Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Two New Gen Proof Study Groups To Begin in April

Here is your chance to study the book Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones with a group of genealogists and discuss the concepts with a mentor. Below is an announcement from Michelle Goodrum, the administrator of the Gen Proof Study Groups.

Thanks to an arrangement with the ProGen Study Program, we are now offering Gen Proof Study Groups through the Basecamp project management website. Registration is now open for two groups beginning in April. Please read on for additional information.

Gen Proof Study Group Registration
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 two groups beginning in April:

Group 40 - Mentor Michelle Lewis
Beginning 6 April / Beginner/Intermediate level / Using the Basecamp website /
Asynchronous discussions /  One chapter per week (8 weeks)

Group 41 - Mentor Brenda Wheeler
Beginning 17 April / Advanced students / Using the Basecamp website
Text chats Friday evenings around 8-9pm Eastern. One chapter per week (8 weeks)

Study Group Platform
Thanks to an arrangement with the ProGen Study Program, the Gen Proof Study Groups now have the opportunity to use Basecamp as a platform. Basecamp is a project management platform. It is the same platform used for the ProGen Study Groups so some of you are already familiar with it.
There will be no expense involved to participate (other than the cost of the book). Each Gen Proof Study Group has their own private Basecamp group where they can ask and answer questions, submit assignments and examples and discuss the book content and assignments.

The following formats were selected for the study groups:  

• Asynchronous discussion (Group 40)-- The group will not meet at a designated time but have ongoing discussions throughout the week. The mentor will log on each day to answer questions and highlight certain concepts, and participants should check in daily also.
• Text chats (Group 41) – This group will meet on Friday evenings in a chat room for a live chat. Discussions can also take place throughout the week.
• Frequency – Both groups will meet every week for eight 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. Since these groups cover one chapter per week, it will be very fast paced. So you should plan on studying and participating for about 10-15 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
IF you are prepared to make a commitment to the study group, then please email with the subject heading “Registration.”
Placement in discussion groups is on a first come first serve basis.
Gorup mentored by:
City, State:
Preferred Email Address:

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 Basecamp 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 William M. Litchman, CG, 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 second week / discussion will cover chapter 2 including the reading and exercises, and will continue with one chapter per 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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