Skip main navigation

What will we learn?

What will we learn?
Young woman at library shelves
© Surachet Thasamet, Shutterstock
It is very important to know dates and places and these form the backbone that genealogists work with but it’s the historical and social context that come from using secondary and other sources that bring an ancestor to life.

This week explores the sources that help genealogists provide this context; considers their quality and how to find them.

After completing this week, you should begin to be familiar with:

  1. Useful types of secondary sources: local histories, ‘regular’ books on history, film, etc.
  2. Other sources of context: newspapers, maps, images
  3. Finding these sources; useful online databases.

Watching several talks which introduce a number of sources useful for adding context will help you achieve these learning goals. You will read about various online sources for primary and secondary contextual material. We will also examine the process of adding context to your family story. You will be asked to share your ideas on how far you might go with adding context to your family history.

Study Groups

Choose the study group tab at the top of any step to access your study group for this course.

Your study group is a place to get to know your fellow learners a bit better, to support and encourage each other, and to discuss what you’re learning in depth with the same set of people during the course.

It’s also a place for collaboration. You can visit this group whenever you like, but for most weeks we will ask you to complete some research or searching tasks or to discuss an idea specifically within your study group. This is strictly optional for this course but doing the tasks and/or collaborating is a great way to really solidify your learning. So why not take this opportunity to say hello?

© University of Strathclyde
This article is from the free online

Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now