FAQs

Who participates in the GenProof study groups?

Our participants run the gamut from hobbyists to experienced professionals. The GenProof Study Program is for anyone who wants to improve their understanding of the genealogical research cycle, their mastery of genealogy’s standards for researching, writing, and documenting, and the application of the Genealogical Proof Standard to completed work. The program, like the book on which it is based, contains valuable lessons for genealogists of any level. 

What education is necessary prior to joining a GenProof study group?

Students should have at least some intermediate-level training to meaningfully engage in group discussions about analysis, correlation, documentation, evidence assembly, the GPS, and more.  

Would the GenProof Study Program help me prepare for certification (CG®) through the Board for Certification or for accreditation (AG®) through The International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists?

Absolutely! The program closely adheres to the content of Mastering Genealogical Proof, which we believe is the best available presentation of genealogy’s foundational concepts. 

Who are the GenProof study group mentors?

Each volunteer mentor is an experienced genealogist and genealogical educator. They bring a wealth of perspective, plus examples and experiences that help illustrate the concepts of each chapter. 

What do I need to do to earn a certificate of completion?

You must submit a completed assignment for each chapter and attend the weekly live video chats, which are not recorded. Assignments are not graded. Our emphasis is on learning rather than performance.

What kind of time commitment should I expect?

GenProof study groups run for eight weeks. Depending on your experience level, you can expect 5-10 hours of work each week plus 60-90 minutes for each week’s live video chat.

How long do I have to complete each assignment?

Assignments are due twenty-four hours before your group’s scheduled live video chat, so generally you’ll have six days to complete each one. All are pre-loaded into the Basecamp website so participants can work ahead if they need to. However, since each chapter’s content builds on the previous ones, we believe you’ll get more out of them if you’re able to work them sequentially, after the group discussion for the previous chapter.

What happens at the weekly GenProof live video chats?

Mentors review the chapter’s concepts with the group and answer questions. They also prompt and guide group discussions of topics or case studies from the week’s assignments. Mentors may provide feedback on assignments to the group as a whole, or to individuals when s/he has time.

How many people are in each study group?

Groups are limited to about ten people.

What kind of feedback am I expected to give my group members on their assignments?

For most assignments, none. We do ask students to pair off and review each other’s work for one assignment.

Is internet access required?

Yes! You will need reliable internet service to access and download homework assignments, upload your completed assignment, network with your group members via the Basecamp messaging system, and join the weekly live video chat.

Do I need any software?

Yes, you must be able to submit your written assignments as a PDF or in a commonly used word processing format, such as Microsoft Word or a .docx equivalent. 

Where can I get the required books?

Mastering Genealogical Proof can be purchased through its publisher, the National Genealogical Society, or through multiple retail vendors such as Amazon, Abebooks, Biblio, Heritage Books, and Family Roots Publishing. Genealogy Standards can be purchased through the Board for Certification of Genealogists, as well as through Amazon or Heritage Books. Kindle versions are available for both. 

What does the GenProof Study Program cost?

Current tuition is less than $100.00 for this eight-week program. Participants will need to own or have easy access to Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones as well as Genealogy Standards. We recommend participants also own or have access to copies of Evidence Explained and Chicago Manual of Style, but they are not required.

How often do study groups start?

This depends on the availability of our wonderful mentors, who volunteer their time. At a minimum we expect to hold study groups each fall (late September to mid-November).

How do I join a GenProof study group?

Registration opens on Eventbrite, always on a Saturday, about a month before the starting week. You can register for email updates at this website or through Eventbrite or watch for notices on the Facebook page of our parent organization, ProGen Study Groups. 

Where can I learn even more about the GenProof Study Groups?

Each time a new registration event is scheduled, the Program Administrator will host a public information session where prospective students can learn more. We advertise it on the ProGen Facebook page.