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Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "study of family trees") is the study of
families In human society, family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinity (law), affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the w ...

families
, family history, and the tracing of their lineages. Genealogists use oral interviews, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate
kinship In , kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated. Anthropologist states that "the study of kins ...

kinship
and pedigrees of its members. The results are often displayed in charts or written as narratives. The field of family history is broader than genealogy, and covers not just lineage but also family and community history and biography. The record of genealogical work may be presented as a "genealogy," a "family history," or a "
family tree A family tree, also called a genealogy Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "study of family trees") is the study of , family history, and the tracing of their lineages. Genealogists use oral interviews, historical records, genetic a ...

family tree
." In the narrow sense, a "genealogy" or a "family tree" traces the descendants of one person, whereas a "family history" traces the ancestors of one person, but the terms are often used interchangeably. A family history may include additional biographical information, family traditions, and the like. The pursuit of family history and origins tends to be shaped by several motives, including the desire to carve out a place for one's family in the larger historical picture, a sense of responsibility to preserve the past for
future generations Future generations are the generations of people to come in the future, after the currently living generations of humans. The future generation is contrasted with current and past generations, and evoked in order to create thinking about interge ...
, and self-satisfaction in accurate storytelling. Genealogy research is also performed for scholarly or
forensic Forensic science, also known as criminalistics, is the application of science to Criminal law, criminal and Civil law (legal system), civil laws, mainly—on the criminal side—during criminal investigation, as governed by the legal standards ...
purposes.


Overview

Amateur genealogists typically pursue their own ancestry and that of their spouses. Professional genealogists may also conduct research for others, publish books on genealogical methods, teach, or produce their own databases. They may work for companies that provide software or produce materials of use to other professionals and to amateurs. Both try to understand not just where and when people lived but also their lifestyles, biographies, and motivations. This often requires—or leads to—knowledge of antiquated laws, old political boundaries, migration trends, and historical socioeconomic or religious conditions. Genealogists sometimes specialize in a particular group, e.g., a
Scottish clan A Scottish clan (from Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually. Gaelic languages are spoken in Ireland, ...
; a particular
surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy as example. This shows a structure typical for the Anglosphere, a ...
, such as in a
one-name study A one-name study is a project researching a specific surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy a ...
; a small community, e.g., a single village or parish, such as in a
one-place study One-place studies are a branch of family history Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "study of family trees") is the study of families In human society, family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either b ...
; or a particular, often famous, person. Bloodlines of Salem is an example of a specialized family-history group. It welcomes members who can prove descent from a participant of the Salem Witch Trials or who simply choose to support the group. Genealogists and family historians often join family history societies, where novices can learn from more experienced researchers. Such societies generally serve a specific geographical area. Their members may also index records to make them more accessible or engage in advocacy and other efforts to preserve public records and cemeteries. Some schools engage students in such projects as a means to reinforce lessons regarding immigration and history. Other benefits include family medical histories for families with serious medical conditions that are hereditary. The terms "genealogy" and "family history" are often used synonymously, but some entities offer a slight difference in definition. The
Society of Genealogists The Society of Genealogists (SoG) is a UK-based educational charity, founded in 1911Fowler, S School of Advanced Study, University of London. Date unknown. Retrieved 2011-10-30. to "promote, encourage and foster the study, science and knowledge ...

Society of Genealogists
, while also using the terms interchangeably, describes genealogy as the "establishment of a pedigree by extracting evidence, from valid sources, of how one generation is connected to the next" and family history as "a biographical study of a genealogically proven family and of the community and country in which they lived".


Motivation

Individuals conduct genealogical research for a number of reasons.


Personal or medical interest

Private individuals research genealogy out of curiosity about their heritage. This curiosity can be particularly strong among those whose family histories were lost or unknown due to, for example,
adoption Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting Parenting or child rearing promotes and supports the physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' ...

adoption
or separation from family through divorce, death, or other situations. In addition to simply wanting to know more about who they are and where they came from, individuals may research their genealogy to learn about any
hereditary diseases A genetic disorder is a health problem caused by one or more abnormalities in the genome. It can be caused by a mutation in a single gene (monogenic) or multiple genes (polygenic) or by a chromosomal abnormality. Although polygenic disorders a ...
in their family history. There is a growing interest in family history in the media as a result of advertising and television shows sponsored by large genealogy companies, such as
Ancestry.com Ancestry.com LLC is a privately held A privately held company, private company, or close corporation is a corporation not owned by the government, non-governmental organizations and by a relatively small number of shareholders or company member ...
. This, coupled with easier access to online records and the affordability of
DNA tests Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically Electricity is the set of physical ...
, has both inspired curiosity and allowed those who are curious to easily start investigating their ancestry.


Community or religious obligation

In
communitarian Communitarianism is a philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philo ...
societies, one's identity is defined as much by one's kin network as by individual achievement, and the question "Who are you?" would be answered by a description of father, mother, and tribe. New Zealand Māori, for example, learn
whakapapa Whakapapa (, ), or genealogy Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "the making of a pedigree") is the study of Family, families, family history, and the tracing of their lineages. Genealogists use oral interviews, historical records, ge ...
(genealogies) to discover who they are. Family history plays a part in the practice of some religious belief systems. For example,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism ...
(LDS Church) has a doctrine of
baptism for the dead Baptism for the dead, vicarious baptism or proxy baptism today commonly refers to the religious practice of baptizing Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian rite of initiation ...
, which necessitates that members of that faith engage in family history research. In
East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and ...
countries that were historically shaped by
Confucianism Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC ...
, many people follow a practice of
ancestor worship The veneration Veneration in Noto St Conrad of Piacenza (San Corrado) Veneration ( la, veneratio; el, τιμάω ), or veneration of saints, is the act of honoring a saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as havin ...
as well as genealogical record-keeping. Ancestors' names are inscribed on tablets and placed in shrines, where rituals are performed. Genealogies are also recorded in genealogy books. This practice is rooted in the belief that respect for one's family is a foundation for a healthy society.


