Tom Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA

Tom Jones has been pursuing his ancestry since 1963. For the first twenty-five years, he was clueless about what he was trying to accomplish and how to do it. When he started climbing the genealogy learning curve he repeatedly experienced the challenges, joys, and rewards of tracing ancestors reliably and fully understanding their lives. Tom eventually became an award-winning writer, board-certified genealogist, editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, recipient of honors from genealogical organizations, and author of the textbook Mastering Genealogical Proof. Using his nearly lifelong teaching career as a springboard, he enjoys teaching at weeklong genealogy institutes, weekend seminars, and local, national, and international genealogy conferences.
Using Genealogical Evidence to Break Through Research Barriers
Friday, 31 March 2017
1:30-2:30 p.m.
(F11) Can a Complex Research Problem Be Solved Solely Online? Step by step, attendees? or Tom? will suggest online sources and research strategies for tracing an ancestor who seems to disappear and reappear. The interactive case study will show both how such cases can be solved online and the limits of material online today.
3:00-4:00 p.m.
(F12) Creating a Family History of Lasting Value
Most genealogists want to prepare family histories that future generations will cherish. Not all succeed. Many genealogies contain only “harvested” information, which our descendants will be able to obtain themselves (perhaps more easily than we can today). Some of that information likely is wrong. We begin to create worthwhile and accurate family histories by collecting and sharing family stories and DNA test results—information that might soon disappear. Our research progresses from that starting point toward the goal of a printed, computerized, or online family history. If we pay attention to four factors— biography, accuracy, documentation, and explanation—our history will be irreplaceable.
4:30-5:30 p.m.
(F13) Documentation: The What, Why, Where, and How. Learn essential principles and structures for documenting both genealogical research in progress and finished products. The session will describe five characteristics making a citation “complete and accurate,” showing the basis for conclusions and facilitating backtracking.
7:00-8:00 p.m.
(F14) Using Autosomal DNA to Solve a Family Mystery. This case study shows how targeted autosomal-DNA testing helped identify the father and grandparents of siblings born in New York State in the 1820s. Besides the genealogical methods, the presentation addresses locating people to test, interpreting the results, and applying them to help answer a specific research question.