Genealogy is never a 100 percent sure thing. Even the best, most carefully carried out research can still potentially be proven wrong by a future researcher who discovers a clue no one ever noticed or that has just come to light. However, there are a few ways to be sure your research reveals the correct family relationships and information. Here are five ways you can tell if your genealogy research is correct.
1. You Have Found the Same Information in More Than One Set of Records.
The more often a family relationship, name, birth or death date, marriage date, or another important piece of family information is repeated through various record sets, the more likely it is to be correct.
2. Your Research Matches the Research of Other People.
In the online age, you are bound to come across people who are distant cousins or relatives by marriage who are working on your line. It is important to compare research with these people.If you find that your research matches up, including the sources you both used to arrive at your conclusions, you can have a great deal of confidence that your research is correct. If there are discrepancies in your research, then one of you is wrong, and you both need to look at your work again.
3. You Can Reverse Engineer Someone Else’s Work.
Those big genealogy books of the 19th century, though notorious for containing mistakes, also contain many correct things. Most of them come with annotations in the form of footnotes and/or endnotes as to where the author got the information used to write the genealogy.