How it Works

First, email us at and get on the waiting list! Groups form at times throughout the year and those on the waiting list get first notification.

The Gen Proof Study Group provides an opportunity for participants to study the chapters in Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones. Participants read each chapter and complete the exercises in the book, then meet together with other genealogists to discuss the concepts. Mentors volunteer their time to host the group discussions and answer questions on the topics.

Our mentors determine the day, time and duration of the study group--some groups will be held in the evenings, some in the daytime, some will be asynchronous (no set discussion time). Some groups will be only 8 weeks in duration, covering one chapter each week. Others will be 16 weeks long, allowing two weeks for each chapter. Some groups are geared toward researchers who are beginners or intermediate level, while other groups are tailored for more advanced researchers. Whether a group is labeled Beginning or Advanced, they cover the same material. You do not "graduate" from Beginning to Advanced. When you contact us, please indicate if you would prefer a Beginning/Intermediate group or an Advanced group.

You may decide whether a particular group suits you or not. If not, simply remain on the waiting list until another group is formed.

The groups utilize Basecamp, a website that allows for group email communication, uploading of assignment files, as well as being the host site for the weekly group text chat "discussions." (Some groups may have their weekly discussions via Go-To-Meeting, a web-based video conferencing software.) Basecamp allows mentors to track assignments and to save and share the discussion text. Other than a computer, no special equipment is required! You will be given access and instructions on how to use the website.

To receive a completion certificate, participants must complete ALL the assignments in Mastering Genealogical Proof and participate in 75% of the weekly discussions (you can miss 2/8 or 4/16). Assignments are not graded, nor are they reviewed by the mentor or by peers. Completing each assignment is its own reward!

If you are unable to complete a group, no worries! If desired, you can be added back to the waiting list for a future group.

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