New Book and Book Club

MGPLynne Brooke and I would like to try having a new Special Interest Group (SIG) in the fall, as I mentioned at our last meeting. This will be more of a book club. We’ll be reading Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones, published by the National Genealogical Society.

The SIG: Plans, which aren’t definite yet, are for monthly meetings from October or November through April or May, discussing a chapter a month.  To promote discussion, we’d like to have at least five participants and at most ten. Six members have tentatively signed up already. Would you like to join us?

The book: In February our library acquired Genealogy Standards by the Board for the Certification of Genealogists. This slender volume succinctly defines a set of standards but doesn’t explain how to follow them, or give illustrations. Jones’ book is meant to fill this gap. It’s more conversational in tone, with examples and exercises.

The back cover of Mastering Genealogical Proof tells what it’s about better than I can:

Everyone tracing a family history faces a dilemma. We strive to construct relationships and lives of people we cannot see, but if we cannot see them, how do we know we have portrayed them accurately? Is determining an ancestry that predates living people’s memory just guesswork? Or do we blindly trust every source we examine and ignore inconsistencies? … Can we not determine reliably which findings reflect the past? If we can make that determination, how can we show others its credibility?

The club library now has copies of both Mastering Genealogical Proof and Genealogy Standards shelved in “No Circulation.” Have a look if you’re interested. If you’d like to join the SIG, please let me know (818-0556,

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