Mastering Genealogical Proof–Orientation

MGP

Well, the study of the new book, Mastering Genealogical Proof, has begun. I have already posted a couple of items on this subject:

https://worthy2be.wordpress.com/tag/mgp_study/

That was not about the book, but the use of a genealogy software program that I hope will come in handy while reading this book. Why? One reason, I am not a student. I guess I learn by trying something, figuring out what worked or didn’t work, or learn by doing.

The Orientation for this book was hosted by my cousin DearMYRTLE. To view the orientation, please visit her YouTube Channel.

Here are a few link about this program:

GeneaWebinar Calendar – Agenda Mode (general schedule for Webinar’s and other online genealogy programs.
http://blog.geneawebinars.com/p/calendar.html

DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Community (Google+ community for discussions)
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/104382659430904043232

DearMYRTLE’s YouTube Channel (past Hangout’s On Air with Dear MYRTLE)
http://www.youtube.com/user/DearMYRTLE

MGP Study Group Preparation (some preparation for this Study Group)
http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/2013/05/mgp-study-group-countdown-10-days-and.html

MGP Reading List Summary (see homework assignment for 16 Jun 2013)
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0vzrkpbaGH0ajVKRmgxVWh3Wm8/edit

MGP Class Schedule
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkvzrkpbaGH0dHRpMjJNV3FtVDZRS09iNExCOFYwTHc#gid=0

Homework Due: 16 June 2013

Right now homework is to:
Read any 4 items of your choice from the reading list.

The homework sheet for each chapter will not appear until we hold the session for that chapter.

Read chapter 1 so you can participate in the discussion.

The discussion tonight was on the  Preface of the book (pages xi- xiii)

The YouTube version of the Orientation of this book.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwXZk-HMuNQ

It seems that Dr. Jones had a similar experience with Family Research as I did. Collect those names and dates in an attempt to trace our ancestors. When I started my research, I KNEW about sources and citations. I learned to answer the question “Where did I get THAT piece of information from”. That was OK, and I continue to do that. I did get a little carried away, by “merging” other people’s information into my file, just to collect those names and dates. It didn’t take me to long to stop that. I still run across a couple of entries where there are no citations.

That got me to “mistrust” data from other people. How great it was to see that in writing from Dr. Jones. The only information, from another researcher that I use in my file, is the work of cousin’s, who ARE and WERE the genealogist in the family. They really laid the foundation for my family file. Just having that data as a starting point has been awesome. I don’t remember any data, from the cousin’s, that has been wrong. I have also added many new bits and pieces to the file to help built out, and identify the stories within the family.

They had bread crumbs and hints as to who else might be hanging around the tree, but they hadn’t made the firm connection. I have followed those hints, successfully. Oh yeah, with others to come.

I had heard a couple of terms that didn’t make sense to me, like Evidence Based software. Assertions, Conclusions, and those terms didn’t click for me, but they must be important, because they, a short time later, got connected with the term GPS. The Genealogical Proof Standard was the term, that for me, really makes sense. Like the GPS that I have in my car, it “gets me somewhere”, or gets me to where I want to go.

It wasn’t until I heard about a software program, Evidentia, did I finally understand those terms.

This book has been designed, according to the Preface, to help us (me) to understand and use the GPS. This is going to be a Journey, with the Author, and Dear MYRTLE’s community, where we can “collectively” or collaboratively understand genealogical methodology and reasoning.

When I read “brick walls were permanent barriers” I knew what he was talking about. I guess I get distracted enough, trying to find other people, that I didn’t keep beating my head against that brick wall and give up. I just went in another direction.

How am I, with very little hope of ever visiting England, going to figure out WHO “Capt.” John Worthington’s (1650-1701) parents were. In an earlier study on Inferential Genealogy, also by Dr. Jones, That was the question that I have had in front of me. And now about 15 years later, as I was preparing to study this book, I am pretty sure WHO they are.

I am going to use Evidentia and this book, to help prove who I think is Capt John’s parents are.

I mentioned mistrusting information earlier, while in Salt Lake City, UT earlier this year, I found the actual book on a Mistrusted source of information. There were a couple of good hints, but other data that I couldn’t confirm, so I had basically discarded that book as being a good source. So at some level, I had evaluated the information on Capt John, but discarded it. Going back, I looked again. The words didn’t change, BUT, on the same book shelf was another book that had some additional information. So, the first book looked better, but something still wasn’t right.

To make a long story short, the “bad source” book had some hints, that lead to the 2nd and a 3rd book, that got me back into England, about the right time period, right place, but still not Capt John. Then, some new records came Online and a 5 page letter from the Worthington Family History Society, of which I am a member, will help me build the family.

My plan for this Study Group, is to use this book, to help me confirm who Capt John’s Parents are.

When I have given a presentation about how I research, I try to make two points. 1) Not everything is online, and 2) You must have Patience. I generally add “Yet” to the not everything is online, and use Patience about every other bullet point in a presentation.

I am excited about this journey and I hope to post our homework assignments here. Probably more for my benefit then anyone else, but I  am willing to share that experience based on the way I learn. Who knows, it may also help me create a presentation to share with others.

Dr. Thomas W. Jones,  PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA., Mastering Genealogical Proof. Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013.

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One Response to Mastering Genealogical Proof–Orientation

  1. […] For more information on this Group Study, please check my earlier blog post on it: Mastering Genealogical Proof–Orientation […]

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