Here are some standards the PRA believes will help you with your genealogy research.
PRA Genealogy Research Standards
The PRA subscribes to the following standards as published by the National Genealogical Society:
©2002 by National Genealogical Society. Permission is granted to copy or publish this material provided it is reproduced in its entirety, including this notice.
PRA Standards for Queries
In your query, please provide as much information as possible about the person you are researching.
Name - First (given) - Middle (if any) - Surname (last)
Dates - The three basic genealogical dates are:
Dates can be approximate if exact is not know - for example use ca [circa] or abt [about] ), marriage, census, and death; any locations for the basic dates (such as birth, marriage and death).
Get in the habit of thinking genealogically by using genealogical formats for dates. Use the dd/mmm/yyyy (23 Oct 1998) format.
Be aware of the areas where old style dates and new styles dates conflict. (It is hard to state when the "Old Style" Julian Calendar ended and the presently used Gregorian Calendar came into use , because different countries adopted the "New Style" at different times.
Location - You should have at least one time frame and one locality.
- If you have varying localities for these three events (birth, marriage and death), or know of other places where an individual of your family resided, what his or her occupation was, please include that, too, because it will provide more opportunity for another researcher to recognize your line and help you.
A sample query might look like this:
Looking for any information on John James PENNINGTON, b. 23 Mar 1815 in Marin Co., CA, m. 1 Apr 1835 in Marin Co., CA, d. 8 Dec 1915 in Marin Co., CA. Married Jane Mary SMITH, b. 10 Dec 1817.
Whenever possible, state the basis for the information you are presenting. This might go something like this:
"Our family tradition holds that John Pennington was born in Maryland, but his listing on the 1880 census for Kirkwood township, Belmont County, Ohio, states that he was born in Ohio and that his mother and father were both born in Maryland." If you believe something to be true, but are still looking for a means of proving it, state that too. It will help others reason along with you to help solve your puzzle.