verification

Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.

Verification refers to the process of confirming the accuracy or validity of information. The term derives the Latin versus, which means true. In genealogy, it is common to find contradictory information in names, dates, and places. The process of verifying which information is true or correct, often involves going back to the original source and comparing one fact against other facts related to a particular individual.

For genealogists, verification is especially important for work inherited or acquired from others. As information is handed down or otherwise passed from one person to another, the opportunity for error increases — this is true for all derivative sources. While the Internet affords great opportunity for the sharing of data, it also allows errors to be perpetuated; thus, investigating contradiction and verifying the work of others is important to credible research.

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