Essential Genealogy: Piecing together the Past

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Essential Genealogy: Piecing together the Past

Today’s blog post is all about the learning outcomes of the latest course in my Preserving Family History Academy  How to build your Family Tree. Here are the learning outcomes, an outline of what you’ll gain from taking a short course on Genealogy from a fresh perspective, to piece together the details of your past.

Essential Genealogy: Piecing together the Past

Are you curious to learn more about the history of your family? A fascinating pursuit that might reveal tales, mysteries, and unknown truths about your ancestors is genealogy, the study of family history and the tracking of ancestors. Setting definite, attainable goals early on will help you stay on track as your genealogy study progresses. To help you prepare and succeed, I have listed the essential learning objectives for each step of the genealogical research process in this blog post.

Getting Started: Understanding Genealogy and Its Importance

  • knowing the fundamentals of genealogy, such as its origins, techniques, and jargon.
  • recognizing the significance and goal of genealogy, as well as the connections it makes between people and their ancestry, family history, and health.
  • establishing sensible, realistic research objectives.
  • recognizing the various resources, tools, and services that are accessible to genealogists.
  • understanding the time and work needed for genealogy research as well as the patience and persistence required to continue the journey.

Gathering and Organizing Your Information

  • Understanding the importance of gathering and organizing family information and documents as the starting point for genealogy research.
  • Gathering information from different sources including family members, interviews, photos, and documents, and organizing it effectively.
  • Using genealogy software or charts to store and visualize the information collected.
  • Verifying and documenting information to ensure its accuracy and credibility.
  • Preserving and protecting family information, documents and photos.

Researching Online: Using Genealogy Websites and Databases

  • Understanding the different types of genealogy websites and databases available and how to navigate them effectively.
  • Searching and finding relevant information using various advanced searching techniques and filters.
  • Evaluating and verifying the accuracy of the information obtained from online sources.
  • Using online collaboration tools and social media to connect with other genealogists and share information.
  • Utilizing various online tools to organize, store, and back up the information obtained during the research.

Researching Offline: Utilizing Vital Records and Other Historical Documents

  • Understanding the different types of vital records (birth, death, marriage, divorce) and historical documents (census records, wills, deeds, etc.) that are useful for genealogy research and where to access them.
  • Reading, interpreting, and extracting relevant information from these records and documents, including understanding how to read old handwriting.
  • Using various online resources, such as microfilm and digital archives, to access records and documents that may not be available locally.
  • Understanding the laws and regulations that govern access to vital records and historical documents and knowing how to obtain copies of the records.
  • Best practices for preserving, organizing, and citing offline resources, which can be used to create a comprehensive and credible family history.

Breaking Down Brick Walls: Solving Genealogy Puzzles

  • knowing how to overcome the typical difficulties and roadblocks that genealogists face while conducting research.
  • analysing and assessing data and proof critically to spot contradictions and mistakes
  • expanding lineage by using a variety of research methodologies and problem-solving methods to get through genealogical “brick walls.”
  • recognising the value of collaboration and networking in genealogical research, as well as methods for building these connections.
  • recognising the historical and social background that might have influenced ancestors’ lives and how it can aid in resolving genealogical conundrums.

Putting it all together: Creating a Family Tree and Telling Your Ancestral Story

  • Understanding the different types of family tree formats and software available and how to use them effectively.
  • The ability to organize and present genealogy information in a clear and visually appealing manner.
  • Knowing how to research and include historical and social context for ancestors to tell their story.
  • Understanding the importance of preserving and sharing family history for future generations.
  • The ability to effectively tell the story of one’s ancestors using various mediums such as written records, family tree software, or multimedia presentations.

Genealogy is a journey and like any journey, it has its challenges, but by understanding the learning outcomes of each step, you can make sure that you set realistic goals and know what to expect. The learning outcomes outlined in this blog post will help guide you through the process, but remember that genealogy research is not a linear process and sometimes you will have to go back and revisit certain steps. Above all, it’s important to be patient, persistent, and curious.

