Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsHello, and a warm welcome to this first week of your course, Genealogy-- Researching Your Family Tree. My name is Tahitia McCabe, and I'm going to be the leader of the course over the next six weeks. The focus of the first week is the nature of documentary evidence and how important it is to base your family research in actual documents instead of hearsay. We'll start by considering the importance of finding actual sources to fill in your family tree and explore the differences between primary, derived primary, and secondary data. And we'll also think about the notion of the standard of proof.

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 secondsAnd we'll cover the different and varying amounts of information that the different types of documents provide, help you understand why organisations create these documents, and why they did it in first place, and how knowing that can help you understand what documents are useful in filling in your family tree. From there, we'll consider transcriptions, indexes, and abstracts. And we'll talk to some providers of these tools to get some insights into how they're created. Then we'll ask you, the participants, to consider what type of documents you'd like online database providers to give us, and find out any ideas that you have about resources that you've used, and what's helped in your genealogical journey. So we hope you enjoy the week.

Welcome to week 1

In week 1, our focus is on the nature and importance of documentary evidence.

We’ll start by considering the importance of finding and using actual sources to fill in your family tree and explore the differences between primary, secondary and derived primary sources.

You will begin to understand why the government, church and other organisations created documents in the first place and how knowing this can help you get more out of what you discover. We’ll cover the varying amounts of information that different types of documents can provide. From there, we’ll consider what transcriptions, abstracts and indexes are and find out how providers of online databases actually go about creating these.

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This video is from the free online course:

Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree

University of Strathclyde