Mastering Genealogical Proof – on Sale for 10% Off through Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015

ngs21At one point in time or another, every genealogist faces questionable sources and must determine whether to accept or reject these sources as accurate. The question arises, “can we not determine reliably which findings reflect the past?” Then, of course, if we do decide a source is acceptable, or credible, how do we prove this to others?

These are the questions for which Thomas Jones attempts to provide answers in his new book, Mastering Genealogical Proof. Better stated, perhaps, is to say in Jones’ new textbook. For this book is written in textbook style. Each chapter provides the critical learning followed by problems, which provide the reader a opportunity to practice ans set in memory the concepts shared within the chapter.

Family Roots Publishing is making this volume available for 10% off through Wednesday, September 9, 2015. Click her to order.

In 2000, the Board for Certification of Genealogists developed and produced the “Genealogical Proof of Standard,” a.k.a. GPS. This standard was an attempt to create a system for proof, pulling from the field of law and applying the best practices used by genealogists. The final product was a fifty-six point research standard.

Jones’ textbook pulls from the GPS, distilling its contents into an understandable and useable methodology any researcher, student, or newbie genealogist can use. The book teaches and guides the reader with easy to read chapters containing sixty-two real world exercises. The examples were pulled from the author’s own family’s genealogy and contain American, British, Germanic, and Irish roots. These examples demonstrate the use of this methodology across “diverse ethnicities and geographic origins.”

In the author’s own words:

“I wrote this book to help other genealogists understand in a reasonable time frame what decades of trail-and-error have taught me. I hope the text and exercises will save them from the embarrassing blunders and misconceptions I have experienced.”

About the Author

“Thomas Jones is a professor emeritus at Gallaudet University, where he designed and managed graduate programs, conducted research, and taught and mentored graduate students for twenty-seven years. He has co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002 and is a trustee and a past president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. He coordinates courses at the British Institute, Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and Samford University’s Institute on Genealogy and Historical Research; and he teaches in Boston University’s Genealogical Research Program.”

Table of Contents

Preface

Chapter 1: Genealogy’s Standard of Proof

  • What is genealogy?
  • Why a genealogical proof standard?
  • The Genealogical Proof Standard
  • Modern technologies and genealogical proof
  • Research and reasoning cycles
  • Using the GPS
  • Chapter 1 exercises

Chapter 2: Concepts Fundamental to the GPS

  • Research questions
  • Sources
    • Categories of genealogical sources
    • Importance of source distinctions
  • Information
    • Informants
    • Categories of genealogical information
    • Importance of information distinctions
  • Relationship of sources and information
  • Evidence
    • Categories of genealogical evidence
    • Importance of evidence distinctions
  • Relationship of sources and information to evidence
  • Chapter 2 exercises

Chapter 3: GPS Element 1: Thorough Research

  • What “reasonably exhaustive” means
  • Planning thorough research
  • Executing thorough research
  • Demonstrating research extent
  • Chapter 3 exercises

Chapter 4: GPS Element 2: Source Citations

  • Citation components
    • Five questions that citations answer
    • Physical sources viewed as images
    • Sequencing citation elements
  • Kinds of citations
    • Reference notes
    • Source lists
  • When and how to craft a citation
  • Resources for citing genealogical sources
  • Chapter 4 exercises

Chapter 5: GPS Element 3: Analysis and Correlation

  • Tests of analysis
    • Authored work or original or derivative record?
    • Primary, secondary, or indeterminable information?
    • Other tests of analysis
  • Tests of correlation
    • Prerequisite to correlation
    • Ways to correlate
  • When to analyze and correlate
  • Outcomes of analysis and correlation
    • Casting doubt
    • Resolve conflicts
    • Yield conclusions
  • Chapter 5 exercises

Chapter 6: GPS Element 4: Resolving Conflicts and Assembling Evidence

  • How evidence conflicts
  • Resolving conflicting evidence
    • Reasoning
    • Explaining conflict resolutions
  • Unresolved conflicts
  • Assembling evidence to establish a conclusion
  • Chapter 6 exercises

Chapter 7: GPS Element 5: The Written Conclusion

  • Proof statements
  • Proof summaries
  • Proof arguments
    • Differences between proof arguments and proof summaries
    • Divisions within proof arguments
    • Developing the argument
  • Clear writing
  • Chapter 7 exercises

Chapter 8 Using the GPS

  • Chapter 8 exercises

Chapter 9 Conclusion

Appendix A Pritchett Article

Appendix B McLain Article

Glossary

Reading and Source List

Answers to exercises

  • Chapter 1 exercise answers
  • Chapter 2 exercise answers
  • Chapter 3 exercise answers
  • Chapter 4 exercise answers
  • Chapter 5 exercise answers
  • Chapter 6 exercise answers
  • Chapter 7 exercise answers
  • Chapter 8 exercise answers

 

