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Back to School for Genealogists

You are never too old to return to school or to do your own schooling. More so today than ever, genealogists have many opportunities for education.


Content Details

Type: Article
Resource: Tracing Lines
Prepared by:
Word Count: 650 (approx.)
ISBN: 0916489701
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School bells are ringing as children return to classes. You are never too old to return to school or to do your own schooling. More so today than ever, genealogists have many opportunities for education.

Affiliated with the University of St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto, the National Institute for Genealogical Studies offers a series of courses that lead to a variety of Certificates in Genealogical Studies. Their certificates are geared toward research specialization in countries. There are prerequisites for the online classes and homework and assignments are involved. Courses last approximately six to eight weeks.

The National Genealogical Society offers self-paced and self-graded classes that are free to members. They also offer PDF Courses - American Genealogy Studies for a fee. These include topics such as Census, Civil War records and genetics. The NGS American Genealogy: Home Study Course is also available. There are various prices and options available. Be sure to check out information on their web site, watch the video and determine which program fits your needs.

Held during the summer, the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research at Samford University Library is cosponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Classes are held at the Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. The next event will be June 9-14, 2013. It is always fun to go to summer school!

Online genealogy and family history courses are available at and start on a schedule so are not optional at any time. They range from using vital records to digital photography, family websites and land records and more. For those who are interested in more intense learning, they offer power courses. You have a week to go through about two hours of course materials.

Pharos Tutors - Genealogy Courses Online is partnered with The Society of Genealogists, National Genealogical Society, The Guild of One-Name Studies and The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives. They offer online courses presented by professional genealogists. Researchers interested in records in the United Kingdom should give serious consideration to taking their courses.

Boston University offers a certificate program in genealogical research. If you are wanting something more intense, delve into their 15 week online, non-credit course. The five modules of their course study are Foundations of Genealogical Research, Problem-Solving Techniques and Technology, Evidence Evaluation and Documentation, Forensic Genealogical Research and The Professional Genealogy.

There are many free genealogy classes or courses offered online. Check out the offering at's Online University. FamilySearch International offers 140 free online courses. They are for the United States and foreign countries. Want to improve you knowledge of British research? Check out "Getting the Most from the National Archives Website." You will find a large selection of free online courses available at the BYU Independent Study web page These include basic genealogy courses as well as regional and ethnic courses.

Online presentations are also available from Mid-Continent Public Library They are partnered with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City to make these presentations available. They range from one hour to eight minutes in length. You can watch them at any time of the day or night and even in your pajamas!

A number of organizations, societies and businesses offer webinars which range from free to a small fee to participate. They are scheduled and in many cases you can purchase a CD of the presentation. The blog, GeneaWebinars, contains updated information on the times and types of webinars being held.

If none of these learning options interest you, consider starting your own schedule of learning. Select a genealogy book to start reading and studying, such as The Source or Printed Sources ... the big ones that you shelve and never dig into. Set aside a time each week to read a chapter or two and then review what you have learned. School bells are ringing for genealogists.

Source Information: Tracing Lines, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2012.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

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