ARCHIVED: Genealogy Game Night – 10 March 2018

We’re playing Cousin Russ’ “Who’s In My Line?” where a panelist posts a challenge about an ancestor, and the panelists try to guess with no more than 20 incorrect answers. We trust the attendees to come up with some suggestions.

Originally we thought Game Night would make it less stressful for people to try coming up on the panel, testing out their headset earphones and mic. What’s emerged is a fun way to think outside the ‘fill in the blank’ boxes our genealogy software encourages.


00:29:26 Russ Worthington: Elizabeth Shown Mills’ QuickSheet: Citing Ancestry Databases & Images Evidence Style 2nd Edition
00:29:32 Linda Stufflebean: I bought that book years ago and use it all the time. I love it.
00:30:49 Shelley Murphy: I too brought the book a few years ago and use it!
00:35:41 Lisa Gorrell: Hi Linda. Was glad to meet you in person.
00:35:59 Shelley Murphy: What was his occupation?
00:37:02 Dawn Carlile: Did he live in an urban area?
00:38:25 Linda Stufflebean: Hi Lisa, It was fun to meet you, too.
00:38:31 Shelley Murphy: Did he sell anything?
00:39:08 Shelley Murphy: Was he born in London?
00:39:32 Dawn Carlile: Leicestershire?
00:39:51 Shelley Murphy: Manchester?
00:39:53 Dawn Carlile: Dorset?
00:40:12 Dawn Carlile: Nofolk?
00:40:14 Dawn Carlile: Rutland?
00:40:18 Dawn Carlile: I am there!
00:40:26 Dawn Carlile: Hamshire?
00:40:36 Dawn Carlile: Wiltshire?
00:40:56 Shelley Murphy: what’s her blog
00:41:32 Shelley Murphy: Where did the Beatles do the walk at?
00:41:35 Dawn Carlile: Wilton?
00:41:41 Dawn Carlile: Trowbridge?
00:42:13 Dawn Carlile: Salisbury Plain?
00:43:20 Dawn Carlile: Marlborough?
00:44:38 Dawn Carlile: Amesbury?
00:45:11 Shelley Murphy: Born in Trowbridge
00:46:15 Shelley Murphy: Salisbury (steak), lol
00:46:24 Linda Stufflebean: Beatles walked on Abbey Road in London.
00:46:48 Lisa Gorrell: I would try wikipedia.
00:46:58 Shelley Murphy: Gloucestershire
00:47:16 Lisa Gorrell: I’ve been to Salisbury
00:47:28 Shelley Murphy: we need a Letter of the town?
00:47:54 Dawn Carlile: Sopworh
00:48:41 Danine Cozzens: Wooton Bassett, perchance?
00:48:56 Hilary Gadsby:
00:49:34 Shelley Murphy: Compton!
00:52:41 Shelley Murphy: oh my goodness
00:57:54 Marceline Beem: I didn’t get past Week 1, and that didn’t make it to my blog!
01:00:42 Shelley Murphy: where does anna live?
01:01:12 Linda Stufflebean: Ethan Allen
01:02:01 Shelley Murphy: Montreal?
01:02:14 Yvonne Demoskoff: Champlain?
01:02:50 Shelley Murphy: Niagara falls.
01:03:12 Shelley Murphy: I am going to Rensselaer next week!
01:04:06 Shelley Murphy: Champlain-Rouses
01:04:16 Yvonne Demoskoff: Syracuse?
01:04:16 Dawn Carlile: Rocheste?
01:05:16 Shelley Murphy: So Herkimer is too far in?
01:05:52 Deb Andrew: Auburn
01:06:02 Dawn Carlile: Sacketts HArbor?
01:06:04 Yvonne Demoskoff: Oswego
01:07:06 Shelley Murphy: baseball
01:07:14 Marceline Beem: Cypress Gardens
01:07:21 Marceline Beem: For the Florida answer
01:07:22 Shelley Murphy: lakers
01:07:36 Yvonne Demoskoff: fishing?
01:08:06 Shelley Murphy: Pottersville
01:08:33 Dawn Carlile: Minetto?
01:08:41 Shelley Murphy: finding nemo\
01:08:53 Dawn Carlile: Seneca Hill?
01:09:26 Shelley Murphy: Phanton
01:09:39 Marceline Beem: Last of the Mohicans?
01:10:03 Shelley Murphy: wow, this was good
01:11:28 HilaryGadsby: I saw Cooperstown on the map I should have had a guess
01:11:49 Marceline Beem: I have my headset ready
01:15:05 HilaryGadsby: Cooper is a fairly common name in England as it is occupational. My husband has Cooper in his direct line.
01:16:16 Shelley Murphy: Military?
01:16:35 Dawn Carlile: Was he fishing in Alaska?
01:16:38 Shelley Murphy: campaign trail?
01:16:43 Deb Andrew: School
01:20:01 Shelley Murphy: Navy
01:22:05 Shelley Murphy: HIs research is awesome from Louisiana to France.