List of Tables

  • Table 1 Suggestions for Identifying Sources to Answer Genealogical Questions
  • Table 2 Selected Guides Describing American Genealogical Sources
  • Table 3 Long-Form and Short-Form Reference-Note Citations to the Same Source
  • Table 4 Selected Documented Examples of Errors in High-Quality Sources
  • Table 5 Correlation in a Narrative and a List
  • Table 6 Timeline Separating the Identities of Men Named John Geddes in the Same Irish Parish
  • Table 7 A Table Correlating Sources, Information, and Evidence
  • Table 8 Seven Related Proof Statements in Context

List of Figures

  • Figure 1 Who-What-When-Where-Where Elements in Four Citations to Published Sources
  • Figure 2 Who-What-When-Where-Where Elements in Four Citations to Unpublished Sources
  • Figure 3 Who-What-When-Where-Where Elements in Citations to Published Sources Viewed in Published and Unpublished Media
  • Figure 4 Who-What-When-Where-Where Elements in Citations to Unpublished Sources Viewed in Published and Unpublished Media
  • Figure 5 Map Correlating Evidence from Ten Deeds, a Chancery Case, and a Land Grant to Help Prove a Relationship
  • Figure 6 Illustration and Analysis of an Explanation of the Resolution of Conflicting Evidence

 

Order your own copy of Mastering Genealogical Proof from Family Roots Publishing; 10% off through Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. Sale Price: $22.46. Reg: $24.95

Genealogy Standards: 50th Anniversary Edition – On Sale for 15% Off Thru Thursday, March 6

tp187The Board for Certification of Genealogists [BCG] has just released a major upgrade to its book, Genealogy Standards: 50th Anniversary Edition. For the record, that is 50 years of the BCG. The guidebook is 14 years old. The Standards were first released in 2000 after a three year initiative to create a combined and clear standard by which all genealogists, not just those certified by the BCG, could conduct and organize their research. After 14 years of progress, learning, and technical advances it was time for a refresh.

Since my own first real introduction to genealogy, back in high school, I recognized a strong need for evidence and accuracy in research. Though not a certified genealogist myself, my feelings on the matter are reflected by the BCG; or rather, my position reflects that of the BCG where they state in the first lines of the introduction:

“Accuracy is fundamental to genealogical research. Without it, a family’s history would be fiction.”

“This manual presents the standards family historians use to obtain valid results.” I believe this should and does apply to all genealogists, not just those certified or hoping to become so. All genealogists need to follow the basic parameters as addressed by these standards in the areas of:

  • documentation
  • research planning and execution,
  • reasoning from evidence
  • compiling research results
  • education
  • ongoing development of knowledge and skills

I look at it in terms of what previous family research I have been able to obtain from family members, and the amount of rework necessary to verify the accuracy, and often inaccuracy, of data obtained from non-cited and unverified sources. Why should one of my descendents have to do the work yet again because I fail to follow some basic guidelines in my research practices?

As mentioned above, this guidebook offers an upgrade to the previous standards. This new slimmer package includes changes that better handle Internet and electronic-based resources, as well as other improved practices learned over the years. There are now 83 standards, up from 72; though, most reflect a change in organization where multi-part standards are now broken into their own sections. Following norms practiced in standards development across many research fields, these standards are broken into two main types:

  • Product standards – “qualities of useful outcomes”
  • Process standards – “activities leading to useful outcomes”

Despite these changes, the guide is much smaller than the millennial version. The slimmer guide simply lists the standards with explanations. The examples are now available on the BCG website instead of in the printed manual. Now the guide is easy to carry around and lighter to thumb through for a quick reference as needed.

The average, everyday, happy-to-have-a-hobby genealogist will find their own research more productive, easier to manage, and ultimately more satisfying if they follow the easy to read and easily applied standards found in this guidebook. Many professional genealogists may already apply most of theses standards to their daily research, but it doesn’t hurt to have a nice compact copy to take with you when you travel about or as a desk reference.

We purchased 80 copies to run on sale this week. When they run out, it will take another week or so to get more in stock – so if you want a copy, order now. There has been a lot of buzz about this book, so we expect to sell our stock quickly.

Your own personal copy of Genealogy Standards: 50th Anniversary Edition is available from Family Roots Publishing at 15% off through Midnight MST Thursday, March 6, 2014.

Revised and Improved — Genealogy Standards: 50th Anniversary Edition — AND, On Sale for 15% Off Thru Thursday, May 15. 2014

tp187Since my own first introduction to genealogy, back in high school, I recognized a strong need for evidence and accuracy in research. Though not a certified genealogist myself, my feelings on the matter are reflected by the The Board for Certification of Genealogists [BCG]; or perhaps it is more accurate to state, my position reflects that of the BCG. In the BCG’s Genealogy Standards guidebook, the boards states in the first lines of the introduction:

“Accuracy is fundamental to genealogical research. Without it, a family’s history would be fiction.”

Genealogy Standards is the guidebook to the research standards practiced by professional genealogists, and should be used by all genealogists. The BCG has just released a major upgrade to this reference book, with its Genealogy Standards: 50th Anniversary Edition. For the record, that is 50 years of the BCG. The guidebook is 14 years old. The Standards were first released in 2000 after a three year initiative to create a combined and clear standard by which all genealogists, not just those certified by the BCG, could conduct and organize their research. After 14 years of progress, learning, and technical advances it was time for a refresh.

