Verifying work through the genealogical proof standard just got easier!
Our sources are the foundation of the work we create as family historians, genealogists, and the keepers of our family archives. They give us the foundation that our conclusions, assumptions and history are based on. Sources are also one of the most talked about topics among genealogists. We discuss how to do them, why to do them, who doesn’t do them, and everything in between. You would think at times that it is the topic that people love to hate.
I have to admit, I have struggled to keep my sources up-to-date and in the correct formats. Yes, I know it is important but at times it is not as much fun as the research. I also have longed for a way where I could compare multiple facts from one source at the same time; to be able to put my sources through their paces, guaranteeing that I have left no stone unturned. I like to ask myself “do my sources help or hurt me?” More importantly do they help me prove my case using the genealogical proof standard? Well, it turns out there is a new software program that can help with just these problems: Evidentia.
Evidentia is a program created by ed4becky, LLC and was released 17 December 2012. The reason Evidentia is different is due to the way information is used in the program. Instead of looking at the person Evidentia looks at the source and the information it contains. With this program you collect, in one place, all the pieces of evidence that a single source holds. Once you have your sources and evidence or assumptions entered into the program, Evidentia will create several different reports where you will see where your holes are and what flaws there may be in your logic, and it then leads you to figure out what else you need to research. It will also give you a Genealogical Proof Report analyzing all the assumptions you have made about a specific fact, for instance your grandfathers birth date.
I participated in the Beta testing for this program and fell in love with it immediately. It is easy to use, professional, and gave me excellent citations to use in my writing. The website is very informative and walks you through any questions or problems that you may run into. Six videos are also available on YouTube walking you through the program step by step. Within an hour I had several case studies up and running showing my how valid my proofs were and where I needed further work in my research.
Most important, this software is designed to enhance whatever program you currently use for genealogical research, not replace it. Currently it does not allow for you to upload GEDCOMs to the program or transfer information from Evidentia to your research software. While this will make for long hours of data entry for the user, not having the option to transfer data forces you to look at each source one at a time and analyze it thoroughly. The program is also available for Mac (OSX 10.7+) and PC (Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8) platforms. You can download a free 30-day trial before you purchase; however, for a limited time, you can purchase Evidentia for $19.99 instead of $24.99. In my opinion it is reasonably priced for software of this type.
*Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Evidentia. They did not ask or pay me to make this review. However, I will get a commission from any purchases made through my personal blog using the Evidentia link there.
© Shannon Bennett (TNT Family History) 2013