How am I doing in the Mastering Genealogical Proof virtual study group?

It is going well. I am learning a lot which was the point.

As some of you know I signed up for the MGP (as it is called) class and started taking the course in mid August. I think it goes until mid October.

MPG bookWe are systematically working our way through the book, Mastering Genealogical Proof by Tom Jones, and are presently on chapter 3 after spending two weeks on Chapter 2. It is no surprise that we spent more time on Chapter 2 as it is fundamental to the understanding of the Genealogical Proof Standards (GPS).  Chapter 2 covers the Process Map: Sources (original, derivative and authored works), Information (primary, secondary, Indeterminable) and Evidence (direct, indirect).

We also learned how to write a good research question. My first ones were incomplete but markedly improved. For example, here is a progression:
1. Who is Frederick Eilers?
comment: What I am looking for cannot be identified. it also doesn’t differentiate him from a contemporary Frederick Eilers.
2. When did Frederick Eilers die?
comment: This one is at least measurable but I still cannot differentiate him from any other dead F. Eilers.
3. When did Frederick Eilers who married Eda Berg in 1862 at the German Reformed Church located in Freeport, Stephenson County, Illinois, die.
comment: Now that addresses both the issue of vague question and identifies the exact F. Eilers I am trying to determine the death date.

Another concept I didn’t have nailed until I goofed a couple of time was identifying “authored works.” There are TWO aspects that have to be considered to have the source qualify as an authored work:
1. It must use multiple prior sources
2. The author must draw a conclusion or make an interpretation based on their multiple sources

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last posting: finished my MGP assignment and participated in a chat; participated in my ProGen Class by commenting on others work and participated in our monthly chat. Went to CO on vacation. Attended the NARA Virtual Genealogical Conference. It was very good and I hope they do it again.


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