Establishing identity

Royal families A royal family is the immediate family of kings/queens Queens is a borough of New York City, coextensive with Queens County, in the U.S. state of New York. It is the largest borough of New York City New York City (NYC), often simp ...
, both historically and in modern times, keep records of their genealogies in order to establish their
right to rule Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. In any state, sovereignty is assigned to the person, body, or institution that has the ultimate authority over other people in order to establish a law or change an existing law. In polit ...
and determine who will be the next sovereign. For centuries in various cultures, one's genealogy has been a source of political and social status. Some countries and indigenous tribes allow individuals to obtain citizenship based on their genealogy. In
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
and in
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...
, for example, an individual can become a citizen if one of their grandparents was born in that country, regardless of their own or their parents' birthplace. In societies such as Australia or the United States, by the 20th century, there was growing pride in the pioneers and nation-builders. Establishing descent from these was, and is, important to
lineage societies This is a list of notable hereditary and lineage organizations. It includes societies that limit their membership to those who meet group inclusion criteria, such as descendants of a particular person or group of people of historical importance. It ...
, such as the
Daughters of the American Revolution The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is a lineage-based membership service organization for women who are directly descended from a person involved in the United States' efforts towards independence. A non-profit group, they promote ...
and The General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Modern family history explores new sources of status, such as celebrating the resilience of families that survived generations of poverty or slavery, or the success of families in integrating across racial or national boundaries. Some family histories even emphasize links to celebrity criminals, such as the bushranger
Ned Kelly Edward "Ned" Kelly (December 1854 – 11 November 1880) was an Australian bushranger, outlaw, gang leader and convicted police-murderer. One of the last bushrangers, he is known for wearing a armour of the Kelly gang, suit of bulletproof armour ...

Ned Kelly
in Australia.


Legal and forensic research

Lawyers A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries' legal systems use the term with somewhat differing meanings. The broad equivalent in many English la ...
involved in probate cases do genealogy to locate heirs of property.
Detectives A detective is an investigator, usually a member of a law enforcement agency A law enforcement agency (LEA), in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is th ...
may perform genealogical research using
DNA evidence The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings ...
to identify victims of homicides or perpetrators of crimes.


Scholarly research

Historians This is a list of historians only for those with a biographical entry in Wikipedia. Major chroniclers and annalists are included. Names are listed by the person's historical period Periodized human history Human history, or world history, ...
and
geneticists A geneticist is a biologist who studies genetics, the science of genes, heredity, and variation of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system ...
may carry out genealogical research to gain a greater understanding of specific topics in their respective fields, and some may employ professional genealogists in connection with specific aspects of their research. They also publish their research in peer-reviewed journals. The introduction of postgraduate courses in genealogy in recent years has given genealogy more of an academic focus, with the emergence of peer-reviewed journals in this area. Scholarly genealogy is beginning to emerge as a discipline in its own right, with an increasing number of individuals who have obtained genealogical qualifications carrying out research on a diverse range of topics related to genealogy, both within academic institutions and independently.


History

Historically, in Western societies, the focus of genealogy was on the
kinship and descent In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated. Anthropologist Robin Fox Rob ...
of rulers and nobles, often arguing or demonstrating the legitimacy of claims to wealth and power. The term often overlapped with
heraldry Heraldry () is a discipline relating to the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology Vexillology () is the study of the history, symbolism and usage of flag A fla ...
, in which the ancestry of royalty was reflected in their
coats of arms A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon (i.e., shield A shield is a piece of personal armour held in the hand, which may or may not be strapped to the wrist or forearm. Shields are used to intercept specific attacks, ...
. Modern scholars consider many claimed noble ancestries to be fabrications, such as the
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle The ''Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'' is a collection of annals Annals ( la, annāles, from , "year") are a concise historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the stud ...
that traced the ancestry of several English kings to the god
Woden Odin (; from non, Óðinn, ) is a widely revered god in Germanic mythology Germanic mythology consists of the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundat ...

Woden
. Some family trees have been maintained for considerable periods. The family tree of
Confucius } Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; ) was a Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), ...

Confucius
has been maintained for over 2,500 years and is listed in the
Guinness Book of World Records ''Guinness World Records'', known from its inception in 1955 until 1999 as ''The Guinness Book of Records'' and in previous United States editions as ''The Guinness Book of World Records'', is a reference book A reference work is a work, ...
as the largest extant family tree. The fifth edition of the Confucius Genealogy was printed in 2009 by the
Confucius Genealogy Compilation CommitteeThe Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee (孔子世家谱续修工作协会) is responsible for collecting, collating and publishing the 2,500 years' worth of genealogical data associated with Confucius } Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūz ...
(CGCC).


