Develop an understanding of genealogy – how to research your family tree and communicate the results – in this free online course.
Weekly study4 hours
Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree
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.
When would you like to start?
Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.
Learning on this course
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?
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).
Learning on FutureLearn
Your learning, your rules
- Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
- Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
- Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores
Join a global classroom
- Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
- Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
- Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others
Map your progress
- As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
- Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
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