2018 July – You Be the Judge

You Be the Judge: A Practicum Using Standards to Evaluate Genealogical Work

Coordinator: Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG®

Additional Instructors: Stefani Evans, CG, Connie Lenzen, CG, Debbie Mieszala, CG

Held July 22-27, 2018, at La Roche College, Pittsburgh, PA. Registration Information.

Course Description

Most courses and lectures approach genealogy standards from the perspective of how to meet standards and how to produce work that meets standards. During this course-a supervised practical application of Genealogy Standards-students will be the judges. Each day students will evaluate genealogical work samples of unknown quality to determine whether the samples meet, partially meet, or do not meet standards. From these exercises students will gain insight into the mindset and the habits involved in consistently producing work that meets standards. Students will develop evaluation strategies to identify weaknesses in their writing or in the writing of others. Students will begin to develop the evaluation skills needed to assess the quality of their work and the work of others. This is a forum for discussions of each standard and for substantive genealogy questions.


The class will move quickly and assume that attendees are familiar with Genealogy Standards, with Evidence Explained, and with Numbering Your Genealogy.

NOTE:  The topics will be covered in eighteen sessions (four each day Monday through Thursday and two on Friday morning). Each day students will be assigned to teams to work on the in-class exercises and on that day’s homework. Although some flexibility in scheduling might occur, the course will follow regular institute hours with a break for lunch, resume at 1:00 p.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. Homework sessions will commence at 4:00 p.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, with homework review from 8:00 to 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday through Friday.

Session Titles

  • Orientation & Welcome (Bloom)
  • Accuracy and Completeness of Transcription and Abstract (Mieszala)
  • Source & Information Analysis (Evans)
  • Planning Research (Lenzen)
  • Standards for Documenting (Bloom)
  • Reasoning from Evidence (Mieszala)
  • Genealogical Proofs and Testing Evidence (Evans)
  • Assembled Research Results (Lenzen)
  • Narrative Genealogies, Lineages, Pedigrees (Lenzen)
  • Numbering Systems (Bloom)
  • Biographical Information (Mieszala)
  • Genealogical Proof Standard (Evans)
  • Research Reports: Responsiveness to Client’s Specifications and Efficiency of Research Plan (Bloom)
  • Research Reports: Evidence Quality, Correlation, Assembly, and Resolution of Conflicts (Mieszala)
  • Research Report: Findings and Conclusions (Lenzen)
  • Citations, Photocopies, Scans, and Other Images (Evans)
  • Special-Use Genealogical Products (Mieszala)
  • Knowledge & Skill Development (Evans)