Monday, April 29, 2013

Gen Proof Study Groups – How To Get In

I appreciate all the interest there has been in the Gen Proof groups studying the new book Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones. [See the announcement and details on these new study groups here. Order the book here.] There are over 100 members on the Mastering Genealogical Proof Google + Community page. We have decided to create a waiting list to join the study groups so that registration for each of the study groups will be very orderly.

Make a Commitment
The study format we have chosen is small groups of ten people including a mentor who will guide the group discussions and answer questions. Because there is limited space in these study groups we are asking that anyone who applies to participate is willing to make a commitment to the following:

1)    Read Mastering Genealogical Proof and complete all of the practice exercises. 

2)    Commit to discussing each chapter with your group members and mentor. For groups that meet at a designated time each week this would mean attending ALL the discussions for eight weeks (or every other week for 16 weeks).

3)    Be prepared to share your thoughts and insights on each of the following topics:
Chapter 1 -- Genealogy's Proof Standard
Chapter 2 -- Concepts Fundamental to the GPS
Chapter 3 -- GPS Element 1: Thorough Research
Chapter 4 -- GPS Element 2: Source Citations
Chapter 5 -- GPS Element 3: Analysis and Correlation
Chapter 6 -- GPS Element 4: Resolving Conflicts and Assembling Evidence
Chapter 7 -- GPS Element 5: The Written Conclusion
Chapters 8 & 9 -- Using the GPS and Conclusion

If you are traveling, have major commitments this summer, or do not have at least five hours per week to dedicate to studying Mastering Genealogical Proof, then please wait until you have the time to sign up to participate.

Formats and Scheduling
Each of the mentors that will study in the first group with Tom Jones is evaluating their schedule and deciding upon a study group format and start date for their group. A list of the Gen Proof mentors will be posted in May. As the format and time are the choice of the mentor there will be some variety in the options available.

  • Video chat on a certain day/time each week via Google Hangout
  • Text chat  on a certain day/time each week via Basecamp private chat room
  • Ongoing discussions boards sharing questions and thoughts via a private Google + community page. Participants can post thoughts and questions on an ongoing basis on the chapter being studied during week and the mentor and group members will posts their thoughts and responses.
Meeting times:
  • Some groups will meet and study one chapter every week for 8 weeks, and others will meet every other week for 16 weeks
  • There will be a variety of start dates beginning in June, July and August
Those on the waiting list will be able to choose a study group time and format that works best for them on a first come first serve basisThere is only room for ten people in each group, so if all the groups fill quickly then more groups will be scheduled in the fall.

Registration Process

1) To join the Gen Proof study group waiting list send an email to genproofstudy at 

2)   We will email an application form to those on the waiting list which will include the name of each mentor with their study group start date and format.  Participants will reply with a commitment to participate and indicate their first and second choice for study groups.

3)      Once we have those on the waiting list divided into study groups your mentor will contact you and give you access to the private Google + community or Basecamp website where you will participate in your group discussions.

4)      Have fun studying this wonderful new book with a great group of genealogists!

Questions can be asked on the Mastering Genealogical Proof Google + Community page or via email at genproofstudy at

Alternative Program
If you would like to study the book Mastering Genealogical Proof, but do not want to participate in the in-depth small group discussions in this Gen Proof study program, then you may like to follow along with others studying the book in Dear Myrtle’s MPG Study Group by watching a panel discuss each chapter via Google Hangouts on Air or YouTube. 


  1. So if we joined the community page, do we need to also send an email? I joined the google community page early.

  2. Anne, yes send an email but we will use the date you joined the community page. We just want to manage the waiting list more effectively.

  3. Hi Angela,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Are the GenProof Study Groups still being held?

  5. Yes, I am just posting an announcement about the two groups starting in April.