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Are you using the GPS - Genealogical Proof Standard?

A fanciful family tree
Image courtesy of Deb Spradlin

As a Springfield family history and genealogy researcher are you using the GPS or the concepts and principles behind it in your research and reporting of your research results? I have been struggling with one particular set of problem relationships from colonial times and have been seriously considering going through the GPS to see what that formal analysis would conclude. Do you face problems like this? How do you approach them? Will the GPS process be useful and worth the effort?

The first challenge is to properly state the problem. Is this statement too specific, too general, or about right: "Were William and Jasper Kinnick brothers, sons of Jasper and Elizabeth (Brightwell) Kinnick?" The focus of the research question is the relationship between William and Jasper, each known by the records to have existed at the same times in three locations in various time periods in colonial Maryland. William is on record as the son of the couple noted. Does including them in the problem statement add to or detract from the purpose and usefulness of the GPS process. What do you think?

If I proceed to complete this GPS process and the analysis supports a positive affirmation to the question, will that provide a solid basis for a subsequent new GPS question? Have you found this to be the case? What steps have you taken to be sure you are objective in this first analysis when you "really want to" get the "right answer?" Which steps of the process have you found to be most useful in assuring your own objectivity in applying the process? Email responses to these questions or comments on my Facebook page would be especially appreciated. I do not monitor Twitter responses, so please, if you have comments, use one of the other social media comment methods.

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