Modern times

In modern times, genealogy has become more widespread, with commoners as well as nobility researching and maintaining their family trees. Genealogy received a boost in the late 1970s with the television broadcast of '' Roots: The Saga of an American Family'' by
Alex Haley Alexander Murray Palmer Haley (August 11, 1921 – February 10, 1992) was an American writer and the author of the 1976 book '' Roots: The Saga of an American Family.'' ABC adapted the book as a television miniseries of the same name and a ...
. His account of his family's descent from the African tribesman
Kunta Kinte Kunta Kinte ( – ; ) is a character in the 1976 novel '' Roots: The Saga of an American Family'' by American author Alex Haley Alexander Murray Palmer Haley (August 11, 1921 – February 10, 1992) was an American writer and the author ...
inspired many others to study their own lines. With the advent of the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
, the number of resources readily accessible to genealogists has vastly increased, resulting in an explosion of interest in the topic. Genealogy is one of the most popular topics on the Internet. The Internet has become a major source not only of data for genealogists but also of education and communication.


India

In India,
Bhats Bhāt is a "generic term" used to refer to a bard in India. The majority of ''Bhats'' hail from Rajasthan and worked as genealogists for their patrons, however, they are viewed as mythographers. In India, the inception of Rajputization was followe ...
are the
Brahmins Brahmin (; sa, ब्राह्मण, brāhmaṇa) are a varna Varna may refer to: Places Europe * Varna, Bulgaria, a large city in Bulgaria. ** Varna Province **Varna Municipality **Gulf of Varna **Lake Varna *Vahrn, or Varna, a munic ...

Brahmins
who traditionally keep the written genealogy records of various
caste Caste is a form of social stratification Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the ability and activity to recognize shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the ...
s. Some notable places where traditional genealogy records are kept include Hindu genealogy registers at Haridwar (Uttarakhand),
Varanasi Varanasi (; ), officially so revived after 1947, but still widely known as Banaras or Benares (; ), and in ancient times as Kashi, is a city on the Ganges river in North India, northern India that has a central place in pilgrimage, death ...

Varanasi
and
Allahabad Allahabad (), List of renamed Indian cities and states, officially known as Prayagraj, also known as Ilahabad, is a metropolis in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.The other five cities were: Agra, Kanpur, Kanpur (Cawnpore), Lucknow, Meerut ...

Allahabad
(
Uttar Pradesh Uttar Pradesh (; , 'Northern Province') is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

Uttar Pradesh
), Kurukshetra (Haryana), (
Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper) ...

Maharashtra
), and
Chintpurni Chintpurni is a small town in the Una district of Himachal Pradesh Himachal Pradesh (; "snow-laden province") is a state in the northern part of India. Situated in the Western Himalayas, it is one of the eleven Indian Himalayan Region, mou ...

Chintpurni
(
Himachal Pradesh Himachal Pradesh (; ; "Province of the Snow-laden Mountains") is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper ...

Himachal Pradesh
).Nijhawan, Surabh
10 Places Across The World That Help You Trace Your Ancestors
; ''India Times'', Published on 29-Jan-2016; Accessed on 8-May-2017


United States

Genealogical research in the United States was first systematized in the early 19th century, especially by John Farmer (1789–1838).François Weil, ''Family Trees: A History of Genealogy in America'' (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2013), Chapter 1. Before Farmer's efforts, tracing one's genealogy was seen as an attempt by the American colonists to secure a measure of social standing, an aim that was counter to the new republic's egalitarian, future-oriented ideals (as outlined in the
Constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
). As Fourth of July celebrations commemorating the Founding Fathers and the heroes of the Revolutionary War became increasingly popular, however, the pursuit of "antiquarianism," which focused on local history, became acceptable as a way to honor the achievements of early Americans. Farmer capitalized on the acceptability of antiquarianism to frame genealogy within the early republic's ideological framework of pride in one's American ancestors. He corresponded with other antiquarians in New England, where antiquarianism and genealogy were well established, and became a coordinator, booster, and contributor to the growing movement. In the 1820s, he and fellow antiquarians began to produce genealogical and antiquarian tracts in earnest, slowly gaining a devoted audience among the American people. Though Farmer died in 1839, his efforts led to the creation of the
New England Historic Genealogical Society The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is the oldest and largest genealogical society in the United States, founded in 1845. NEHGS provides family history services through its staff, original scholarship, website,Genealogical Society of Utah FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social b ...
, founded in 1894, later became the Family History Department of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism ...
. The department's research facility, the
Family History Library The Family History Library (FHL) is a genealogical research facility in downtown Salt Lake City. The library is open to the public free of charge and is operated by FamilySearch, the genealogical arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day ...

Family History Library
, which Utah.com states is "the largest genealogical library in the world," was established to assist in tracing family lineages for special religious ceremonies which Latter-day Saints believe will seal family units together for eternity. Latter-day Saints believe that this fulfilled a biblical prophecy stating that the prophet
Elijah Elijah ( ; , meaning "My God In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, creator, and principal object of Faith#Religious views, faith.Richard Swinburne, Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Ted Honde ...

Elijah
would return to "turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers." There is a network of church-operated Family History Centers all over the country and around the world, where volunteers assist the public with tracing their ancestors.
Brigham Young University Brigham Young University (BYU) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of ...
offers bachelor's degree, minor, and concentration programs in Family History and is the only school in North America to offer this. The
American Society of GenealogistsThe American Society of Genealogists is the scholarly honorary society of the genealogical Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "the making of a pedigree") is the study of families, family history, and the tracing of their lineages. Genea ...
is the scholarly honorary society of the U.S. genealogical field. Founded by John Insley Coddington, Arthur Adams, and Meredith B. Colket, Jr., in December 1940, its membership is limited to 50 living fellows. ASG has semi-annually published ''
The Genealogist The Genealogist is a bi-annual genealogical Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "the making of a pedigree") is the study of families, family history, and the tracing of their lineages. Genealogists use oral interviews, historical reco ...
'', a scholarly journal of genealogical research, since 1980. Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists, who bear the post-nominal acronym FASG, have written some of the most notable genealogical materials of the last half-century. Some of the most notable scholarly American genealogical journals are ''
The American Genealogist ''The American Genealogist'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal which focuses on genealogy and family history. It was established by Donald Lines Jacobus in 1922 as the ''New Haven Genealogical Magazine''. In July 1932 it was renamed ' ...
'', ''National Genealogical Society Quarterly'', '' The New England Historical and Genealogical Register'', '' The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record'', and ''
The Genealogist The Genealogist is a bi-annual genealogical Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "the making of a pedigree") is the study of families, family history, and the tracing of their lineages. Genealogists use oral interviews, historical reco ...
''.


