Friday, December 19, 2014

Study Mastering Genealogy Proof in 2015

Registration is now open for two new Gen Proof Study Groups beginning in January 2015.

The Gen Proof Study Groups are organized to study the book Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones. This is an exceptional textbook detailing the application of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). The exercises will help you develop the skills you need to be comfortable applying the GPS to your genealogy work. This study program will consist of small groups of 10-20 members and a mentor who will guide the discussions and answer questions.

Registration is now open for 2 groups beginning in January 2015.

Group 37 with Liz Stratton, PLCGS
Begin Date: 18 January
Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Format: Asynchronous Google+ with Hangouts
Frequency: One chapter every other week.
Hangout Thurs 9pm Eastern. Possibility for second Hangout time also.

Group 38 with Cari Taplin
Begin Date: 19 January
Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Format: Asynchronous Google+ with optional Hangouts
Frequency: One chapter every other week.
Study Group Platform
We use a Google + private community as a platform for this study group so there will be no expense involved to participate (other than the cost of the book). You need a free Google + account. Each Gen Proof Study Group has their own private Google + community where they can ask and answer questions and discuss the book content and assignments.

Both mentors have selected the following format for their study groups:
Asynchronous discussion board -- The group will not meet at a designated time but have ongoing discussions on a private Google + Community discussion board throughout the week. The mentor will log on each day to answer questions and highlight certain concepts, and participants should check in daily also.

Frequency – These groups will meet every other week for sixteen weeks. Please be sure you have time to read the chapter and complete all of the exercises (these may take you several hours) BEFORE each of your group discussions. You should plan on studying and participating for about ten hours per week.

Commitments -- Please take into account any travel plans or large time commitments before registering for a study group. You should plan to fully participate in all of the group discussions and so should wait for a future group if you have a vacation coming up or large projects you are working on.

Completion Certificates – In order to encourage full participation throughout the course, we are now offering completion certificates to those who fully participate and complete the mentoring program. In order to qualify you must participate in each of the discussions and complete the exercises. In order for the group to be successful we need full participation from each group member.

How to Register for a Group
IF you are prepared to make a commitment to the study group, then please email the following information to with the subject heading “Registration.”
Placement in discussion groups is on a first come first serve basis.
Group mentored by:
City, State:
Preferred Email Address:
Google + username (usually an email address):
** The Google + account is necessary for the asynchronous discussion group.

Getting Started
Once you have been assigned to a group you will receive a confirmation email. After your group fills, you will be contacted and given access to the private Google + community for your group discussions.

BEFORE the start date of you group you should do the following:
1.     Begin reading Mastering Genealogical Proof. In particular read the preface, chapters 1 and 2.
2.     Read the two articles in Appendixes A and B. These articles will require multiple readings in order to absorb the information and do the exercises related to these articles. While the exercises don’t begin until chapter 2, you will need the extra time to digest these articles.
3.     If you are not familiar with the short article by Dr. William M. Litchman for learning how to read a National Genealogical Society Quarterly article, you will find his method helpful. The articles in Appendix A and B originally appeared in the NGSQ. The link to the Litchman article is 

The discussions begin on the date designated. The first week / discussion will begin right off discussing the preface and chapter one. The third week / discussion will cover chapter 2 including the reading and exercises, and will continue with one chapter every other week, according the schedule set by the mentor.

Each group will discuss key points in the reading and there will be opportunities to ask questions on the reading material, exercises, and answers to the exercises. Each mentor will highlight points they think are important and guide discussions on the Genealogical Proof Standard and other content in each chapter.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask your mentor, or email Michelle Goodrum at

Michelle Goodrum
Gen Proof Study Groups Administrator

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