Lucas County Chapter
of the Ohio Genealogical Society
Rules of Evidence for First Families of Lucas County, Ohio
1. Primary of collateral evidence from vital statistics, courthouse or other government records, church and school records, are all considered to be beyond doubt and excellent proof.
2, Secondary evidence, such as census records, newspaper clippings, old letters, Bible or other family records contemporary to the fact reported, is considered almost as authentic.
3. Circumstantial evidence or hearsay is not considered as proof unless backed up by primary or secondary evidence.
4. Oral, written, or published family traditions are very often wrong and not accepted as proof.
5. Printed or manuscript genealogies or genealogical compilations are usually not acceptable as proof.
6. Lineage papers form patriotic or hereditary societies, by themselves, are not considered proof. The document copies used for providing the lineage might be considered as proof if they follow these rules of evidence.
7. Material authored by the applicant, or his family, cannot be considered as proof.
8. If a document merely implies a fact, it is not considered proof. An example is the expression “heirs-at-law” used in some estates. This indicates different things in different states, but in no case is it used as an indication or proof of descent. This statement could mean nieces, nephews, cousins, adopted children or even parents.
9. Copies of old letters, family records, etc., can be accepted as proof only for the facts the writer of the record or letter would logically know of his own, contemporary knowledge. They cannot be accepted as proof for facts the writer could only have obtained by hearsay from older generations or other sources.
10. Documents written in a foreign language must be accompanied by a translation into English and the translation certified as “true translation” by the translator (not the applicant or family member.
11. Land transactions (deeds, warrants, grants, tax records, etc.) can only be accepted as evidence of settlement in Lucas County if the record actually states that the individual was “of Lucas County”.
12. Female ancestors must be proved as individuals by their maiden names.
13. A direct line from applicant to pioneer ancestor must be proved at every step. Blood line descent only is acceptable, not collateral or adoptive lines.
14. All proof documents must state their source. Bible records must include a photocopy of the title page with publication date and current owner's name and address.
15. Typed, handwritten or printed copies of original documents must be certified as “True Copy” and signed by the courthouse or other official, or a librarian, etc. An applicant or member or his/her family cannot certify a document. Photocopies of original documents are acceptable (in fact, preferred) if there are no changes on the original.
16. Married female applicants must include a copy of their marriage record to prove their change of name.
Any questions can be referred to the Chairperson, First Families of Lucas County, Ohio.