Research process

Genealogical research is a complex process that uses historical records and sometimes genetic analysis to demonstrate kinship. Reliable conclusions are based on the quality of sources (ideally, original records), the information within those sources, (ideally, primary or firsthand information), and the evidence that can be drawn (directly or indirectly), from that information. In many instances, genealogists must skillfully assemble indirect or
circumstantial evidence Circumstantial evidence is evidence that relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact—such as a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly—i.e., without need f ...

circumstantial evidence
to build a case for identity and kinship. All evidence and conclusions, together with the documentation that supports them, is then assembled to create a cohesive genealogy or
family history Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "study of family trees") is the study of families In human society, family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinit ...
. Genealogists begin their research by collecting family documents and stories. This creates a foundation for
documentary research Documentary research is the use of outside sources, documents A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fictional, as well as fictional, co ...
, which involves examining and evaluating historical records for evidence about ancestors and other relatives, their kinship ties, and the events that occurred in their lives. As a rule, genealogists begin with the present and work backwards in time. Historical, social, and family context is essential to achieving correct identification of individuals and relationships. Source citation is also important when conducting genealogical research.Elizabeth Shown Mills, ''Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace'', (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007). To keep track of collected material, family group sheets and
pedigree chart A pedigree chart is a diagram that shows the occurrence and appearance of phenotype In genetics Genetics is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, phy ...
s are used. Formerly handwritten, these can now be generated by genealogical software.


Genetic analysis

Because a person's
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically Electricity is the set of physical ...

DNA
contains information that has been passed down relatively unchanged from early ancestors, analysis of DNA is sometimes used for genealogical research. Three DNA types are of particular interest.
Mitochondrial DNA Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA or mDNA) is the DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five car ...

Mitochondrial DNA
(mtDNA) is contained in the mitochondria of the egg cell and is passed down from a mother to all of her children, both male and female; however, only females pass it on to their children.
Y-DNA The Y chromosome is one of two sex chromosome A chromosome is a long DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist ...
is present only in males and is passed down from a father to his sons (direct male line) with only minor mutations occurring over time.
Autosomal DNA An autosome is any chromosome A chromosome is a long DNA molecule with part or all of the genetic material of an organism. Most eukaryotic chromosomes include packaging proteins called histones which, aided by chaperone proteins, bind ...
(atDNA), is found in the 22 non-sex chromosomes (autosomes) and is inherited from both parents; thus, it can uncover relatives from any branch of the family. A
genealogical DNA test A genealogical DNA test is a DNA The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist o ...
allows two individuals to find the probability that they are, or are not, related within an estimated number of generations. Individual genetic test results are collected in databases to match people descended from a relatively recent common ancestor. See, for example, the Molecular Genealogy Research Project. Some tests are limited to either the patrilineal or the matrilineal line.


Collaboration

Most
genealogy software Genealogy software is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and actuall ...
programs can export information about persons and their relationships in a standardized format called a
GEDCOM GEDCOM ( ) (an acronym An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguis ...
. In that format, it can be shared with other genealogists, added to databases, or converted into family web sites.
Social networking service A social networking service or SNS (sometimes called a social networking site) is an online platform which people use to build social networks or social relation In social science, a social relation or social interaction is any relationship ...
(SNS) websites allow genealogists to share data and build their family trees online. Members can upload their family trees and contact other family historians to fill in gaps in their research. In addition to the (SNS) websites, there are other resources that encourage genealogists to connect and share information, such as rootsweb.ancestry.com and rsl.rootsweb.ancestry.com.


Volunteerism

Volunteer efforts figure prominently in genealogy. These range from the extremely informal to the highly organized. On the informal side are the many popular and useful
message boards An Internet forum, or message board, is an online In computer technology and telecommunications, online indicates a state of connectivity, and offline indicates a disconnected state. In modern terminology this usually refers to an Internet ...
such as Rootschat and
mailing lists Mailing () is a town in Fuchuan Yao Autonomous County Fuchuan Yao Autonomous County () is an autonomous county Autonomous counties and autonomous banners are Counties of China, county-level autonomous administrative divisions of China. The two ar ...
on particular surnames, regions, and other topics. These forums can be used to try to find relatives, request record lookups, obtain research advice, and much more. Many genealogists participate in loosely organized projects, both online and off. These collaborations take numerous forms. Some projects prepare name indexes for records, such as
probate Probate is the judicial process whereby a will is "proved" in a court of law and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased, or whereby the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy Intest ...
cases, and publish the indexes, either online or off. These indexes can be used as
finding aidA finding aid, in the context of archival science, is an organization tool, a document containing detailed, indexed, and processed metadata and other information about a specific collection of records within an archive. Finding aids often consist of ...
s to locate original records. Other projects transcribe or abstract records. Offering record lookups for particular geographic areas is another common service. Volunteers do record lookups or take photos in their home areas for researchers who are unable to travel. Those looking for a structured volunteer environment can join one of thousands of
genealogical societiesA family history society or genealogical society is a society, often Charitable organization, charitable or not-for-profit, that allows member genealogists and family history, family historians to profit from shared knowledge. Large societies often ...
worldwide. Most societies have a unique area of focus, such as a particular surname, ethnicity, geographic area, or List of hereditary & lineage organizations, descendancy from participants in a given historical event. Genealogical societies are almost exclusively staffed by volunteers and may offer a broad range of services, including maintaining libraries for members' use, publishing newsletters, providing research assistance to the public, offering classes or seminars, and organizing record preservation or transcription projects.


