Fellows > Current > Thomas W. Jones

Thomas Jones began pursuing his family’s history in 1963 and has never stopped, even while earning his bachelor of arts degree at the University of South Florida College of Education (1969), master of arts degree at Vanderbilt University’s George Peabody College for Teachers (1973), and doctor of philosophy degree at the University of Pittsburgh College of Education (1978). He is a professor emeritus at Gallaudet University, where he retired in 2008 after a thirty-year career in higher education.

In 1994 Dr. Jones earned the Certified Genealogist credential. Since then he has regularly lectures on various aspects of genealogical research methodology, writing, documenting, credentialing, and ethics. Venues include the annual conferences of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, National Genealogical Society, and RootsTech; week-long courses at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, Institute on Genealogical and Historical Research, and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy; and genealogy workshops and seminars at regional, state, and local genealogical society meetings.

Since 2002 Dr. Jones has co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

Awards and Honors: Genealogy

2011: Professional Achievement Award, Association of Professional Genealogists
2011: Silver Tray Award, for “Scholarly Contributions to the Field of Genealogy,” Utah Genealogical Association
2009: Fellow, National Genealogical Society
2009: Fellow, Utah Genealogical Society
2007: Fellow, American Society of Genealogists
2004: Grahame Thomas Smallwood Jr. Award of Merit, Association of Professional Genealogists

Genealogy Textbooks

Mastering Genealogical Documentation (Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 2017).

Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 2013).

Peer-Reviewed and Edited Genealogical Articles (listed alphabetically)

“The Children of Calvin of Calvin Snell: Primary versus Secondary Evidence.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 83 (March 1995): 17–31.

“A Conceptual Model of Genealogical Evidence: Linkage between Present-Day Sources and Past Facts.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 86 (March 1998): 5–18.

“Deafness-focused Records for Genealogical Research.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 81 (March 1993): 5–18.

“Dilley of Northern Virginia and Ohio: A Proposed Solution Hanging on a Single Word.” The American Genealogist 79 (July 2004): 220–27.

“The Four Fathers of Amzi Leach: Analysis of Conflicting Evidence.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 82 (September 1994): 207–15.

“Genealogy > Citations > Waypoints: An Option for Locating and Citing Unindexed Numbered Online Images.” Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly 31 (June 2016): 71–79.

“Guidelines for Book and Media Reviews.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 86 (June 1998): 138–39.

“How Much Searching is ‘Reasonably Exhaustive’?” Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly 25 (March 2010): 25–33.

“Howerton to Overton: Documenting a Name Change.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 78 (September 1990): 169–81.

“Identifying an Immigrant Generation: Medarts of St. Louis.” St. Louis Genealogical Society Quarterly 41 (Summer 2008): 47–54.¬

“In the County of Cumberland and the Province of New York”: Clarifying Josiah Burton’s Identity, Relationships, and Activities. The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 147 (April 2016): 85–101.

“Logic Reveals the Parents of Philip Pritchett of Virginia and Kentucky.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 97 (March 2009): 29–38.

“Merging Identities Properly: Jonathan Tucker Demonstrates the Technique.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 88 (June 2000): 111–21.

“Misleading Records Debunked: The Surprising Case of George Wellington Edison Jr.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 100 (June 2012): 133–56.

“A Name Switch and a Double-dose of Joneses: Weighing Evidence to Identify Charles R. Jones.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 84 (March 1996): 5–16. [Winner of the 1996 National Genealogical Society Quarterly Award for Excellence.]

“Organizing Meager Evidence to Reveal Lineages: An Irish Example—Geddes of Tyrone.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 89 (June 2001): 98–112. [Winner of the 2001 National Genealogical Society Quarterly Award for Excellence.]

“The Parents of Maxfield Whiting of Virginia and Kentucky.” The American Genealogist 80 (July 2005): 195–200.

“Post-Secondary Study of Genealogy: Curriculum and Its Contexts.” Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy 23 (Fall 2007): 17–23.

“The ‘Scholars Commission’ Report on the Jefferson-Hemings Matter: An Evaluation by Genealogical Proof Standards.” Review essay. National Genealogical Society Quarterly 89 (September 2001): 208–18.

