Genealogy Standards #47 gives this description of evidence correlation: “Genealogists test their evidence by comparing and contrasting evidence items. They use such correlation to discover parallels, patterns, and inconsistencies, including points at which evidence items agree, conflict, or both.”1
- reveal if your information comes from a variety of informants or writers. (See Genealogy Standards #46: Evidence Independence.)
- help you spot holes in your research.
- reveal proof.
When you correlate a variety of evidence found in census, land, probate, etc., the details should fit together. When a piece of information does not fit, you need to try to resolve the conflict. (See, Genealogy Standards #48: Resolving evidence inconsistencies.)
Tools for correlation may include:
- a written narrative
Also, Mastering Genealogical Proof, by Thomas W. Jones,3 is a great source to study again and again.