Software

Genealogy software is used to collect, store, sort, and display genealogical data. At a minimum, genealogy software accommodates basic information about individuals, including births, marriages, and deaths. Many programs allow for additional biographical information, including occupation, residence, and notes, and most also offer a method for keeping track of the sources for each piece of evidence. Most programs can generate basic kinship charts and reports, allow for the import of digital photographs and the export of data in the
GEDCOM GEDCOM ( ) (an acronym An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguis ...
format (short for GEnealogical Data COMmunication) so that data can be shared with those using other genealogy software. More advanced features include the ability to restrict the information that is shared, usually by removing information about living people out of privacy concerns; the import of sound files; the generation of family history books, web pages and other publications; the ability to handle same-sex marriages and children born out of wedlock; searching the Internet for data; and the provision of research guidance. Programs may be geared toward a specific religion, with fields relevant to that religion, or to specific nationalities or ethnic groups, with source types relevant for those groups. Online resources involve complex programming and large data bases, such as censuses.


Records and documentation

Genealogists use a wide variety of records in their research. To effectively conduct genealogical research, it is important to understand how the records were created, what information is included in them, and how and where to access them.


List of record types

Records that are used in genealogy research include: * Vital records ** Birth certificate, Birth records ** Death certificate, Death records ** Marriage license, Marriage and divorce records * Adoption records * Biographies and biographical profiles (e.g. ''Marquis Who's Who, Who's Who'') * Cemetery lists * Census records * Religious records ** Baptism or infant baptism, christening ** Brit milah or Baby naming certificates ** Confirmation ** Bar mitzvah, Bar or bat mitzvah ** Marriage ** Funeral or death ** Membership * City directories and telephone directory, telephone directories * Coroner's reports * Court records ** Criminal records ** Civil records * Diary, Diaries, personal Letter (message), letters and family Bibles * Genealogical DNA test, DNA tests * Emigration, immigration and naturalization records * List of hereditary & lineage organizations, Hereditary & lineage organization records, e.g.
Daughters of the American Revolution The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is a lineage-based membership service organization for women who are directly descended from a person involved in the United States' efforts towards independence. A non-profit group, they promote ...
records * Real property, Land and property records, deeds * Health care, Medical records * Armed force, Military and conscription records * Newspaper articles * Obituary, Obituaries * profession, Occupational records * Oral histories * Passports * Photographs * Poorhouse, workhouse, almshouse, and asylum records * School and alumni association records * Passenger ship, Ship passenger lists * Social Security (United States), Social Security (within the US) and pension records * Tax records * Tombstones, cemetery records, and funeral home records * Voter registration records * Will (law), Wills and
probate Probate is the judicial process whereby a will is "proved" in a court of law and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased, or whereby the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy Intest ...
records To keep track of their citizens, governments began keeping public records, records of persons who were neither royal family, royalty nor nobility. In England and Germany, for example, such record keeping started with parish registers in the 16th century. As more of the population was recorded, there were sufficient records to follow a family. Major life events, such as births, marriages, and deaths, were often documented with a license, permit, or report. Genealogists locate these records in local, regional or national offices or archives and extract information about family relationships and recreate Chronology, timelines of persons' lives. In China, India and other Asian countries, genealogy books are used to record the names, occupations, and other information about family members, with some books dating back hundreds or even thousands of years. In the eastern Indian state of Bihar, there is a written tradition of genealogical records among Maithil Brahmins and Karna Kayasthas called "Panjis", dating to the 12th century CE. Even today these records are consulted prior to marriages. In Ireland, genealogical records were recorded by professional families of ''senchaidh'' (historians) until as late as the mid-17th century. Perhaps the most outstanding example of this genre is Leabhar na nGenealach/The Great Book of Irish Genealogies, by Dubhaltach MacFhirbhisigh (d. 1671), published in 2004.


FamilySearch collections

The LDS Church has engaged in large-scale microfilming of records of genealogical value. Its Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, houses over 2 million microfiche and microfilms of genealogically relevant material, which are also available for on-site research at over 4,500 Family History Centers worldwide. FamilySearch's website includes many resources for genealogists: a FamilyTree database, historical records, digitized family history books, resources and indexing for African American genealogy such as slave and bank records, and a Family History Research Wiki containing research guidance articles.


Indexing ancestral information

Indexing is the process of transcribing parish records, city vital records, and other reports, to a digital database for searching. Volunteers and professionals participate in the indexing process. Since 2006, the microfilm in the FamilySearch granite mountain vault is in the process of being digitally scanned, available online, and eventually indexed. For example, after the 72-year legal limit for releasing personal information for the United States Census was reached in 2012, genealogical groups cooperated to index the 132 million residents registered in the 1940 United States Census. Between 2006 and 2012, the FamilySearch indexing effort produced more than 1 billion searchable records.


