Hints & Tips Five: Standards and Good Practice in Genealogy
The Society has established the following principles to be essential in the conduct of acceptable genealogical research:
Principles of Genealogical Research
Accuracy and honesty of all personal research and of work published, promoted or distributed to others.
Provision of clear evidence from primary sources to support all conclusions and statements of fact.
Use of original sources and records (or surrogate images of originals) to gather key information.
Citation and recording of sources used so that others may also evaluate the evidence.
Logical and reasoned development of family links with each step proved from valid evidence before further deductions are made.
Investigation and analysis of all possible solutions and of contradictory evidence with each alternative hypothesis examined and tested.
Qualification of less certain conclusions as probable or possible so that others are not misled
Acceptance of the possibility that a solution may not be found and acknowledgement of circumstances in which this occurs
Awareness of gaps in the availability of and information from sources at all levels.
Receptiveness to new information and to informed comment which may challenge earlier conclusions.
Acknowledgement and attribution of research done by others and use of such work as a secondary source only.
Evidence only becomes proof through a reasoned and logical analysis and argument capable of convincing others that the conclusion is valid.
- Help getting started with genealogy
- Hints & Tips
- Hints & Tips One: Top 10 Tips for Starting Your Family History
- Hints & Tips Two: Genealogy or Family History? What's the Difference?
- Hints & Tips Three: Surname Searching at the SoG and Elsewhere. What's Been Done Before?
- Hints & Tips Four: Genealogy as a Career
- Hints & Tips Five: Standards and Good Practice in Genealogy
- Hints & Tips Six: Employing a Professional Genealogist
- Hints & Tips Seven: The Right to Arms
- Hints & Tips Eight: What Should You do if Approached by Heir Hunters?
- Hints & Tips Nine: London Research
- Hints & Tips Ten: Palaeography Part 1: How to Create Abstracts from Old Documents
- Hints & Tips Eleven Palaeography Part 2: Reading Secretary Hand
- Hints & Tips Twelve: How to Get the Best Results from FamilySearch
- Hints & Tips Thirteen: How to Get the Best Results from the IGI
- Hints & Tips Fourteen: Finding and Downloading PCC Wills from the National Archives Website
- Hints & Tips Fifteen: Fact or Fiction? How to Analyse Your Research
- Hints & Tips Sixteen: Writing Genealogical Reports
- Distance Learning Courses
- Ask an Expert
- Share Your Knowledge
- Make Connections
- Professional Researchers
- Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2013 Speakers Handouts
- Census Detectives
- Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2014
Ask an Expert
SoG Members can join our e-mail list for help and support from other Members
Learn more about sources or find some helpful hints and tips. Get help and advice.
Events & Courses
Lectures, courses, walks and off-site visits now available to book securely online.
Hints & Tips
The Society of Genealogists hints and tips help you get the most out of your family history - explaining how to use and find records and resources.
Help Getting Started
The Society's Record Guides introduce the sources that will help you with your family history