Standards: DNA and the GPS

March 30th, 2018 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

TITLE: A Matter of Standards: DNA and the GPS
TIME & DATE: Friday, 04 May 2018, 2:30 p.m.
SPONSOR: BCG Skillbuilding

As a type of genealogical evidence, DNA is both unique and very mainstream. Despite its differences, we need to apply tried and true genealogical criteria to the use of DNA test results in order to meet the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). This begins with reasonably exhaustive research and incorporates good citation practices, thorough analysis and correlation of data, and resolution of conflicts, all of which are essential if we are to reach a sound conclusion.

In “A Matter of Standards: DNA and the GPS,” part of the BCG Skillbuilding track, we’ll look at DNA’s track record in genealogical research and how, in less than 20 years, it’s gone from being an impractical research technique not available for general use to a routine and everyday part of genealogy. We’ll look at how DNA is different, since we need a bit of additional training to understand and use it in our research, but also how it’s like any other genealogical evidence that needs to be source-cited, properly analyzed, correlated, compared and contrasted with other evidence, and conflicts within the evidence resolved.

In other words, it’s evidence that very much implicates the GPS, and we’ll explore how it does – and sometimes does not – play well with others in the genealogical evidence sandbox.

ABOUT: Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, provides expert guidance through the murky territory where law, history, and genealogy come together. Her award-winning blog The Legal Genealogist can be found at