This is an explanation of the different categories of genealogy sources & evidence, listing the criteria of each. Categorizing alerts you to which sources are more prone to errors than others & strengthen the credibility of the conclusion.



  1. Authored Works – presents a writers conclusions
  2. Records – Document or describe an event, observation, or action. Records can be subdivided into original or derivative. Original records are documents often made at the time of the event. They are not based on prior records. Derivatives are created from prior records, includes transcripts, abstracts, translations & reproductions.


  1. Primary – Reported by eyewitness
  2. Secondary – Information by someone with second-hand information
  3. Indeterminate – Information that the identity of the informant is unknown.


  1. Direct – Information that answers a research question all by itself
  2. indirect – Two or more pieces of information that answer a question only when they are combined
  3. Negative – information that could not be found

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