Genealogy Research Process Map – Version 2

Thursday, 31 Jul 2008 | by Mark Tucker

Genealogy Research Process Map - Version 2

In the last two and a half months alone, the original Genealogy Research Process Map post received 500 pageviews.  Version 2 of the map has only a few changes.  Besides fixing two typos,  the arrows separating the 6 process steps where moved up next to the step headers.  I did this to help it look more like a timeline.  Looking at the map, there are three main “rows”: the circle diagram, the process timeline, and the process details.  The idea is to start in the middle of the diagram to understand the steps in the process: Define, Search, Cite, Analyze, Resolve, and Conclude

Then you can read the step details below or see the concepts and artifacts above with color coding to relate them to the steps.

Click to download the Genealogy Research Process Map – Version 2 (PDF – 9.05 MB)

A complete history of changes can be found at Genealogy Research Process Map History.


  1. Thanks for publishing this map – just what I needed to re-work my RootsMagic database -

    Comment by Diane Sanfilippo — 2 Aug 2008 @ 1:06 am

  2. This is beautiful and will be very helpful. Just one comment. For those of us who have “older” vision, it would be more helpful to use black for the columns at the bottom, under “Define, Search Cite…” etc. Otherwise the colors are great.

    Comment by R. Walker — 8 Oct 2008 @ 10:51 am

  3. Hi Mark,
    Great job and a great resource for the genealogist and family historian. Thank you for doing this!

    Comment by Joan Miller — 31 Dec 2008 @ 3:54 pm

  4. Love it! We have shared this with our local genealogy society!
    Summit County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society

    Comment by Kelly Holderbaum — 14 Feb 2009 @ 2:58 pm

  5. Mark,

    Thank you for this very detailed map of the Research Process – I think everyone should be of the research process and apply it in their research.

    A couple of questions:
    1. You have direct, indirect, and negative listed as different types of evidence – why was circumstantial left off?
    2. The proof argument is good, but I wonder if more detail on establishing proof via Evidence Correlation would make it stronger?

    Hopefully my questions are viewed as feedback and not criticism – I really appreciate your efforts!
    An article that I’ve really enjoyed, and has been helpful in understanding the research process and the conceptual model of genealogical evidence has been:
    Thomas W. Jones, “A Conceptual Model of Genealogical Evidence; Linkage between Present-Day Sources and Past Facts,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 86, 5-18.

    Comment by Lynn Turner — 8 May 2009 @ 9:24 am

  6. Mark, a great visualization, logical in its approach. I second the request that the smaller text be in a solid black color.

    Comment by Dee Dee King, Certified Genealogist — 17 Nov 2009 @ 12:29 pm

  7. Just a note to thank you for the Research map. I like using a visualization process and know this will be helpful to me as I research our ancestors. I appreciate your great work and you sharing it !

    Comment by Terry Holman Sillito — 13 Feb 2011 @ 9:24 pm

  8. This is a great resource to follow just when you think you have everything covered ,use it to reference to make sure. Great

    Comment by Christine Curtis — 14 Feb 2011 @ 12:29 pm

  9. Hello Mark!
    Your Genealogy Research Process Map is just the teaching tool I need. My class on Genealogy Evidence would benefit greatly from this. Do I have your permission to duplicate the map for use in the classroom? About 25 students.
    Thanks so much!

    Comment by Deborah Campisano — 5 Jul 2011 @ 1:28 pm

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