Record loss and preservation

Sometimes genealogical records are destroyed, whether accidentally or on purpose. In order to do thorough research, genealogists keep track of which records have been destroyed so they know when information they need may be missing. Of particular note for North American genealogy is the 1890 United States Census, which was destroyed in a fire in 1921. Although fragments survive, most of the 1890 census no longer exists. Those looking for genealogical information for families that lived in the United States in 1890 must rely on other information to fill that gap. War is another cause of record destruction. During World War II, many European records were destroyed. Communists in China during the Cultural Revolution and in Korea during the Korean War destroyed genealogy books kept by families. Often records are destroyed due to accident or neglect. Since genealogical records are often kept on paper and stacked in high-density storage, they are prone to fire, mold, insect damage, and eventual disintegration. Sometimes records of genealogical value are deliberately destroyed by governments or organizations because the records are considered to be unimportant or a privacy risk. Because of this, genealogists often organize efforts to preserve records that are at risk of destruction. FamilySearch has an ongoing program that assesses what useful genealogical records have the most risk of being destroyed, and sends volunteers to digitize such records. In 2017, the government of Sierra Leone asked FamilySearch for help preserving their rapidly deteriorating vital records. FamilySearch has begun digitizing the records and making them available online. The Federation of Genealogical Societies also organized an effort to preserve and digitize United States War of 1812 pension records. In 2010, they began raising funds, which were contribute by genealogists around the United States and matched by
Ancestry.com Ancestry.com LLC is a privately held A privately held company, private company, or close corporation is a corporation not owned by the government, non-governmental organizations and by a relatively small number of shareholders or company member ...
. Their goal was achieved and the process of digitization was able to begin. The digitized records are available for free online.


Types of information

Genealogists who seek to reconstruct the lives of each ancestor consider all historical information to be "genealogical" information. Traditionally, the basic information needed to ensure correct identification of each person are place names, occupations, family names, first names, and dates. However, modern genealogists greatly expand this list, recognizing the need to place this information in its historical context in order to properly evaluate genealogical evidence and distinguish between same-name individuals. A great deal of information is available for British ancestry with growing resources for other ethnic groups.


Family names

Family names are simultaneously one of the most important pieces of genealogical information, and a source of significant confusion for researchers. In many cultures, the name of a person refers to the family to which he or she belongs. This is called the ''family name'', ''surname'', or ''last name''. Patronymics are names that identify an individual based on the father's name. For example, Marga Olafsdottir is Marga, daughter of Olaf, and Olaf Thorsson is Olaf, son of Thor. Many cultures used patronymics before surnames were adopted or came into use. The Dutch in New York, for example, used the patronymic system of names until 1687 when the advent of English rule mandated surname usage. In Iceland, patronymics are used by a majority of the population. In Denmark and Norway patronymics and farm names were generally in use through the 19th century and beyond, though surnames began to come into fashion toward the end of the 19th century in some parts of the country. Not until 1856 in Denmark and 1923 in Norway were there laws requiring surnames. The transmission of names across generations, marriages and other relationships, and immigration may cause difficulty in genealogical research. For instance, women in many cultures have routinely used their spouse's surnames. When a woman remarried, she may have changed her name and the names of her children; only her name; or changed no names. Her birth name (maiden name) may be reflected in her children's middle names; her own middle name; or dropped entirely. Children may sometimes assume stepparent, foster parent, or adoptive parent names. Because official records may reflect many kinds of surname change, without explaining the underlying reason for the change, the correct identification of a person recorded identified with more than one name is challenging. Immigrants to America often Americanized their names. Surname data may be found in trade directories, census returns, birth, death, and marriage records.


Given names

Genealogical data regarding given names (first names) is subject to many of the same problems as are family names and place names. Additionally, the use of nicknames is very common. For example, Beth, Lizzie or Betty are all common for Elizabeth, and Jack, John and Jonathan may be interchanged. Middle names provide additional information. Middle names may be inherited, follow naming customs, or be treated as part of the family name. For instance, in some Latin cultures, both the mother's family name and the father's family name are used by the children. Historically, naming traditions existed in some places and cultures. Even in areas that tended to use naming conventions, however, they were by no means universal. Families may have used them some of the time, among some of their children, or not at all. A pattern might also be broken to name a newborn after a recently deceased sibling, aunt or uncle. An example of a naming tradition from England, Scotland and Ireland:
Another example is in some areas of Germany, where siblings were given the same first name, often of a favourite saint or local nobility, but different second names by which they were known (''Rufname''). If a child died, the next child of the same gender that was born may have been given the same name. It is not uncommon that a list of a particular couple's children will show one or two names repeated. Personal names have periods of popularity, so it is not uncommon to find many similarly named people in a generation, and even similarly named families; e.g., "William and Mary and their children David, Mary, and John". Many names may be identified strongly with a particular gender; e.g., William for boys, and Mary for girls. Others may be unisex names, ambiguous, e.g., Lee, or have only slightly variant spellings based on gender, e.g., Frances (usually female) and Francis (usually male).


Place names

While the locations of ancestors' residences and life events are core elements of the genealogist's quest, they can often be confusing. Place names may be subject to variant spellings by partially literate scribes. Locations may have identical or very similar names. For example, the village name Brockton (disambiguation), Brockton occurs six times in the border area between the English counties of Shropshire and Staffordshire. Shifts in political borders must also be understood. Parish, county, and national borders have frequently been modified. Old records may contain references to farms and villages that have ceased to exist. When working with older records from Poland, where borders and place names have changed frequently in past centuries, a source with maps and sample records such as ''A Translation Guide to 19th-Century Polish-Language Civil-Registration Documents'' can be invaluable. Available sources may include vital records (civil or church registration), censuses, and tax assessments. Oral tradition is also an important source, although it must be used with caution. When no source information is available for a location, circumstantial evidence may provide a probable answer based on a person's or a family's place of residence at the time of the event. Maps and gazetteers are important sources for understanding the places researched. They show the relationship of an area to neighboring communities and may be of help in understanding migration patterns. Family tree mapping using online mapping tools such as Google Earth (particularly when used with Historical Map overlays such as those from the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection) assist in the process of understanding the significance of geographical locations.