Got Proof
01:22:13 Russ Worthington: Got Proof!: My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation

01:22:36 Russ Worthington: Elizabeth Shown Mills’ QuickSheet: Your Stripped-Bare Guide to Citing Sources

American Passenger Arrival Records
01:22:57 Russ Worthington: Michael Tepper’s American Passenger Arrival Records; A Guide to the Records of Immigrants Arriving at American Ports by Sail and Steam

01:23:27 Russ Worthington: Blaine Bettinger’s The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy
01:25:16 Shelley Murphy: oh I am sorry to hear about those that are not feeling well.
01:25:40 Lisa Gorrell: I think we all did a little too much at RootsTech.

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Here’s the link to DearMYRTLE’s Event Calendar –

Here’s the link to the GeneaWebinars Blog & Calendar of other genealogy webinars, chats and hangouts –


Videos: QuickLessons Study Group

New followers may benefit from our ESM’s Quick Lesson Study Group wherein we discussed the works of Elizabeth Shown Mills. Our syllabus material included the QuickLessons located at  Study group panel participants prepared in advance for each session, submitting homework describing how the principles discussed in that week’s specific QuickLesson have and or will have an impact in our own genealogical research. Embedded below is the YouTube version (without comments and notes). It is in “playlist format” meaning when one video has played, then next on the list will begin automatically. If you wish to view the video and all comments/links posted during the live hangout, that listing appears below the playlist video.

ESM QuickLesson 1: Analysis & Citation Study Group Session (video & comments)

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It would seem to Ol’ Myrt here that studying the works of our genealogical standard bearers is the best way to improve one’s research methodology.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     🙂
Your friend in genealogy.

Videos: Mastering Genealogical Proof

MGPStudyGroupPromo ImageOver the years DearMYRTLE here has hosted several groups studying Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013). The book is available from the publisher at , also available in Kindle format through Below find the embedded video of MGP Study Group 3 in playlist format,  from DearMYRTLE’s YouTube Channel. Below the viewer is the list of chapters with links to the previous two study group series.

See MGP1 – Orientation video here
Before blogging about your participation in this study group, please see MGP1 Study Group – Copyright Guidelines featuring the best advice from +Judy G. Russell , the Legal Genealogist.
See UK oriented MGP2 Study Group Guidelines

Chapter 1 – Genealogy’s Standard of Proof
See MGP1 – Chapter 1 video here.
See UK oriented MGP2 – Chapter 1 video here.

Chapter 2 – Concepts Fundamental to the GPS
See MGP1 – Chapter 2 video here.
See UK oriented MGP2 – Chapter 2 video here.
See also Elizabeth Shown Mills’ QuickLesson 17: The Evidence Analysis Process Model

Chapter 3 – GPS Element 1: Thorough Research
See MGP1 – Chapter 3 video here.
See MGP1 – Chapter 3 Revisited video here.
See UK oriented MGP2 – Chapter 3 video here.

Chapter 4 GPS Element 2: Source Citations
See MGP1 – Chapter 4 video here.
See UK oriented MGP2 – Chapter 4 here.

Chapter 5 GPS Element 3: Analysis and Correlation
See MGP1 – Chapter 5 here.
See MPG1 – Chapter 5 Homework Help here.
See UK oriented MGP2 – Chapter 5 here.
See UK oriented MGP2 – Chapter 5 continued here.

Chapter 6 GPS Element 4: Resolving Conflicts and Assembling Evidence
See MGP1 – Chapter 6 here.
See UK oriented MGP2 –  Chapter 6 here.

Chapter 7 GPS Element 5: The Written Conclusion
See MGP1 – Chapter 7 – The Written Conclusion here.
See UK oriented MGP2 – Chapter 7 here.

Chapter 8 – Using the GPS
Chapter 9 – Conclusion
See MGP1 – Chapter 8 & 9 inclusive here.
See UK oriented MGP2 – The Final Chapters and graduation

Dr. Jones’ book also includes the following:
Appendix A – Pritchett Article
Appendix B – McLain Article
Reading and Source List
Answers to exercises (Yup! The answers are at the end of the book.)

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Those considering certification or accreditation should consider this book a “must read and study thoroughly.”

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     🙂
Your friend in genealogy.

For Further Reading

DearMYRTLE’s MGP Study Group 1 (US focused) videos:

DearMYRTLE’s MGP Study Group 2 (UK focused) videos:

DearMYRTLE’s – MGP1 Study Group Copyright Guidelines (important)


ARCHIVED: GenDoc Study Group (sessions 1 & 2)


Cousin Russ and I are pleased to announce the first two sessions of DearMYRTLE’s GenDoc Study Group are archived and ready for your review.

Thomas W. Jones. Mastering Genealogical Documentation, (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2017.) Softbound available from the publisher’s website Kindle format at Amazon here:

“Without adequate documentation, a well-researched family history or tree looks like fiction. Mastering Genealogical Documentation teaches genealogists how to cite all kinds of sources clearly, completely, and accurately—including sources for which no model citation exists.” Source: The publisher – NGS.

Panel participants will review Dr. Jones’ homework examples but will post examples from their own research to illustrate points outlined in the focus chapter that speak to them.