Your ancestors’ stories are waiting to be discovered and every piece of information you uncover brings you closer to understanding your place in the world. So, grab your notebook and start organizing your information, and begin exploring the vast resources available online and offline to uncover your family history. Remember to document your sources, be mindful of privacy laws, and most importantly enjoy the journey of discovering your ancestors and your place in the family tree.

Most online courses are time-based and do not give you sufficient time to explore each part of the journey in your own time. Family History is not something you do in a week, even a month or a year. The process of uncovering your past takes time, a lot of time; many years in fact. My new course offers you access to the learning modules forever at just one entry cost of $150.

How to Build your Family Tree

My new course, currently under construction, includes lessons, activities, and examples of how to achieve each of the 30 learning outcomes listed above. The course will be available in February 2023 and all enrolled students will have access to the learning modules forever.

You may have already started to research your family history and are keen to provide a shareable family tree with your descendants. Perhaps you are just not sure which of the computer-based family tree software to choose. This course will help you with that.

You may be at the start of the journey and don’t know where to begin the research for your ancestors in their country of origin. Perhaps you just want to get some tips on how to use one or more of the BIG FOUR online family trees, such as FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage, or FindMyPast to research your family. This course will help you with that.

You may wish to explore your family history and uncover the stories of your ancestors that have lain hidden for centuries. Perhaps you want to know how much time to devote to the adventure, or how to prepare and plan for each step along the way. This course will help you with that.

Knowing how best to leave a genealogical legacy for your descendants and to preserve your family history may be your ‘one big thing’ for 2023. This course will help you take the first step on the journey.

You can sign up in advance here and get ready for the course to go live in February/March. While you wait, you can start thinking about your family history pursuits for 2023 and where to get help.

Planning Your Family History Pursuits for 2023: How to Get Help

As we move into the new year, many of us are setting goals and making plans for the coming months. If tracing your ancestry and uncovering your family history is on your list of resolutions for 2023, you’re in luck! There are many resources available to help you achieve your genealogy goals. Here are a few tips and suggestions to get you started:

  1. Join a genealogy group or society:
    Joining a local or online genealogy group or society is a great way to connect with other people who share your interest in family history. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from experienced researchers, get advice on how to overcome obstacles, and collaborate on projects. Attend their monthly meetings to get to know the members and grow your personal genealogy network.
  2. Attend a genealogy workshop or conference:
    Genealogy workshops and conferences are a great way to learn about the latest tools, techniques, and resources available to genealogy researchers. You’ll have the opportunity to meet experts in the field, learn about new online databases and software, and network with other researchers. Conduct a search for online genealogy workshops to locate those that are scheduled in your time zone.
  3. Utilize online resources:
    The internet is a treasure trove of genealogy information. From online tutorials to forums, blogs, and webinars, you can find a wealth of information to help you get started and advance your research. Make sure to check out the official websites of major genealogy organizations and societies, as they often provide a wide range of resources and tutorials.
  4. Join an online Genealogy group on social media:
    Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, and Instagram have a plethora of communities that you can join online for free. Seek out those that have large memberships and offer frequent helpful posts on a daily basis. Follow their top posters to generate notifications of their posts directly to your inbox.
  5. Hire a professional genealogist:
    If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the research process, or if you’re having trouble breaking through a “brick wall” in your research, consider hiring a professional genealogist. They can help you with everything from organizing your information to conducting research, and can also provide guidance on how to preserve your family history for future generations.
  6. Take a genealogy class:
    Many community colleges, libraries, and adult education centers offer genealogy classes. These classes are a great way to learn the basics of genealogy research and get hands-on experience with the tools and resources available to you. There are also many free beginner genealogy classes available online; begin a search for those that are starting at a time suitable for you.
  7. Subscribe to a family history magazine:
    There are many fabulous magazines you can purchase over the counter at any newsagent; magazines such as Family History, Family Tree, or Who Do You Think You Are? Why not subscribe to one of these and have them appear in your letterbox each month?

Remember, researching your family history can be a long and challenging journey, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. With the help of these resources and a bit of determination, you’ll be able to uncover the stories and secrets of your ancestors and understand your place in the world. Good luck and happy researching!

Book a special Coaching Call with me in January to get you started!








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