canstockphoto16180022 downloaded 3 January 2015You just spent the last several weeks analyzing your previous research. Now, it’s time to correlate your previous research findings.

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

Correlation may:

  • 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:

  • timelines
  • charts
  • tables
  • spreadsheets
  • maps
  • lists
  • a written narrative

To see an example of evidence correlation, check out Stefani Evans’ article, “Skillbuilding: Evidence Correlation.”2

Also, Mastering Genealogical Proof, by Thomas W. Jones,3 is a great source to study again and again.

  1. Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards (New York, N.Y.:, 2014), 27.
  2. Stefani Evans, “Skillbuilding: Evidence Correlation,” OnBoard 18 (September 2002).
  3. Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013).