Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group 2 – Homework Chapter One (MGP2)

Due to my recent illness, my homework for assignment one is running late. I apologize to Dear Myrtle and the other members of the MGP2 class. The class runs from February 23 to April 27, 2014. You can also view the class discussions on You Tube under MGP2 on the Dear Myrtle Channel.

Chapter 1: Genealogical Proof Standard

Question 1.
Google’s definition of genealogy is a line of descent traced continuously from an ancestor “combing through the birth records and genealogies”
My quest is to find where I came from, who before me paved the way for who we are today. Hopefully provide my family with the knowledge of this information and help with more family discoveries.

Question 2.
Mr. Jones references 5 elements to genealogical proof. Many people start their genealogy research for multiple reasons, and the quest for information leads to the proof good or bad. My quest first started with a conversation with an Aunt Arlene on my husband’s side, telling me that they are 7 generations from the founders of Rhode Island, and gave me this typed report. Well, being born and raised in Rhode Island this was exciting, what a great story to tell my young children. Spending the next couple of weeks making multiple trips to the State of Rhode Island Archives and start to research and find any evidence that supports this typed report.
I take all the information I gathered from my impromptu research, and head back to Arizona knowing full well I have an awesome memory and will write everything down in detail where each piece of paper came from. (Your smiling now, you know you did the same thing once)

Well I started to analyze the typed report, and comparing the information on the birth, marriage, death and census records that I collected. The pieces were coming together, I had a family tree, with matching family group sheets, the jackpot! I proved the report, we are related.

Looking back on those beginning days I can still remember they that gentlemen in the Archive saying “write the box information on the back of the copy that you just printed from the film”. That would be citations, citations, citations, lessons learned.

Question 3.
I have shared basic information with family members, but it was incomplete because I had lost so many documents of my research due to a house fire. They just wanted the names for a project, the proof was not required. Knowing what I know now I’m taking all the replacement research and using what I have from those notes, and rebuild and ensure I’m meeting standards. I want to leave the best proof I can provide

Question 4.
With each step we learn that Genealogy is never done, there is always new information out there being found. We can utilize the 5 elements, but remember each part is interdependent on the outcome.
Question 5.
Interviewing the person you are going to research is the first step. Taking notes in detail is important to get your base information down. I find that interviewing a person using a voice recorder is much better than sitting down with paper. Almost everyone’s phone has a voice recorder, using this tool creates a very comfortable atmosphere for discussion. You can sit down, have a cup of coffee with an individual, while just talking about family, no need to pause while you catch up writing. When you review the recording later you can disseminate the important information and more importantly, record some of the stories that can be so important to discovering a family’s legacy beyond names and dates.

You can purchase the Mastering Genealogical Proof Book, and follow along with the class on +google  +dearMyrtle

Reference Book: Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013) by Thomas W. Jones [Book available from also on Amazon Kindle ]