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Southwest Virginia Campbells

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The National Genealogical Society (NGS) promulgated a set of "Standards for Sound Genealogical Research" in their March 1998 issue (Volume 86, Number 1, Page 50).   By permission granted by the NGS, these standards are presented below.

Standards for Sound Genealogical Research

Recommended by the National Genealogical Society

Remembering always that they are engaged in a quest for truth, family history researchers consistently --

  • Record the source for each item of information they collect.

  • Test every hypothesis or theory against credible evidence and reject those
    that are not supported by the evidence.

  • Seek original records, or reproduced images of them when there is
    reasonable assurance that they have not been altered, as the basis for their
    research conclusions.

  • Use compilations, communications, and published works, whether paper or
    electronic, primarily for their value as guides to locating the original
    records.

  • State something as a fact only when it is supported by convincing evidence
    and identify the evidence when communicating a fact to others.

  • Limit with words like "probable" or "possible" any statement that is based
    on less than convincing evidence and state the reasons for concluding that
    it is probable or possible.

  • Avoid misleading other researchers by either intentionally or carelessly
    distributing or publishing inaccurate information.

  • State carefully and honestly the results of their own research and
    acknowledge all use of other researchers' work.

  • Recognize the collegial nature of genealogical research by making their
    work available to others through publication, or by placing copies in
    appropriate libraries or repositories, and by welcoming critical comment.

  • Consider with open minds new evidence or the comments of others on their
    work and the conclusions they have reached.

Copyright 1997 by the National Genealogical Society.  Permission is granted to copy or publish this material, provided it is reproduced in its entirety, including this notice.