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Online course

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.

Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree

Why join the course?

This free online course will help you develop an understanding of 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. The course is primarily designed for people at beginner to intermediate level.

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. A 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

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.

Download video: standard or HD

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Design a research plan for tracing family history.
  • Apply key techniques used when searching for and analysing genealogical records.
  • Describe the differences between genealogical source types and why they may cause problems for the researcher.
  • Develop an awareness of the use of historic and social context in family history research.
  • Develop an understanding of the ways in which genealogical information can be recorded and communicated.

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’.

Neil Spurgeon

Who will you learn with?

Tahitia McCabe

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).

Graham Holton (Educator)

Graham is the Principal Tutor on the MSc in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies by Distance Learning at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland

Who developed the course?

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

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Join this course

Free

  • Access to this course for 8 weeks
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes

Upgrade - $104

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you complete the course