Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2010-01 > 1264305562

From: Jeanette Daniels <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Usability [was Genealogy as a discipline]
Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2010 19:59:22 -0800 (PST)
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>


After reading through (not very carefully because there were too many) all the emails
regarding the GPS, pros and cons, it seems to me that as I now understand the
GPS, that this is strictly a BCG standard of what is acceptable to the Board when
evaluating those who turn in work to be considered for that credential. 

The problem comes when various list members try to make everyone else,
regardless of whether they have a CG or not, stick to the same GPS in
all things related to genealogy. 

After reading all of the ideas, it occurs to me that the GPS is fine as long as
it is used for what it was created.  There is no need to change it.  There is
no need to expand or worry about it because I'm never going to be grading
BCG applications.  All I need to do is quality research for clients and students. 

If those who are not CGs want to create their own "tweeked" standards that
suit their purposes, that's great as well.  One group does not need to make
the other group see it their way or visa versus. 

My current conclusions after have trying to read everything.


----- Original Message ----
From: "" <>
Sent: Sat, January 23, 2010 8:46:39 PM
Subject: Re: [TGF] Usability [was Genealogy as a discipline]

In response to my personal PDC standard of proof (that both the collected
evidence and the written account of how the conclusion was reached must be
pretty damn' convincing), Larry wrote:

>sounds like a clear and convincing approach.

Larry, in referring to the legal standard of "proof by clear and convincing
evidence," you are invoking that standard, higher than the more usual
"preponderance of the evidence" standard, that applies to cases where life and
liberty issues are present, not just money.  And I agree that my PDC standard
produces about the same level of credibility--at least as the C & C standard
is described by courts in some jurisdictions. In other jurisdictions, the
comparability may not be as clear.

Legal standards of proof in general tend to vary in how they are described
and expressed in each jurisdiction, and this is one of the reasons why they
are inadequate for genealogy. Genealogy needs acceptance of one high
standard of credibility that the genealogical community nationwide or
continent-wide can rely upon as being the basis for any genealogical conclusion that
isn't accompanied by qualifications or conditions.

If the Genealogical Proof Standard has inadequacies, bemoaning them is not
enough. Positive suggestions for improvement or replacement are needed.  The
decision as to whether a proof standard has been met rests with each
individual considering the evidence and the argument from it, but the individual
also needs to know how sure he or she is expected to be. That's what a
standard of proof provides. Calling the necessary instruction a guideline or
convention would suggest it is only advisory, but options are not enough. The
need is for a uniform expectation, shared by the entire genealogical community,
as to how much reliance can be placed on unconditioned genealogical

Donn Devine, CG, CGL
Wilmington DE

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are
service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under
license by board certificants after periodic evaluation, and the board name is
registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office.

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