Genealogical Research Process Flowchart by Marc McDermott

Help with Genealogical Proof Standards (GPS)

Isn’t it funny how one insignificant thing can lead to something clever and resourceful?

I received an email from Marc McDermott of the Genealogy Explained website regarding a link on my page to the Board for Certifications of Genealogists, Genealogical Proof Standards (GPS) that was broken. The BCG had redesigned their site a few months back, and for some reason it never occurred to me that my link would become broken from that redesign. I want to thank Marc for pointing it out to me, especially since my Google services missed it.

Anyway, he mentioned in his email he was a genealogy blogger, so I began investigating his site, Genealogy Explained. As he explains it, “Understanding the fundamentals of genealogy is critical,” so he “… break[s] down complicated and advanced subjects into more bite-sized, digestible content. Whenever possible, I try to introduce unique illustrations and diagrams since I am a big believer in visual learning.”

One of the “unique illustrations” is a flowchart on how to perform genealogical research following the GPS.

Genealogical Research Process Flowchart Using GPS by Marc McDermott

I will tell you, I would have loved to have this when I was going through the ProGen class.

The flowchart is very easy to follow. It helps differentiate between original, authored, and derivative works, whether the information is primary, secondary, or undetermined.  It also answers many other questions that you should look at while performing research. The flow will take you exactly where you need to go following each question.

Granted, you can still complete a sloppy research question, or answer one of the questions wrong, but for the most part it is a wonderful tool.

Check out Marc McDermott’s site, Genealogy Explained, for other resources that may just prove to be as helpful as his GPS flowchart.