• University of Strathclyde

Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree

Develop an understanding of genealogy – how to research your family tree and communicate the results – in this free online course.

113,336 enrolled on this course

Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree
  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

This free online course will help you develop an understanding of the basic genealogy techniques and how to communicate your family history. We will consider how to effectively find and analyse sources and explore the potential of DNA testing as applied to genealogy. We’ll help you add historical context to your family history and discuss how to record and communicate research findings in a clear fashion.

Learn how to find and store information on your family tree

We’ll get you to define what you want to research, and consider the best ways to go about finding and storing information on your family tree. The key challenge of genealogy – finding the right person among a number of possible candidates, with ever-changing spellings of surnames – will be considered.

We’ll conclude by introducing the main types of tools genealogists use to communicate their research finds, including creating a family tree and look at how to write a meaningful family history.

Share your own genealogy finds with learners worldwide

Throughout the course, you’ll follow the story of Chris, as she uncovers her own family history, and you’ll be encouraged to share sources and ideas particular to your area of genealogical interest and geographic focus.

The course will not concentrate on a specific country’s records or how to source these, so it will be useful to anyone around the world.

Develop your genealogy skills or career as a genealogist

The knowledge you gain from this course may prompt you to explore family history research more deeply or consider a career as a professional genealogist.

You may even wish to take your learning further, with the University of Strathclyde’s online MSc in Genealogical Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies.

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When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

Who is the course for?

No special knowledge or previous experience of studying is required.

This course will be suitable if you:

  • have no experience with genealogy or family history research;
  • have some experience with genealogical research but want to develop your skills and knowledge further;
  • are a more experienced genealogical researcher but want to learn new searching, analytical or communication techniques or
  • find it difficult to access opportunities for training and development.

What do people say about this course?

"The Genealogy course was brilliant, it updated my knowledge in the general area of Genealogy which I have been studying as a hobbyist since 1962, but most importantly it dealt with very modern systems such as DNA research which had been a closed book for my research and now I have embraced those new technologies freely and feel very empowered to take my hobby into a new, refreshed ‘second wind’. "

Who will you learn with?

I am a genealogist and educator based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland and am Course Leader for the MSc in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies (distance learning).

Who developed the course?

University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde is a leading international technological university located in Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, committed to useful learning.

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
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  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

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