AWOL from my Blog Site, but Still Busy with Genealogy

I’ve been gone from here too long, but I’ve been busy.

In May 2014, I joined an on-line ProGen study group. Each month we cover one or two chapters of the book Professional Genealogy.[1] Homework takes from 10-100 hours each month, learning to write research plans, citations, etc. Most people probably don’t spend 100 hours on their homework, but some assignments took that much time with my extensive genealogy library to inventory and to write a research plan summarizing two years of research on the father of Dovie Alpine Piearcy, my father’s grandmother. ProGen 23 is finished in Dec 2015.

In January 2015, I attended two workshops in Salt Lake City-one week with a National Genealogical Society research group at the FamilyHistory Library, then another week at a workshop held by the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy on Researching U. S. Records with more time at the library. On the last day there, I was able to complete my research list for my own records as well as records for several Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) prospective members. While the DAR records for others are complete, I still have all my records in a stack.

In 2013, I joined the DAR with Jacob Eoff as my patriot and in 2014 added Peter Eoff, Isaac Eoff, James Knox, and Samuel Musgrove as patriots. We have a very small DAR chapter. I started helping the registrar with prospective members, with the plan for me to become registrar in maybe 2017. When our registrar resigned early, I was appointed registrar in October 2014, with 31 prospective members pending. I’ve worked with seven new members to complete their applications; two more applications are pending review, and I’m continuing work on the applications for twenty-four prospective members.

In early 2015, Richard McMurtry retired from genealogy leaving me as a co-administrator of the Frazier Todd research group, using autosomal and Y-DNA to identify the father of Walker Todd, born 1822. Reviewing Richard’s years of research has been a humbling experience, as we develop a project plan for the next phase of research. In other DNA research, several family members agreed to give DNA samples to help in the search for the father of Dovie Alpine Piearcy.

In March 2015, I attended a DNA workshop in Dallas presented by the Forensic Genealogy Institute on Advanced Genetic Genealogy “Using Autosomal DNA for Unknown Parentage Cases.” The Todd and the Piearcy research projects will benefit from the knowledge gained during that workshop.

In the meantime, I still have records from the research in Salt Lake City, plus six weeks of research trips to Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas from as far back as 2013, to be entered into RootsMagic genealogy software, after I get that software installed. Those records need to be scanned and organized before more research trips.

Three more genealogy trips are planned this year-the Todd reunion in June; a week-long workshop in Pittsburgh on Advanced Research Methodology, taught by Thomas Jones, PhD; and in November, a 3 day workshop by FTDNA.

Hopefully 2016 will be a less hectic year, with ProGen finished, the backlog of DAR prospective members worked down, and enough workshops to give me a good foundation in genealogy research. Then I can really get started on my genealogy research. In the meantime, I’ll post a few blogs on my progress.

[1] Elizabeth Shown Mills, editor, Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001).


Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group

Since mid-August, I’ve participated in an on-line study group covering Thomas W. Jones’ book Mastering Genealogical Proof.1,2 This new book has the genealogy community excited, with case studies and questions/answers showing us how to apply respected standards to come up with acceptable conclusions.

Angela Packer McGhie, administrator of the ProGen Study Program, in her Adventures in Genealogy Education blog has just announced five more study groups are forming.3 DearMYRTLE has just completed a study group; the YouTube videos are still available.4  I’ve reviewed those chapter 2 videos to help me understand that chapter’s difficult, for me, concepts.

While working on my family history, I want to learn professional techniques so my research can be used by others. One assignment in MGP is to select a brick wall in your own family tree and use the techniques in the book to break through that brick wall.

