This is the handout for the Proof episode. Finding proof of your lineage can be a challenge at times. In a criminal court of law, you need to prove someone’s guilt “beyond a shadow of a doubt.” Similarly in genealogy, we need to have evidence that after “reasonably exhaustive research,” the evidence points to a solid conclusion. In this process we are weighing the evidence for its validity.
What if it’s not that easy? What if we can’t say that one person is the father of another person beyond a shadow of doubt? What if there is not enough evidence to give us a solid conclusion? What do we do then?
First, before frustration sets in, let’s take a step back. Let’s run through a few questions and steppingstones (genealogy checks and balances) to see where you are in your research.