Friday, June 21, 2013
Mastering Genealogical Proof - Chapter 1
Wednesday was the second meeting of our Gen Proof Study group. The first, two weeks ago, was a get acquainted meeting. This group meets every two weeks by video chat, using Google Hangout so there is no cost. Angela Packer McGhie, the administrator of the ProGen Study Groups, organized the Gen Proof study groups as well. Each group meets at regularly scheduled times to discuss a chapter of Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, GG, CGL, FASG, FNGS.
Tom Jones mentored the first study group, which began in May. The participants in that group are the mentors for subsequent groups. Our mentor is Debbie Hooper, CG. We seem to have a diverse group, some professionals, some not; some who have researched for many years and others relatively new to genealogy. But all of us have joined the group for the same reason, to become better genealogists and to adhere to accepted standards for today’s researchers. For me it is a continuation of the Tom Jones course at SLIG “Advanced Genealogical Methods”. Tom is one of those people whose teaching methods make you say, "oh yeah, why didn’t I think of that". So many gems to take your research theone step further that you need to answer your questions. He teaches using actual case studies, and the book provides the same tools. At the end of each chapter is a series of exercises to further understanding of the concepts of the chapter. The answers require familiarizing yourself with the articles provided in the book. Then the group meets to discuss the chapter and the exercises.
Our next meeting is to discuss Chapter 2: “Concepts Fundamental to the GPS”, (Genealogical Proof Standard). Any session, class, or discussion I have been a part of covering this topic proves to be a lengthy one. Many people seem get confused over the terminology: source, information, direct evidence, indirect evidence, primary information, etc. Sometimes a chart is helpful. But more on this next time.
I look forward to getting to know the group members. I hope to get as much out of this group as I did with my ProGen group. For more information on the study groups see Angela’s post “Gen Proof Study Groups – How To Get In”. There is also a public Google community page to encourage discussion of the book, Mastering Genealogical Proof community.