For my brick wall, I selected my great-grandmother Dovey Alpine Piearcy Buckmaster, with my research question – “Who were her parents?” The answer to that question seemed pretty clear-cut, until I really started gathering sources for her. Dovey wasn’t listed as a great-granddaughter of Tryphena McGinnis Piearcy in her petition for Choctaw citizenship, as were Dovey’s two younger siblings. (See my earlier post for Tryphena’s petition.) Then I pulled out my paper files on Dovey, including the original marriage records for James Wesley Piearcy and Bertie Wellington. From the calculation of Dovey’s age from the 1900 census, Dovey was born in 1889/90, four years before her parents married in 1894. Both Jim and Bertie were fourteen years old in 1889/90. It really doesn’t seem likely Jim and Bertie would have a child when they were fourteen, then marry four years later. Possible, but not likely.

In chapter 2 of the study group, one of our assignments is to develop a locality guide with all the possible sources of information, to assure a reasonably exhaustive search for records. So far, I’ve written a locality guide for Ozark County, Missouri, where Bertie’s parents married. I’ve found extensive records on Bertie’s mother, Lucinda Webster, but little on Bertie’s father. Family records say his name was John Wellington and his two children , Daniel and Bertie, have their last name recorded as Wellington. So far, I’ve found John’s last name spelled as Wilington and Worlington; maybe that’s why no one has any records of John’s parents.

My next step is to gather information for a locality guide for Arkansas and while I’m at it, see if I can find any records of John and Lucinda Webster Wellington in Arkansas, using a wild card surname search of W*lington. I want to find out where Bertie was nine months before Dovey was born, so I’d love to find records in the 1888-89 time frame. Unfortunately, the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire, so that’s not available.

After that comes a locality guide for Texas, particularly Clay County, where James Wesley Piearcy and Bertie Wellington married in 1894.

It really may take DNA testing to break down this brick wall, so if you are a Piearcy cousin and are interested in DNA testing please contact me. In the meantime, I’ll keep working on this brick wall and through my study of MGP learn more about foot notes, several of which should have included on the above material. But stay posted, I’ll have more blogs on this family lines, with proper footnotes.

Here’s more about the book from the NGS website – Mastering Genealogical Proof aims to help researchers, students, and new family historians reconstruct relationships and lives of people they cannot see. It presents content in digestible chunks. Each chapter concludes with problems providing practice for  proficiently applying the chapter’s concepts. Those problems, like examples throughout the book, use real records, real research, and real issues. Answers are at the back of the book along with a glossary of technical terms and an extensive resource list.5


  • Preface
  • Chapter 1 – Genealogy’s Standard of Proof
  • Chapter 2 – Concepts Fundamental to the GPS
  • Chapter 3 – GPS Element 1: Thorough Research
  • Chapter 4 GPS Element 2: Source Citations
  • Chapter 5 GPS Element 3: Analysis and Correlation
    Chapter 6 GPS Element 4: Resolving Conflicts and Assembling Evidence
  • Chapter 7 GPS Element 5: The Written Conclusion
  • Chapter 8 – Using the GPS
  • Chapter 9 – Conclusion
  • Appendix A – Pritchett Article
  • Appendix B – McLain Article
  • Glossary
  • Reading and Source List
  • Answers to exercises

MGP can be ordered through the NGS website. If you are a member, log in first, to get the discount.


  1. Thomas W. Jones Ph.D, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS is certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists as a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, and is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, Utah Genealogical Society and the National Genealogical Society.  He has co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly since 2002 and is a trustee and a past president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists.
  2. Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013).
  3. Angela Packer McGhie, “Five Gen Proof Study Groups Open for Registration,” Adventures in Genealogy Education, posted 07 Sept 2013 ( : accessed 09 Sept 2013).
  4. Pat Richley-Erickson, “MGP Study Group – Hangouts on Air,” DearMYRTLE, posted 17 Mar 2013 ( : accessed 09 Sept 2013). [NOTE: While DearMYRTLE’s MGP Study Group is finished, the YouTube videos are still available, accessed 09 Sept 2013, to watch the videos just click on the video tab in DearMYRTLE’s YouTube.
  5. National Genealogical Society, “Mastering Genealogical Proof,” NGS Special Publications( : accessed 09 Sept 2013).
Copyright © 2013 Andrea Musgrove Perisho