicting evidence. The first bullet above addresses that point.
The key issues here are three:
1. Finding a document that directly states John is the son of James is no
basis for a "proof argument." Even direct evidence can be wrong. Your
research on the point must be of sufficient breadth---it must uncover
sufficient evidence from a variety of sources---to justify a "discussion"
(aka "argument") as to why you feel your conclusion is valid.
2. In choosing the two kinship links to argue, you will, of course, want to
choose issues that best demonstrate your ability to analyze the evidence.
3. If you look for an example in the Standards Manual, you should follow
Example 2 of Appendix D, not the "cover sheet" style of "proof summary"
shown in D's Example 1. (This was the chief reason for issuing the
clarification. Some applicants viewed Example 1 as an easier route, without
heeding what the Standards Manual had to say about how this example was to
be used.) As the Standards Manual explains, the Example 1 format is for
those times when we submit (say, to a client after a mere "lookup") a sheaf
of documents as "proof" of a point---an occasion that logically calls for a
cover sheet to list the items. The Kinship Determination Project is a
narrative. The proof argument, as the term "argument" implies, is also a
narrative discussion, not just a list of records.
Examples of "proof arguments" embedded in kinship studies also appear at the
BCG website in the "Skillbuilding" module under "Sample Work Products." The
article "Which Marie Louise is Mariotte" was, in fact, written explicitly
right after the new application guidelines to demonstrate ways to embed both
a long and a short proof argument within a bigger narrative. The long
argument is for the identity/parentage of Mariotte. The short argument is
for the filiation of her proposed daughter Francoise dite ChaCha.
FYI, this paper is cast as a case study because that is what NGSQ prefers to
publish. As with many of the Q's case studies, however, it provides a
"genealogical summary." To meet NGSQ's need, the central question of Marie
Louise's identity is explored in the "case study" component. The short proof
argument is embedded in the family account, under her proposed daughter
Francoise dite ChaCha.
Families come in different sizes and complexities. BCG does not demand (or
want) a cookie-cutter approach and it offers options from which you can
choose to tailor your Kinship Determination Study to the dimensions and
complexities of your own family. Obviously, here, applicants whose chosen
family offers a long and short problem such as those in Mariotte's family
could choose from at least two different approaches:
(1) Do a conventional genealogical account (narrative genealogy, narrative
pedigree, or narrative lineage) that embeds both proof arguments into the
(2) As in this article, create a case study for the more complex problem,
wrapping it up with a three-generation genealogical summary.
The bottom line: Any time we have options, as professionals, we want to
choose those that best show our abilities---not just what is quickest,
easiest, or presumably "enough to get by."
Hope this helps,
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
Ombudsperson, Board for Certification of Genealogists
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