Chapter 1 – The Purpose and Nature of Genealogical Documentation Sure you may view the video below, but why not view and see all comments with links we mention at

This is the link to Chapter 1 compiled homework with DearMYRTLE’s notations:

Chapter 2 Noncitation Aspects of Genealogical Documentation Sure you may view the video below, but why not view and see all comments with links we mention at

This is the link to Chapter 2 compiled homework with DearMYRTLE’s notations:

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Regarding homework: Do as our panelists, who are tasked with taking one part of each chapter that “speaks” to them and submitting that as homework rather than infringing on copyright by working through Dr. Jones’ homework for each chapter. The answers are at the end of the book.

Ol’ Myrt here recommends doing the homework even if you are not a panelist. Hangout viewer Tami Crandall writes “I’ve watched classes before where I was too busy to do the reading and homework […]. I didn’t get as much out of the hangout by just watching.” [Emphasis added.]

We reap what we sow.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     🙂
Your friend in genealogy.


The Written Conclusion – Proof Argument

The Written Conclusion – Proof Argument

Close-up of busineswoman's hands doing paperwork.Our final type of a written conclusion is the most complicated – the dreaded Proof Argument. Why ‘dreaded’ ? Well as Ol’ Myrt said – it’s complicated. A researcher arrives at a conclusion when analysis of multiple documents appear to provide information about a fact in an ancestor’s life. But it isn’t as cut and dry as a Proof Statement or a Proof Summary.

You’ll want tocontinue following along with DearMYRTLE’s “Don’t Panic! Review The Written Conclusion Study Group instead” posted at my old blog, this is the week to be studying Chapter 7 from Thomas W. Jones’ Mastering Genealogical Proof  (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013). [Book available from the publisher here and in Kindle format, described here.] Dr. Jones refers to the GPS (Genealogical Proof Standard) summarized at the Board for Certification of Genealogists website here: 

You’ll begin your study on page 87 in Dr. Jones’ book where he says “Proof arguments are documented narratives in which genealogists explain why the answer to a complex genealogical problem should be considered proved.” Find out there why the author also recommend three major sections to your proof argument. Here is our study group session to assist you with composing a proof argument.



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I’ve had to write this sort of complicated narrative with pen and paper on occasion, instead of just typing things up. The dining room table was cleared, and I was able to work through every relevant document I collected. There is conflicting evidence to be resolved about of the birth year of my grandmother. Ol Myrt here must consider an old family story provided by my mother. It is her mother, Frances Irene (Goering) Froman McDonnell that we are once again studying.

To begin with, I’ll need to explain the family tradition that our grandmother lied about her birth year because when she met her second husband, she never wanted him to know she was three years older than he. Grandma Frances made mother promise if she died before her husband, mom was to keep the secret going. That’s why the funeral card isn’t a reliable source for the birthdate.


I’d spend much time writing about each document, indicating how I weighed the evidence. I’d insert a table to keep track of things. I’d have to present documents to explain her change of name due to two marriages. I’d include census records, her 1st marriage license, and her delayed birth certificate. The latter is the most significant, since it was signed by the physician attending her birth. Of course, I would appropriately cite each item, as this gives me the opportunity to consider the motivation of each informant.

I particularly like the delayed birth certificate since the attending physician signed it, most likely having looked at her files to verify her findings. I remember my father had two rooms of patient files where he kept copious, though sometimes cryptic, notes during each examination – but I digress.

Then having lead my reader ‘down theeach garden path’ I’d restate my premise that Frances Irene (Goering) Froman McDonnell was born 22 Aug 1905.

Before I found this precious document, I had settled on a slightly different year. See DearMYRTLE’s WACKY Wednesday – How old WAS she? (video)

GOERINGFrances_1905Delayed Birth Certificate 1940

That’s the thing about written conclusions. While we do our very best to ‘get it right’ there is always the possibility that our hopefully very educated guess is incorrect. I was glad when new-to-me, more convincing evidence came to light.

How is your “complicated’ Proof Argument coming along? 

Extra Credit

Aside from learning it’s all about explaining your thought process in narrative format, participants may compose written conclusions based on each session’s topic.

  1. Follow along with the four weekly hangout sessions.
  2. Incorporate the principles Dr. Jones presents in Chapter 7 as mentioned above.
  3. Compose a written conclusion based on your own research.
  4. Make sure to include your name on the top of the page.
  5. Include reference material as follows:

    Reference Material

    Jones, Thomas W., “The Written Conclusion” Mastering Genealogical Proof,  (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013).

    Richley-Erickson, Pat. Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group, DearMYRTLE’s YouTube Channel ( : viewed July 2017).

  6. Publish your conclusion in blog or public Google Doc format.
  7. Submit only 1 conclusion per week as follows:
    Week 1: Proof Statement
    Week 2: Proof Summary
    Week 3: Proof Proof Argument
    Week 4: Clear Writing (take one of your previous proofs and rewrite following Dr. Jones’ advice.)
  8. Register each week’s write-up here:

Each entry makes the participant eligible to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card to be awarded during our next Mondays with Myrt #genealogy hangout, 7 August 2017. WOW! 

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     🙂
Your friend in genealogy.