Dates

It is wise to exercise extreme caution with dates. Dates are more difficult to recall years after an event, and are more easily mistranscribed than other types of genealogical data.Peter R. Knights, "The Accuracy of Age Reporting in the Manuscript Federal Census of 1850 and 1860," ''Historical Methods Newsletter,'' 4 (1971), 79–83; Karen Oppenheim Mason and Lisa G. Cope, "Sources of Age and Date-of-Birth Misreporting in the 1900 U.S. Census," ''Demography'' vol. 24, no. 4 (Nov., 1987), pp. 563–573. Therefore, one should determine whether the date was recorded at the time of the event or at a later date. Dates of birth in vital records or civil registrations and in church records at baptism are generally accurate because they were usually recorded near the time of the event. Family Bibles are often a source for dates, but can be written from memory long after the event. When the same ink and handwriting is used for all entries, the dates were probably written at the same time and therefore will be less reliable since the earlier dates were probably recorded well after the event. The publication date of the Bible also provides a clue about when the dates were recorded since they could not have been recorded at any earlier date. People sometimes reduce their age on marriage, and those under "full age" may increase their age in order to marry or to join the armed forces. Census returns are notoriously unreliable for ages or for assuming an approximate death date. Ages over 15 in the UK Census, 1841 census in the UK are rounded down to the next lower multiple of five years. Although baptismal dates are often used to approximate birth dates, some families waited years before baptizing children, and adult baptisms are the norm in some religions. Both birth and marriage dates may have been adjusted to cover for pre-wedding pregnancies. Calendar changes must also be considered. In 1752, England and her American colonies changed from the Julian calendar, Julian to the Gregorian calendar. In the same year, the date the new year began was changed. Prior to 1752 it was Lady Day, 25 March; this was changed to 1 January. Many other European countries had already made the calendar changes before England had, sometimes centuries earlier. By 1751 there was an 11-day discrepancy between the date in England and the date in other European countries. For further detail on the changes involved in moving from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, see: Gregorian calendar. The French Republican Calendar or French Revolutionary Calendar was a calendar proposed during the French Revolution, and used by the French government for about 12 years from late 1793 to 1805, and for 18 days in 1871 in Paris. Dates in official records at this time use the revolutionary calendar and need "translating" into the Gregorian calendar for calculating ages etc. There are various websites which do this.


Occupations

Occupational information may be important to understanding an ancestor's life and for distinguishing two people with the same name. A person's occupation may have been related to his or her social status, political interest, and migration pattern. Since skilled trades are often passed from father to son, occupation may also be indirect evidence of a family relationship. It is important to remember that a person may change occupations, and that titles change over time as well. Some workers no longer fit for their primary trade often took less prestigious jobs later in life, while others moved upwards in prestige. Many unskilled ancestors had a variety of jobs depending on the season and local trade requirements. Census returns may contain some embellishment; e.g., from labourer to masonry, mason, or from journeyman to master craftsman. Names for old or unfamiliar local occupations may cause confusion if poorly legible. For example, an ostler (a keeper of horses) and a hostler (an innkeeper) could easily be confused for one another. Likewise, descriptions of such occupations may also be problematic. The perplexing description "ironer of rabbit burrows" may turn out to describe an ironer (profession) in the Bristol district named Rabbit Burrows. Several trades have regionally preferred terms. For example, "shoemaker" and "cordwainer" have the same meaning. Finally, many apparently obscure jobs are part of a larger trade community, such as watchmaking, Stocking frame, framework knitting or gunmaking. Occupational data may be reported in occupational licences, tax assessments, membership records of professional organizations, trade directories, census returns, and vital records (civil registration). Occupational dictionaries are available to explain many obscure and archaic trades.


Reliability of sources

Information found in historical or genealogical sources can be unreliable and it is good practice to evaluate all sources with a critical eye. Factors influencing the reliability of genealogical information include: the knowledge of the informant (or writer); the bias and mental state of the informant (or writer); the passage of time and the potential for copying and compiling errors. The quality of census data has been of special interest to historians, who have investigated reliability issues.


Knowledge of the informant

The informant is the individual who provided the recorded information. Genealogists must carefully consider who provided the information and what he or she knew. In many cases the informant is identified in the record itself. For example, a death certificate usually has two informants: a physician who provides information about the time and cause of death and a family member who provides the birth date, names of parents, etc. When the informant is not identified, one can sometimes deduce information about the identity of the person by careful examination of the source. One should first consider who was alive (and nearby) when the record was created. When the informant is also the person recording the information, the handwriting can be compared to other handwriting samples. When a source does not provide clues about the informant, genealogists should treat the source with caution. These sources can be useful if they can be compared with independent sources. For example, a census record by itself cannot be given much weight because the informant is unknown. However, when censuses for several years concur on a piece of information that would not likely be guessed by a neighbor, it is likely that the information in these censuses was provided by a family member or other informed person. On the other hand, information in a single census cannot be confirmed by information in an undocumented compiled genealogy since the genealogy may have used the census record as its source and might therefore be dependent on the same misinformed individual.


