Standards For Sound Genealogical
Recommended by the National Genealogical Society
Remembering always that they are engaged in a quest for truth, family
history researchers consistently—
- record the source for each item of information they collect.
- test every hypothesis or theory against credible evidence, and
reject those that are not supported by the evidence.
- seek original records, or reproduced images of them when there is
reasonable assurance they have not been altered, as the basis for their
- use compilations, communications and published works, whether
paper or electronic, primarily for their value as guides to locating
the original records, or as contributions to the critical analysis of
the evidence discussed in them.
- state something as a fact only when it is supported by convincing
evidence, and identify the evidence when communicating the fact to
- limit with words like "probable" or "possible" any statement that
is based on less than convincing evidence, and state the reasons for
concluding that it is probable or possible.
- avoid misleading other researchers by either intentionally or
carelessly distributing or publishing inaccurate information
- state carefully and honestly the results of their own research,
and acknowledge all use of other researchers’ work.
- recognize the collegial nature of genealogical research by making
their work available to others through publication, or by placing
copies in appropriate libraries or repositories, and by welcoming
- consider with open minds new evidence or the comments of others
on their work and the conclusions they have reached.
© 1997, 2002 by National Genealogical Society.
Permission is granted to copy or publish this material provided it is
reproduced in its entirety, including this notice.