Monday, May 13, 2013

How Far Back Can You Go?

I am sure you have seen pedigrees posted on the internet that go waaaaaaaay back.  I start getting pretty skeptical if I see anything prior to 1600.  Apparently there are people out there that have managed to trace their line all the way back to Adam and Eve, or so they claim.  I have never seen a pedigree like this but apparently they are out there. Nathan W. Murphy of FamilySearch wrote a great two part blog post, I Have My Family Tree Back to Adam and Eve Part 1 and Part 2 that you should read.

Suffice to say, every parent-child relationship must be proven and documented using the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) before the pedigree is credible.  For more information about the GPS take a look at “Have You Ordered Your Book Yet?” where I recommend Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS.  I have since received the book and I haven’t been disappointed.   Dear Myrtle will be hosting a series of study groups based on Tom’s book that I think will really help you understand the GPS process and apply it to your own research.  Pretty soon it will be come second nature.  For more information about that, see Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group with Dear Myrtle.

You can also read my six part series on the GPS that is geared specifically to the beginning researcher.

Step 1 – A Reasonably Exhaustive Search
Step 2 – Complete and Accurate Source Citations
Step 3 – Analysis and Correlation of the Collected Information
Step 4 – Resolution of Any Conflicting Evidence
Step 5 – A Soundly Reasoned, Coherently Written Conclusion

A bit of a tangent… there are a few researchers out there that have tried to document the genealogy of the Bible.  David W. Marshall is one and you can see his file HERE.  Another one is the Complete Bible Genealogy and yet another one is Adam to Christ.  I would imagine following the GPS would be a bit rough when doing Biblical genealogy since there is basically only one source (the Bible) though there are some 1st century writers such as Josephus as well as some non-canonical books such as the Apocrypha, Deuterocanonical Books, and the Pseudepigrapha that you could possibly use but you would have to document their credibility. What a project!  This isn’t something I think I will undertake. 

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis

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