Learning Center

Understanding Genealogical Proof

The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) often causes anxiety for genealogists who are researching their family and still in the process of building their skills. They find differing information from multiple sources and they may be unsure of how to analyze the data properly and how to apply the standard.

The GPS is simply a process developed by the Board for Certification of Genealogists to give genealogists a standard method that helps them to apply an evaluative process in building a family tree. This allows them to have confidence in their research work and resulting conclusions about family relationships.

The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) is Your Friend, not Your Enemy.

At the May 2018 NGS Family History Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS, gave a motivating lecture as part of the Board for Certification of Genealogists Skillbuilding Track, called The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) is Your Friend, not Your Enemy. Rencher is a scholar and a leader in the field of genealogy, who has spent decades teaching key genealogical skills. He has led the excellent work of FamilySearch.org for nearly a decade as the Chief Genealogical Officer. He graciously agreed to allow NGS to reprint his four-page syllabus so we can offer his work as a free genealogy resource for family history researchers across the country.

For those of you still struggling to get familiar with the GPS, take advantage of Rencher’s clear and encouraging explanation of the “Proof” standard in his syllabus that you can download and read.

The syllabus becomes much more powerful when you hear his wisdom and listen to the lecture. NGS makes audio recordings of its conference lectures available through their media partner, PlaybackNGS. Don’t miss the chance to learn from Rencher’s clear and encouraging lecture on this important genealogical topic.