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geneaology

Genealogy Basics

Tracing your family’s history is a fascinating journey. Genealogy Basics will help you understand the genealogy research process and the way we interpret the information we find. This course guides you through the search process for family names using several subscription-based Web sites, which you can access while enrolled in this class.  

You will learn through hands-on examples that help you dig deeper into your family’s past. You will develop a strategy to accomplish your objectives, evaluate the results, and share that information with others. You will discover where to look, who to contact, and how to make your family history come alive!

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
Starting October 18, 2017

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

Massachusetts Bay Community College Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website.

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Learning Method

Instructor-led Confirm your Start Date in Cart

Genealogy Basics

Learning Method

Instructor-led Confirm your Start Date in Cart

Genealogy Basics Reviews

Genealogy Basics Details + Objective

Course Code: gen

You Will Learn
  • Learn to identify the techniques of gathering family information and explore interview styles
  • Develop research timelines and learn to locate records
  • Explore and analyze vital records and learn how to request copies for your research
  • Discover resources available for researching military records
  • Learn the research value of maps, deeds, and grants in genealogy
  • Learn to use Will and Probate records as well as newspapers, city directories and periodicals
How the course is taught
  • Instructor-led course
  • 6 weeks in duration
  • Courses begin each month
  • 2 lessons released each week
  • 24 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Go through the fascinating journey of looking at your family history
  • Solve some mysteries and fill in some gaps in your family tree
  • Discover the best software program and find out how you can easily put all you have learned together for your benefit and the benefit of other family members
Genealogy Basics Outline
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Week 1

In your first lesson you will look at what is missing in your family tree. You will learn how to gather family information and organize your collection of materials. You will discover which sources provide the best information and explore standard collection methods and interview techniques. Then you will organize your findings using research timelines, and determine which records will be the most helpful. You will learn to use different Internet search techniques.

Week 2

In this lesson you will explore and analyze vital records such as birth, death, and marriage. You will learn how to request copies for your research and what to look for in those records. Then you will learn the value of census records and discover that spelling really doesn’t count. You will learn which census records are available, where to find them, and how to analyze them. 

Week 3

In this lesson you ill discover some reasons why you may not be able to find and elusive ancestor. You will also learn how to analyze old handwriting. Then you will learn how computers search, both on and off the Internet. You will also learn how to use the LDS Library Web to find published information.

Week 4

In this lesson you will explore writing styles, unusual resources, and the value of e-mail. You will discover how to search past archives for messages that might help fill in missing branches on your family tree. Then you will learn what resources are available for researching military records and where to find them. 

Week 5

This lesson will show you how to research maps, deeds, and grants for genealogy. You will investigate abstracting deeds and do a search of the Bureau of Land Management Web site for Land Grants and Homesteading Patents. Then you will learn about immigration patterns to America and discover how to use naturalization and passport documents.  

Week 6

Finally you will learn about some of the exciting things that can come from researching newspapers, city directories, periodicals, and wills. You will discover a great way to find cousins and perhaps fill in some middle names or reveal new locations by sharing your work with others. You will look at many more genealogy tools, sources and software. 

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Genealogy Basics Instructors
Bob Moyer

Bob Moyer is a college instructor, graphic designer, and technical writer. Bob has degrees in education, business, and Civil Engineering. He has over 12 years of experience as an instructor and has developed genealogy courses for several colleges. His passion for research and family history has resulted in several genealogy-related books and speaking engagements. 

Megan Churchwell

This course will be facilitated by Megan Churchwell. Megan has a personal interest in genealogy, and has built an extensive family tree on Ancestry.com, tracing some branches of her family back as early as the 1400s. Her educational background includes a bachelor's degree in History and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies. Her day job is Curator at a U.S. Navy museum, where she often assists researchers in tracing the military records of their ancestors. 

Genealogy Basics Requirements / Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Genealogy Basics Frequently Asked Questions
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When can I get started?

A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!

How does it work?

Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

How long do I have to complete each lesson?

Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

What if I need an extension?

The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.

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