Beginning Genealogy Research
Tracing your family history is a fascinating journey. This internet-based course will help you understand the genealogy research process and how to interpret the information you find. You will learn with tips and examples that will help you dig deeper into your family’s past. You will develop strategies to accomplish your research objectives, evaluate the results, and share the information with others. Make your family history come alive!
This 6-session class covers a large variety of genealogy topics, such as:
** The importance of research, organization, and interpretation
** The two types of genealogy (family tree building and storytelling), plus the type you never want to do
** How to use the major genealogy websites to your best advantage
** Why you should largely ignore online family trees
** How to search in international records
** The importance of starting with what you know and building up to what you want to know
** Pitfalls and mistakes to avoid
** The symbiotic relationship between family tree building and story telling, and how one cannot happen without the other
** The importance of creating a complete record collection
** The fallacy of the use of DNA testing in genealogy research
** Organization and presentation ideas
** Plus, tons of tips and tricks to help you through those brick walls!
You will need a computer or laptop with a good internet connection, a web cam, sound, and microphone. (Please do not view on a phone.) You may also like to keep a pen and paper handy in case you want to jot down some notes.
You do NOT need an Ancestry.com account for this class. During the class everyone will use Ancestry’s services at some point, either with your current paid account, or by taking advantage of their free trial if you do not wish to commit to a paid subscription.
Each week a course handout will be e-mailed to you. You can print this out to follow along with during class if you like.
Do I have to already have a family tree to start?
No. We will start at the very beginning, with your grandparents or even your parents, and work out from there.
I am trying to find this man's parents. Will this class help me?
This is a skills class. You will not be trying to find a particular ancestor, but will be learning the skills, by building up your family tree from what you know, to eventually become a good enough genealogist to find that man’s parents.
I am adopted. Can this class help me?
This class teaches you the skills to use existing records to trace your family history. If you know who one or both of your birth parents are, you may have good luck in this class. If you do not, then you might want to initially consult a geneticist rather than a genealogist.
My grandparents all came from different countries. Is it pointless for a beginner to try to find them in their native lands?
Not at all! In fact, a lot of European ancestry is actually easier than American, because early Americans often did not keep as detailed of records as Europeans did. We devote an entire class to the subject of international research.