. . . is the title of my article just published on Archives.com.
Most records genealogists deal with were not created to answer our questions. Vital records often come close, but common names can be a problem, and as we move back through the years such records become scarce or were never created in the first place. In general, the more distant the ancestors, the less likely we are to find direct answers to our questions about them, and the more we will need to think in terms of indirect evidence -- piling up clues from which we can prove a conclusion, or at least a probability.This will also be the topic of one of my two talks at NGS 2012 in Cincinnati.