Genealogists who reconstruct their family histories must meet the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) to ensure that their conclusions are sound. The first element of the GPS is “reasonably exhaustive research—emphasizing original records providing participants’ information—for all evidence that might answer a genealogist’s question about an identity, relationship, event, or situation.” In some instances, researchers may question why the GPS must be met and why reasonably exhaustive research is necessary—especially in cases that appear to be easily solvable. For example, why is reasonably exhaustive research necessary when an original record provides direct evidence that answers a research question? Why continue researching after this source has been found?
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