Day 2 of the 2013 Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh

Sunshine! Temperatures are fantastic.  After suffering last week’s heat wave, it was pleasure to walk outside and be enveloped by a cool 67 degrees.

I forgot to include the breaking news about 2014 courses were announced and the lineup is a good one!    Next year’s institute will be held 21-25 July 2014 and Determining Kinship Reliably through the Genealogical Proof Standard (Thomas W. Jones, CG) and Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper (Paula Stuart-Warren, CG) are returning for a third year to GRIP.  Four new courses will be offered:

  • Law School for Genealogists (Judy G. Russell, JD, CG and Richard Sayre, CG)
  • Finding and Documenting African-American Families (J. Mark Lowe, CG and Dr. Deborah Abbott)
  • Becoming an Online Expert:  Mastering Search Engines and Digital Archives (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • Practical Genetic Genealogy (Debbie Parker Wayne, CG; CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger)

Today’s classes focused on mechanics and tech aspects of genealogical writing.  We discussed popular American numbering systems for publishing genealogies, family histories and scholarly articles until our heads were swimming with numbers, brackets, superscripts and more!

Sound advice given was to study the formats, learn their applications and once you decide on a numbering system – don’t switch!  If you’re thinking of publishing with one of the nationally known quarterlies, check their websites for style guides, templates and submissions.  Be sure to use appropriate system for intended publication.

Another important genealogical topic was “Evaluating Evidence and the Genealogical Proof Standard.”  This topic fueled great conversation on the process.  The basic premise is “SOURCES provide INFORMATION from which we select EVIDENCE.  All undergo the EVALUATION PROCESS to produce PROOF.[1]”   We reviewed the five steps of the Genealogical Proof Standard and process map discussing Sources (Original, Derivtive, Authored), Information (Primary, Secondary, Unknown) and Evidence (Direct, Indirect, Negative).   On a side note, an introduction to the changes to the process map that were introduced in 2013 can be found online in the Changes to the Evidence Analysis Process Map in GPS post on May 6th post at Genea-Musings by Randy Seaver.

20130723_190842  Tonight’s evening activities included a great presentation by Angela Packer McGhie, author of the Blog Adventures in Genealogy Education, on Preparing to Research in Washington, DC and Read All About Your Ancestors by Locating Historic Newspapers.  The lecture was sponsored by the North Hills Genealogists in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

And the drum roll, please… check out my post later today, it is the submission that I wrote for our class assignment.  I can’t wait to get it back from Dr. Colletta on Friday!  But until then, I welcome your feedback.


[1] Evidence Analysis Process Map by Elizabeth Shown Mills, 2013.

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