“This manual presents the standards family historians use to obtain valid results.” I believe this should and does apply to all genealogists, not just those certified or hoping to become so. All genealogists need to follow the basic parameters as addressed by these standards in the areas of:

  • documentation
  • research planning and execution,
  • reasoning from evidence
  • compiling research results
  • education
  • ongoing development of knowledge and skills

I look at it in terms of what previous family research I have been able to obtain from family members, and the amount of rework necessary to verify the accuracy, and often inaccuracy, of data obtained from non-cited and unverified sources. Why should one of my descendents have to do the work yet again because I fail to follow some basic guidelines in my research practices?

As mentioned above, this guidebook offers an upgrade to the previous standards. This new slimmer package includes changes that better handle Internet and electronic-based resources, as well as other improved practices learned over the years. There are now 83 standards, up from 72; though, most reflect a change in organization where multi-part standards are now broken into their own sections. Following norms practiced in standards development across many research fields, these standards are broken into two main types:

  • Product standards – “qualities of useful outcomes”
  • Process standards – “activities leading to useful outcomes”

Despite these changes, the guide is much smaller than the millennial version. The slimmer guide simply lists the standards with explanations. The examples are now available on the BCG website instead of in the printed manual. Now the guide is easy to carry around and lighter to thumb through for a quick reference as needed.

The average, everyday, happy-to-have-a-hobby genealogist will find their own research more productive, easier to manage, and ultimately more satisfying if they follow the easy to read and easily applied standards found in this guidebook. Many professional genealogists may already apply most of theses standards to their daily research, but it doesn’t hurt to have a nice compact copy to take with you when you travel about or as a desk reference.

Every genealogist should have their own copy of these standards. They are easy to read and follow. Having a reference copy on hand makes it easy to refer to any time you have a question about research. Get your own personal copy of Genealogy Standards: 50th Anniversary Edition is available from Family Roots Publishing at 15% off through Midnight MDT Thursday, May 15, 2014.

Genealogy Standards: 50th Anniversary Edition – On Sale for 15% Off Thru Thursday, March 6

tp187The Board for Certification of Genealogists [BCG] has just released a major upgrade to its book, Genealogy Standards: 50th Anniversary Edition. For the record, that is 50 years of the BCG. The guidebook is 14 years old. The Standards were first released in 2000 after a three year initiative to create a combined and clear standard by which all genealogists, not just those certified by the BCG, could conduct and organize their research. After 14 years of progress, learning, and technical advances it was time for a refresh.

Since my own first real introduction to genealogy, back in high school, I recognized a strong need for evidence and accuracy in research. Though not a certified genealogist myself, my feelings on the matter are reflected by the BCG; or rather, my position reflects that of the BCG where they state in the first lines of the introduction:

“Accuracy is fundamental to genealogical research. Without it, a family’s history would be fiction.”

“This manual presents the standards family historians use to obtain valid results.” I believe this should and does apply to all genealogists, not just those certified or hoping to become so. All genealogists need to follow the basic parameters as addressed by these standards in the areas of:

  • documentation
  • research planning and execution,
  • reasoning from evidence
  • compiling research results
  • education
  • ongoing development of knowledge and skills

I look at it in terms of what previous family research I have been able to obtain from family members, and the amount of rework necessary to verify the accuracy, and often inaccuracy, of data obtained from non-cited and unverified sources. Why should one of my descendents have to do the work yet again because I fail to follow some basic guidelines in my research practices?

As mentioned above, this guidebook offers an upgrade to the previous standards. This new slimmer package includes changes that better handle Internet and electronic-based resources, as well as other improved practices learned over the years. There are now 83 standards, up from 72; though, most reflect a change in organization where multi-part standards are now broken into their own sections. Following norms practiced in standards development across many research fields, these standards are broken into two main types:

  • Product standards – “qualities of useful outcomes”
  • Process standards – “activities leading to useful outcomes”

Despite these changes, the guide is much smaller than the millennial version. The slimmer guide simply lists the standards with explanations. The examples are now available on the BCG website instead of in the printed manual. Now the guide is easy to carry around and lighter to thumb through for a quick reference as needed.

The average, everyday, happy-to-have-a-hobby genealogist will find their own research more productive, easier to manage, and ultimately more satisfying if they follow the easy to read and easily applied standards found in this guidebook. Many professional genealogists may already apply most of theses standards to their daily research, but it doesn’t hurt to have a nice compact copy to take with you when you travel about or as a desk reference.

We purchased 80 copies to run on sale this week. When they run out, it will take another week or so to get more in stock – so if you want a copy, order now. There has been a lot of buzz about this book, so we expect to sell our stock quickly.

Your own personal copy of Genealogy Standards: 50th Anniversary Edition is available from Family Roots Publishing at 15% off through Midnight MST Thursday, March 6, 2014.