Motivation of the informant

Even individuals who had knowledge of the fact, sometimes intentionally or unintentionally provided false or misleading information. A person may have lied in order to obtain a government benefit (such as a military pension), avoid taxation, or cover up an embarrassing situation (such as the existence of a non-marital child). A person with a distressed state of mind may not be able to accurately recall information. Many genealogical records were recorded at the time of a loved one's death, and so genealogists should consider the effect that grief may have had on the informant of these records.


The effect of time

The passage of time often affects a person's ability to recall information. Therefore, as a general rule, data recorded soon after the event are usually more reliable than data recorded many years later. However, some types of data are more difficult to recall after many years than others. One type especially prone to recollection errors is dates. Also the ability to recall is affected by the significance that the event had to the individual. These values may have been affected by cultural or individual preferences.


Copying and compiling errors

Genealogists must consider the effects that copying and compiling errors may have had on the information in a source. For this reason, sources are generally categorized in two categories: original and derivative. An original source is one that is not based on another source. A derivative source is information taken from another source. This distinction is important because each time a source is copied, information about the record may be lost and errors may result from the copyist misreading, mistyping, or miswriting the information. Genealogists should consider the number of times information has been copied and the types of derivation a piece of information has undergone. The types of derivatives include: photocopies, transcriptions, abstracts, translations, extractions, and compilations. In addition to copying errors, compiled sources (such as published genealogies and online pedigree databases) are susceptible to misidentification errors and incorrect conclusions based on circumstantial evidence. Identity errors usually occur when two or more individuals are assumed to be the same person. Circumstantial or indirect evidence does not explicitly answer a genealogical question, but either may be used with other sources to answer the question, suggest a probable answer, or eliminate certain possibilities. Compilers sometimes draw hasty conclusions from circumstantial evidence without sufficiently examining all available sources, without properly understanding the evidence, and without appropriately indicating the level of uncertainty.


Primary and secondary sources

In genealogical research, information can be obtained from primary or secondary sources. Primary sources are records that were made at the time of the event, for example a death certificate would be a primary source for a person's death date and place. Secondary sources are records that are made days, weeks, months, or even years after an event.


Standards and ethics

Organizations that educate and certify genealogists have established standards and ethical guidelines they instruct genealogists to follow.


Research standards

Genealogy research requires analyzing documents and drawing conclusions based on the evidence provided in the available documents. Genealogists need standards to determine whether or not their evaluation of the evidence is accurate. In the past, genealogists in the United States borrowed terms from Burden of proof (law), judicial law to examine evidence found in documents and how they relate to the researcher's conclusions. However, the differences between the two disciplines created a need for genealogists to develop their own standards. In 2000, the Board for Certification of Genealogists published their first manual of standards. The Genealogical Proof Standard created by the Board for Certification of Genealogists is widely distributed in seminars, workshops, and educational materials for genealogists in the United States. Other genealogical organizations around the world have created similar standards they invite genealogists to follow. Such standards provide guidelines for genealogists to evaluate their own research as well as the research of others. Standards for genealogical research include: * Clearly document and organize findings. * Cite all sources in a specific manner so that others can locate them and properly evaluate them. * Locate all available sources that may contain information relevant to the research question. * Analyze findings thoroughly, without ignoring conflicts in records or negative evidence. * Rely on original, rather than derivative sources, wherever possible. * Use logical reasoning based on reliable sources to reach conclusions. * Acknowledge when a specific conclusion is only "possible" or "probable" rather than "proven." * Acknowledge that other records that have not yet been discovered may overturn a conclusion.


Ethical guidelines

Genealogists often handle sensitive information and share and publish such information. Because of this, there is a need for ethical standards and boundaries for when information is too sensitive to be published. Historically, some genealogists have fabricated information or have otherwise been untrustworthy. Genealogical organizations around the world have outlined ethical standards as an attempt to eliminate such problems. Ethical standards adopted by various genealogical organizations include: * Respect copyright laws * Acknowledge where one consulted another's work and do not plagiarize the work of other researchers. * Treat original records with respect and avoid causing damage to them or removing them from repositories. * Treat archives and archive staff with respect. * Protect the privacy of living individuals by not publishing or otherwise disclosing information about them without their permission. * Disclose any conflicts of interest to clients. * When doing paid research, be clear with the client about scope of research and fees involved. * Do not fabricate information or publish false or unproven information as proven. * Be sensitive about information found through genealogical research that may make the client or family members uncomfortable. In 2015, a committee presented standards for genetic genealogy at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. The standards emphasize that genealogists and testing companies should respect the privacy of clients and recognize the limits of DNA tests. It also discusses how genealogists should thoroughly document conclusions made using DNA evidence.[/] In 2019, the Board for the Certification of Genealogists officially updated their standards and code of ethics to include standards for genetic genealogy.


See also


References


Further reading

General * * Hopwood, Nick, Rebecca Flemming, Lauren Kassell, eds. ''Reproduction: Antiquity to the Present Day'' (Cambridge UP, 2018). Illustrations. xxxv + 730 pp
excerpt
als
online review
44 scholarly essays by historians. * * * * British Isles * * * * * Kriesberg, Adam. "The future of access to public records? Public–private partnerships in US state and territorial archives." ''Archival Science'' 17.1 (2017): 5-25. * China * * Continental Europe * * * * *Volkmar Weiss: ''German Genealogy in Its Social and Political Context.'' KDP, 2020, North America * * * * * * * * *


External links

* {{Authority control Genealogy, Kinship and descent