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Discover Your Family History
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This is an introductory course to start tracing your family history. To begin your family history, we will start with answering the question “why should I trace my family history?” and then focus on “how do I trace my family history?” We will fill in a Pedigree Chart and Family Group Record to get started. We will then learn how to begin with family history research basics, from asking questions of living family members to finding “home sources” that provide relevant information. This will be followed with a review of the websites most used in family history research and sources that are available to research your family history. The course concludes with a look at next steps to continuing your research including DNA testing and hiring a genealogist.
Course Content

Module 1
Where do I Begin? Introduction to Family History
The Basics of Genealogy
 
Starting Genealogical Research
• Pedigree Chart / Family Tree
• Family Group Sheet
• Family Stories
• Including Photographs
 
Planting an Online Tree
• MyHeritage
• Ancestry
• FamilySearch
• WikiTree
 
Genealogy Software
 
Home Sources
• Family Bible
• Photographs
• Newspapers
• School Records
• Military Records
• Baptismal or Christening Certificates
• Funeral Cards
• Baby Books
 
Final Thoughts
 

Module 2
Oral Interviewing and Planning Research
Introduction
 
Interviewing
• Get Ready to Interview
• Get Set
• Go!
• After the Interview
• Genealogy Myths
 
Family Stories and the Truth
Sources
Getting Ready to Research: Understanding Sources
• Sources
 
Information within Records
Cite Your Sources
Planning Your Family History Research 
Final Thoughts 
Suggested Reading and Resources
 

Module 3
Commonly Used Records
Introduction
Online & Offline Records and Missing Records
 
Commonly Used Records in Genealogy
• Vital Records
• Census Records
• Cemetery Records
• Religious Records
• Immigration
• City Directories or Phone Books
• Newspapers
• Military Records
• Land & Property Records
• Court & Probate Records
 
But What Do I Need?
Next Steps
 

Module 4
Family History on the Internet: Using FamilySearch
Introduction
 
FamilySearch Catalog
• Searching the Catalog
• Keep Searching
 
FamilySearch Digital Library
• FamilySearch Digital Library Search
 
FamilySearch Historical Records
FamilySearch Research Wiki
Just an Introduction…Now Explore
 

Module 5
Searching Online Records vs. Offline Records
• Starting with Online Research
• Know the FAQs
• That Database May Not Be What You Think
• A Name, is A Name, is A Name…
• Nothing Stays the Same
 
Start Online, But Don’t Stay There!
 
Online Resources
 
Ancestry
• Don’t Stop at the Homepage
• What’s in (and isn’t in) that database?
• Use the Filmstrip
• Not Every Collection is Name Searchable
• Don’t Forget the Card Catalog
• One Last Thing…Members
• That’s Only the Beginning
 
Been There, Done That, Now What?
• Genealogy Finding Aids
• Searching on Google Books
 
Next Steps
 

Module 6
Asking for Help and Next Steps
Next Steps
 
Help!
• Asking for help
 
Be Prepared 
• At the Library
• Social Networking
 
Take a Research Trip
• First Things First
• On the Road
 
Hiring a Professional Genealogist
• Why Do You Need a Researcher?
• Locating a Researcher
 
Hiring a Researcher
• Contracts and Fees
• Responsibilities of the Researcher and You
• Signs of Good Research
• Signs of Inadequate Research
 
DNA
• Why Am I Testing?
• Which DNA Test Should I Take?
 
Conclusion
 
Appendix
• Handy Forms
 
 
 

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