1. NEW Courses: Scottish Ancestral Crisis, Critical Thinking Methods and Migration

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    We have two brand new tutor-led courses for you this month, brought to you by Chris Paton and Sophie Kay.

    The first of our new courses looks at Scottish research from the perspective of ancestors in crisis:

    Researching Scottish Ancestral Crisis

    Chris Paton

    As in our own lives, many of our Scottish ancestors had to overcome great adversity on occasions to simply make it through the day. Illness, death, bigamy, abandonment, accidents, eviction, victimhood, ethnic cleansing, and so much more – a dramatic range of experiences across a series of lifetimes. And whenever such crises emerged, somebody was usually close to hand with a quill and ink to bear witness. In so doing, a great documentary legacy was created that can greatly help us to understand the true lives of our forebears, and the struggles that led to who we became today.

    This course will reveal the many areas of Scottish ancestral hardship that have been documented over the last few centuries, and explore how to access the relevant records. It follows on from two previous Pharos courses, Scottish Research Online, which explores websites offering some of the more basic records for Scottish research, and Scotland 1750: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, which takes students to more advanced records found offline and online, and which flags up the importance of using catalogues. Although not compulsory, it is recommended that both courses are completed prior to studying Researching Scottish Ancestral Crisis.

    Researching Scottish Ancestral Crisis is Booking NOW.

    Our second brand new course comes from Sophie Kay and looks at a number of critical thinking approaches.

    Critical Thinking Approaches for Genealogy

    Sophie KaySome of you may have seen Sophie speak on one of her critical thinking approaches already: the Negative Space approach. In this course the family history research process is examined from start to finish, seeing how critical thinking has a role to play at every turn. Historical evidence is placed centre-stage and a range of analysis techniques are used to guide towards a considered, thorough research narrative.

    Subjects covered include the Perspective Pyramid for researching at different scales (e.g. individual, family, branch), the Negative Space approach for analysing research gaps, the timebinding method for reconciling the different stages of an ancestors life, and the topping-and-tailing strategy for use with migratory ancestors. This is combined with core skills such as developing research questions and performing effective searches and hands-on experience of the Genealogical Proof Standard.

    Critical Thinking Approaches for Genealogy is Booking NOW.

    And in case you missed it:

    Elusive Ancestors: Migration within the British Isles

    Announced earlier this month in our newsletter is a brand new course on migration in the British Isles, written and taught by Janet Few.

    Janet FewAs family historians, we all encounter elusive family members. They appear as if from nowhere or they disappear without trace, leaving no death or burial record. Then there are those who vanish from view for decades, only to re-emerge later. Often the problem is created because an individual has changed their location. This course suggests strategies that you can use to try to track down ancestors who moved within the British Isles.

    The course will begin by investigating the reasons why people of the past changed their location, touching on some of the theories of migration, and look at many of the occupations which often led to a move. In the second part of the course students will consider the benefits of studying the extended family and others in the neighbourhood when trying to track down an elusive ancestor. In addition, each lesson will have a focus on tracking down a different type of record.

    Elusive Ancestors: Migration within the British Isles is also Booking NOW.