The first step of the Genealogical Proof Standard is to "complete a reasonably exhaustive search for all relevant records" related to your research objective. This presentation discusses what a "reasonably exhaustive search" constitutes, why this is necessary, and how to conduct a search. A case study explores how failing to identify all relevant records can lead to missing information and forming inaccurate conclusions about your ancestors' lives.
Michael Hait, a board-certified genealogist, has over ten years of research experience on families from Connecticut to South Carolina to Tennessee. He serves as the vice-president of the National Capital Area chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. He is the author of The Family History Research Toolkit; and Online State Resources for Genealogy. He is also the author and instructor for the "Research: African-American Ancestors" course at the National Institute of Genealogical Studies and the coordinator of the resource library for Lowcountry Africana.