Most of us have probably encountered a situation where a record seems unusual. We may be tempted to overlook the problem, accept the information, and move on to other research. When George Findlen found duplicate entries in
The first element of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS)—reasonably exhaustive research—calls for digging into the circumstances of a research subject’s life, and identifying sources and strategies that may help provide an answer to a specific research question.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a United States civilian government agency tasked with gathering intelligence related to national security, and distributing that information to assist the government with policymaking. Established in 1947, the CIA was preceded
Identifying an immigrant ancestor’s origins is one of the most common quests among family historians. A variety of sources created during and after an immigrant ancestor’s lifetime often provide direct evidence of his or her birth location.
To research the ancestral line of an immigrant, a reliable connection must be made between that person and his or her place of origin. Tracing immigrant ancestors involves examining a wide variety of sources, and sometimes requires implementing
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) serves as the nation’s federal law enforcement agency, and as an intelligence, security, and investigative organization. Established in 1908 as the Bureau of Investigation, the agency was known as the United
Assessing the reliability of information is a crucial and necessary step toward drawing genealogical conclusions. Researchers should never accept a piece of information as fact without first evaluating and analyzing it. This holds true for instances in
Tracing female ancestors can be one of the most difficult challenges for genealogists. Historically, women had fewer legal rights than the men in their lives. As a result, they were often hidden behind the identities of those
Genealogists with military ancestors are faced with the tasks of researching and understanding a variety of complicated records—pension files, regimental histories, service records, payment ledgers, war diaries, and other sources. Soldiers’ home records are another valuable military
When we are faced with challenging research problems, the ability to work with indirect evidence can be a valuable problem-solving skill. Indirect evidence is information that we analyze in the context of our research question and interpret