Family History Research

Family Tree University Course

I just finished one of the Family Tree University online courses, Beginning Genealogy. I wanted a refresher because I am finishing up my notes for a class I will teach and it has been years since I was a beginner. Thought it would be a good idea to see what others are teaching.

The class was good. It had downloadable PDF files for each lesson; several reading assingments in PDF form for each lesson; and a quiz at the end of each lesson. If you are looking for a getting started type of class, I recommend this one. It does cover a lot of information but the class is held over two weeks so there is plenty of time to read through everything. Pass the word along if you know someone just getting started.

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More Educational Opportunities

Continuing on the ProGen Study Group theme this month of Education, I want to tell you about a couple of other opportunities. The first is Family Tree University. They have a lot of paid courses and seem from time to time, to offer free classes. Because I am teaching a Beginning Genealogy class over the winter, and it has been years since I was a beginner, I wanted to see what others are teaching. I signed up for the FTU Discover Your Family Tree course. It began yesterday and runs until October 24. I will post next week about my thoughts on the course to that point.

The next opportunity that is absolutely on my list is the National Genealogical Society Home Study Course series. Let’s face it, with three kids in school, a part time job, my business, research, ProGen, and everything else I do, Home Study Courses are the way to go for me. I can learn at my own pace and fit it in around everything else.

Do you follow Nikki LaRue at Blog of a Genealogist in Training? She had a great post recently about finishing ProGen Study Group 3 and beginning the National Genealogical Society Home Study Course CD3. Nikki is a fellow Chicago area genealogy mom who is doing it all too! She has written many accounts of her experiences with the NGS HSC and ProGen. Reading her latest post makes me want to start the courses now, but I need to wait at least a month before diving into that. Too many other things to finish first.

And last, I will take the Boston University Certificate in Genealogy courses in 2011. Timeline TBD but it is absolutely on my MUST-DO list.

Have you taken some fantastic online classes you recommend? Please let me know your thoughts. I’m sure there are many others looking for the same thing.

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Educational Opportunities

This month, as you may have read in one of my ProGen Update posts, I am supposed to create a Genealogical Education Plan for myself. I began listing classes and conferences I am attending over the next year; journals I read; and started listing areas in which I need to read up or gain more education through a class. I Googled Free Genealogy Classes and came up with the BYU Independent Study Website.  Below is a list of their free genealogy classes. All you have to do is register (for free) and then access the class. I decided to try it out and see what they were like so I went through the Military Records class.

First, let me say this class was very basic. If you are a beginning genealogist or just need the basics of Military Research, absolutely check this out. If you know a lot about Military Research, skip it. This class was laid out in 28 pages divided by Section Objectives and at the end of each Section was a short quiz of roughly five questions. There are many links to other websites such as National Archives, Family History Library, etc., and the course explains how to go about the research, where to write for records, what forms to fill out, who can obtain certain records, and more.

Check it out when you have some time. Let me know what you think of the other classes.

Family History/Genealogy – Introductory

FHGEN 69 — Providing Temple Ordinances for Your Ancestors

FHGEN 70 — Introduction to Family History Research

FHGEN 75 — Writing Family History

FHGEN 80 — Helping Children Love Your Family History

Family History/Genealogy – Record Type

FHREC 71 — Family Records

FHREC 73 — Vital Records

FHREC 76 — Military Records

Family History/Genealogy – Regional and Ethnic

FHFRA 71 — French Research

FHGER 71 — German Research

FHHUG 71 — Huguenot Research

FHSCA 73 — Scandinavian Resarch

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Praise for The Connected Genealogist

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a review of The Connected Genealogist’s book by Thomas MacEntee, Approaching the Lectern, on my blogs.  Little did I know just how much I was going to need that book a couple of weeks after the review.

Yesterday I was presented with the opportunity to give a presentation at a local library’s mini-genealogy conference in April 2011. As many of you know I recently made the transition from hobbyist genealogist to professional. What you may not know is that this will be my first conference presentation.  I have given short talks at local genealogy societies, but even that has been a while and did not require PowerPoint slides and major handouts.

After I recovered from the shock of what did I just say yes to, I went back through the notes taken during the phone call and started making an outline to submit by October 1st. During this process I realized I needed help so I went back to The Connected Genealogist’s Lulu storefront and purchased the Genealogy Speaking Templates. Have you seen these? They are amazing!  The templates include: Instructions; Presentation Description; Speaking Agreement Letter; Speaking Agreement; Speaking Spec Sheet; Speaking Travel and Hotel Sheet; and a Syllabus sheet. Thomas provides everything you need in one package to get you started. Within a couple of hours I had a Presentation Description and Syllabus I was 90% happy with and after a little more tweaking, will feel comfortable submitting on October 1st.

By pairing the Genealogy Speaking Templates with his book Approaching the Lectern, the process is less frightening.  Thomas guides you step by step through the process of booking your presentation, creating a presentation from speaking notes to slides and actually giving the presentation.  Thanks to these two invaluable resources I believe my first conference presentation will be fantastic.

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