Proof is Possible

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In her 2008 National Genealogical Society Quarterly article called “The Myth of Impossible Proof: Modern Genealogy Methods and a Holocaust Fraud,” author Sharon E. Sergeant wrote “Researchers always fail when they believe proof is impossible or when difficulties stop them from persisting.”[1]

Every genealogical research problem comes with a set of complications. Sources may not be available due to restrictions or destruction. Those that are available may be difficult to use because of accessibility, cost, legibility, or language barriers. Information might be incorrect, whether due to error or complete fabrication. Data found in multiple sources might not agree. The answer to the research problem might not be stated directly in the sources, but might lie in a collection of clues requiring skillful analysis and correlation. Researchers who challenge long-standing or popular traditions may face resistance. Successful genealogists, like Sergeant, are undeterred by complications and difficulties. They craft strategies to work around the roadblocks.

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