Sample Work Products
As examples of quality work products, BCG offers a sampling
of materials prepared by board-certified genealogists. Click
any link below to download a PDF version for your personal
The genealogies and proof arguments presented here have
been published by peer-reviewed journals and are used with
their permission. All works are copyrighted by their authors.
At your own website, if you wish, you may provide links
to these models. However, the authors' copyrights do not
permit their work to be copied for reproduction elsewhere.
Please note also: Every journal has a house style that
reflects its tradition. While these published articles
provide excellent models of genealogies and proof arguments, Genealogy Standards recommends, for consistency,
the following style guides:
WRITING STYLE: Chicago Manual of
Style, 16th ed. (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 2010).
CITATIONS: Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing
History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, second edition revised (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing
Co., 2012). A digital version is available from Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation, and Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com), via "Book Store."
Case Studies and Proof
Thorough research often results in a significant body of
relevant material that may or may not directly resolve the
problem. You may have accumulated multiple pieces of direct
evidence that conflict with each other. Or you may have
substantial indirect evidence that, when assembled properly,
reveals the answer to the research problem even though no
one document states the answer explicitly. In such cases,
you will want to prepare a "proof argument"—that
is, a detailed discussion of the problem, the evidence,
and the resolution of the problem.
Proof arguments, when published in genealogical journals,
are typically referred to as case
studies. As a rule, they
demonstrate how to resolve problems of identity or kinship,
a skill that BCG tests under Application Requirement 6.
Proof arguments may also be incorporated into client reports
(Application Requirement 4) and narrative genealogies or
narrative lineages (Application Requirement 7).
By clicking the links
below, you will find PDF versions of several excellent
models that meet the Genealogical
- Short Models:
Finley, Carmen, Ph.D., CG. "Who
Was Aunt Mary? A Brief Case Study in Identification
and Kinship 'Correction.'" (previously unpublished)
Freilich, Kay Haviland, CG. "Was
She Really Alice Fling? Righting a Wrong Identity."
Genealogical Society Quarterly 88 (September
Lustenberger, Anita, CG. "Connecting
Four Generations of Isaac Freers of Ulster County, New
York, through a Misinterpreted Will and Deeds."
Genealogist 74 (October 1999): 250-57.
Saxbe, William B., Jr., CG, FASG. "Who
Was the Mother of James2 Paule (1657-1724)
of Taunton, Massachusetts?" The
American Genealogist 73 (October 1998): 312-315.
- Mid-Length Models:
Jones, Thomas W., CG, CGL, Ph.D. "Merging
Identities Properly: Jonathan Tucker Demonstrates the
Genealogical Society Quarterly 88 (June 2000):
Joslyn, Roger, CG, FASG. "Rebecca,
Wife of Thomas1 Josselyn of Hingham and Lancaster,
New England Historical and Genealogical Register
158 (October 2004): 330-40.
Kerstens, Elizabeth Kelley, CG, CGL. "Finding
the Irish Origins of Charles Doherty." National
Genealogical Society Quarterly 92 (September
- Moderately Long Model:
Mills, Elizabeth Shown, CG, CGL, FASG. “Which
Marie Louise is ‘Mariotte’? Sorting Slaves
of Common Names.” National
Genealogical Society Quarterly 94 (September 2006): 183-204. As
a case study, this article (like those above) serves
as an example for Application Requirement 6. Additionally,
its genealogical summary, with two embedded proof arguments,
serves as an example of a narrative genealogy for BCG
Application Requirement 7.
Families may be assembled in many ways. Common formats
include lineages, studies of all descendants of a single
family, all ancestors of an individual, or a combination
of these. You may prefer to tell your family story in some
historical context (a "narrative genealogy")
or you may prefer a more traditional "compiled genealogy." The
most critical element is your choice of a numbering system
that enables other users of your work to correctly interpret
the relationships between individuals. The two standard
numbering systems are those developed by the National
Genealogical Society Quarterly and the New England
Historical and Genealogical Register. The links below
provide three examples of quality work.
Lenzen, Connie, CG. "The
Maternal Line of Elizabeth (Niesz) Titus." (2007).
An example of a narrative lineage for Requirement 7;
At the close of every research project or assignment,
thorough researchers prepare a research report for
their clients or their family files. That report summarizes
what was done within the project and lays the groundwork
for the next stage of research. Its format may vary according
to the type of project. For very simple research requests,
a "letter report" may suffice. For most research
efforts, a more formal report is needed. In general terms,
a formal report covers the following:
- It identifies the problem that was researched and
the parties involved;
- It identifies the materials used in this project and
their location, with full citations;
- It identifies limitations placed upon the project
that may have affected the results.
BODY OF REPORT:
- It presents all findings, with fully-documented abstracts,
transcripts, or other forms of research notes, and with
appropriate interpretation and analysis;
- It clearly separates all analyses and conclusions
of the researcher from the detail of the records being
abstrated or transcribed;
- It may include proof arguments, when and where necessary;
- It provides a summary analysis of what was accomplished
in the project;
- It suggests future work based on current results.
As attachments, it may include other items - for example:
- Photocopies of pertinent records with full documentation
supplied in the margin of the face of the document;
- A compiled genealogy to summarize the family that
is being reconstructed.
Four examples are available in PDF form by clicking on
the links below. Other sample research reports, covering
other types of research assignments, will be periodically
If you are a professional researcher, it is important to
have a written agreement between you and your client. Click
the following links to download PDF versions of sample client
agreements for your personal reference. They should be used
only as a springboard for analyzing your own needs. You
should consult an attorney for assistance in drafting your