140 Free Online Genealogy Research Courses

Here is part of an announcement from FamilySearch about their growing list of free online research courses, some of which are specifically about Australian records:

Maybe you’d like to learn more about how to do your family history research but don’t think you can afford to take a class. Thousands of individuals are now satisfying many of those needs through FamilySearch’s growing collection of free online genealogy courses.

In just one year, the number of free FamilySearch courses has grown to over 140—and new courses are added monthly. Most recently, over 25 courses were added for Australia, England, Germany, and the U.S. Additional courses were added that focus on basic tools and techniques for anyone just getting started in family history research, as well as courses for intermediate and advanced researchers.

“The goal of the initiative is to educate more people worldwide about how to find their ancestors. We do it by filming the experts teaching a particular class of interest and then offering free access to that presentation online—complete with the PowerPoint used and anyelectronic handouts that the user can download or print for future reference,” said Candace Turpan, FamilySearch instructional designer.

Turpan’s team films presentations made by its staff from the FamilySearch Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as special guests (the library is frequented by accredited researchers from all over the world). They also travel to industry conferences or other venues where record and research specialists gather. There they film specialists’ presentations and make them available online.

FamilySearch uses viewing software that splits the viewing screen (sort of like the picture-in-picture features on some televisions) so the user can watch the video of the presenter while also seeing the PowerPoint presentation. Most courses are 30 minutes in length. You can also fast forward through the presentation or presentation slides or stop and pick up later where you left off—a luxury you don’t get in the live presentation.

I’ve used this software to view presentations and I’m very impressed. It works easily and looks great.

Highlights from the latest course additions:

Australia

  • Australia BDM Civil Registration Index
  • New South Wales Early Church Records 1788–1886
  • Using the New South Wales Birth, Death, Marriage Index

England

  • Getting the Most from the National Archives Website
  • Researching in the British Isles
  • What Is Britain?

Research Principles and Tools

  • Cemetery Art
  • Finding Your Way: Locating and Using Maps in Your Research
  • How to Find More at a Genealogy Library
  • If I’d Only Known: Beginner Genealogy Mistakes
  • Managing Your Family Records on the Internet
You can see the full list of courses at https://familysearch.org/learn/researchcourses

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer–driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in SaltLake City, Utah.

Have you considered a One-Name Study?

GONS bannerThe Guild of One Name Studies has sent me a press release to publicise their special membership offer, and I think it’s worth having a look at what they have to offer.

The Guild of One-Name Studies is the world’s leading organisation for one-name studies. A one-name study is a project researching facts about a surname and all the people who have held it, as opposed to a particular pedigree (the ancestors of one person) or descendancy (the descendants of one person or couple).  The Guild is a charitable organisation dedicated to promoting the public understanding of one-name studies and the preservation and accessibility of the resultant information. Founded in 1979, the Guild now has over 2,300 members spread across the world, studying over 7,800 individual surnames.

Check them out and see if there is a study for your surnames of interest. If there is you would do well to contact the member concerned. But if there isn’t, why not consider starting your own? If you have already collected a lot of records for your surname that aren’t necessarily related to you they may be of interest to others.

The Guild of One-Name Studies has a freephone/toll free helpdesk for members of the public in the UK, North American and Australia to call the Guild to find out:

  • more about undertaking a One-Name Study
  • the benefits of joining the Guild of One-Name Studies, and
  • the assistance members of the Guild can provide to anyone researching their family history on any of the 7,800 plus names currently being researched

In Australia the toll-free number in Australia is 1800 305 184

What’s more, if you join during the week of Who Do You Think You Are? Live in London you will receive special benefits:

The Guild of One-Name Studies is to offer a special extended membership to new joiners at the forthcoming Who Do You Think You Are? Live show being held in the UK at the Olympia, London on Friday 25th to Sunday 27th February 2011.

Normally membership of the Guild costs £15.00 and covers a period of up to a year with renewal on 1st November 2011.  This special extended membership will cost £20.00 but will include a full year’s extra membership, renewal not being due until 1st November 2012.  The aim of the scheme is to attract more new members and to encourage these members to stay with the Guild for longer and to appreciate and utilise the various benefits available to members.

For people who cannot attend the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show, the special offer of an extended membership will be made available to them for a week from when the show opens on Friday 25th February 2011 on the Guild website at:

www.one-name.org/specialoffer.html

This extended membership option has been introduced following the completion of an internal membership retention survey which identified why existing members joined the Guild, their knowledge and use of Guild services and facilities and the reasons why members failed to renew their membership.

If this offer of an extended membership proves successful it could be introduced on a wider basis.

Details of all the Guild facilities can be found at:

www.one-name.org/guildsvces.html

Create Your Life Story

I was sent a link to a very useful site by Ian Kath, who runs Create Your Life Story, in which he shows you how easy it is share your life stories in ways that will interest your family:

Greetings

I’d like to introduce to you a great site to help your readers or you to Create Your Life Story at http://createyourlifestory.com/

I’m showing in posts and podcast episodes how easy it is for them to record, edit and share life stories so they can create the genealogical content for the future.

I’m not selling only sharing

Thanks for your time

Best of Days

Ian Kath

CreateYourLifeStory.com
YourStoryPodcast.com
twitter – @iankath
twitter – @createlifestory

The site is well worth subscribing to.

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