“‘A Solid Gang of them’; An Illinois Morse-Trammell Family’s Reactions to Scandal.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 92 (June 2004): 105–18.

“The Three Identities of Charles D. McLain of Muskegon, Michigan.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 96 (June 2008): 101–20.

“Too Few Sources to Solve a Family Mystery? Some Greenfields in Central and Western New York.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 103 (June 2015): 85–103.

“Two James Greenfields from New England to New York.” The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 147 (October 2016): 245–63.

“Uncovering Ancestors by Deduction: The Husbands and Parents of Eleanor (née Medley) (Tureman) (Crow) Overton.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 94 (December 2006): 287–305.

Other Genealogical Publications (listed alphabetically)

“A Breakthrough for Academic Genealogy?” Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly 22 (March 2007): 41–44.

“Are We Professionals? What APG Could Learn from Other Associations” Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly 22 (December 2007): 173–78.

“Certification: What does it Really Mean?” Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly 14 (December 1999): 166–68.

“Do You Really Want to Know Who Judged Your Application?” OnBoard: Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists 6 (May 2000): 1–3.

“Essential Elements of Genealogical Documentation.” Cape Cod Genealogical Society Quarterly 2 (Spring 2012): 94–100.

“Finding an Ancestor’s European Origins.” NGS NewsMagazine 33 (January/February
/March 2007): 19–23.

“Focused Versus Diffuse Research.” OnBoard: Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists 17 (September 2011): 17–18.

“The Genealogical Proof Standard: How Simple Can It Be?” OnBoard: Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists 16 (September 2010): 17–18, and 20.

“Genealogy Standards: What’s in It for You?” OnBoard: Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists 20 (May 2014): 9–10 and 15.

“Getting the Most from NGSQ Case Studies.” NGS Magazine 41 (October–December 2015): 47–53.

“Good People Doing Wrong: Professionals and Ethical Violation.” Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly 23 (September 2008): 119–24.

“Lessons from a Lake County, Ohio, Record.” Lakelines [newsletter of the Lake County, Ohio, Genealogical Society] (July 2016): 30–25.

“Mary (Gross) Carr Guker’s Long Walk: Relationships Help Explain an Unusual Trek.” St. Louis Genealogical Society Quarterly 49 (Spring 2016): 9–16.

“Perils of Source Snobbery.” OnBoard: Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (May 2012): 9–10 and 15.

“[Review of] Family Search™ Family History Resource File: 1880 United States Census and National Index.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 89 (December 2001): 306–7.

“[Review of] Historical Atlas of Alabama, volume 2, Cemetery Locations by County.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 89 (March 2001): 72–3.

“[Review of] Index to Individual Pardon Applications from the South: 1865–1898, by Carolyn McGough Rowe.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 85 (June 1997): 149–50.

“[Review of] U.S. Marriage Record Index, 1691–1850.” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 86 (March 1998): 71.

“The Road Less Traveled: The Power of Indirect Evidence.” Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly 20 (March 2005): 21–26

“Roots of Today’s Standards for Amateur and Professional Genealogy.” CrossRoads 44 (Spring 2016): 4–9.

“The Way It Was and Still Is.” NGS NewsMagazine 30 (September/October 2004):
39–43.

“What is the Standard of Proof in Genealogy?” NGS NewsMagazine 33 (April/May/June 2007): 22–26.

“When Does Newfound Evidence Overturn a Proved Conclusion?” OnBoard: Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists 22 (May 2016): 9–10 and 15.

“Why Genealogy Needs Standards.” OnBoard: Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists 5 (May 1999): 9–12.

Collaboration and Interviews

Thomas W. Jones and Birdie Monk Holsclaw, “To Learn and To Teach: Professional Uses of Case Studies,” Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly 15 (September 2000): 96–103.

Angela Packer McGhie, “The Writing of Mastering Genealogical Documentation [interview with Thomas W. Jones],” NGS Magazine 43 (July–September 2017): 19–22.

Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pitkus, ed., “Contemporary Topics in Genealogy: A Conversation with Professor Thomas Jones,” Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy 25 (Winter 2009): 5.

In addition to the above, Dr. Jones has written more than forty articles, chapters, and monographs published in peer-reviewed venues in the field of education.