Many users on popular commercial genealogy websites have merged two or more seemingly sole and separate individuals as one singular person. Evidence supporting these reconciliations is mostly non-existent in these published user trees. While genealogists would be remiss to ignore the “low hanging fruit,” independent research and analysis must be conducted before accepting this information as fact.
I recently wrote a proof argument about a woman named Juliette DeVries. Juliette was my first cousin, twice removed. Over the course of Juliette's adult life, she assumed an additional four identities!
Multiple birth certificates, marriage records, newspaper articles, social security documents, divorce records, and obituaries were used to verify that Juliette DeVries, Juliet Berger, Jessie Bolling, Sally Bolling, and Sally Eades were all one in the same person.
None of these records, individually, told the full story of this remarkable woman, but examining all of these documents together revealed quite a colorful picture! A marriage, an affair, a divorce, an illegitimate child, and a common law marriage were just some of the events discovered in this journey.
The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS), in part, requires genealogists to conduct "reasonably exhaustive research" and "critical tests of relevant evidence through processes of analysis and correlation." Can you imagine how much of Juliette's story may have been overlooked if either of these steps had been skipped?
Disclaimer: Each blog post is created and presented for marketing and entertainment purposes only but are based on larger research which adheres to the standards of The Board of Certification of Genealogists® as set forth in Genealogical Standards (Nashville, Tenn.: Ancestry Imprint, Turner Publishing, 2014).