Course details

Building on a Solid Foundation - Genealogy methods and techniques (204)


Tutor: Karen Cummings


It is all too easy to jump straight into family history research without a thought for methods and techniques. In fact, the commercial websites encourage you to do so. However, how do you know that what you are building is robust and accurate? This course builds upon your knowledge of sources with a walk through good technique, recording of your research notes and some useful research tools, such as research logs, timelines, source analysis, places in context and building a weight of evidence, to help you to be confident in your family tree.

You will learn how to analyse your research so far, identifying gaps and appropriate next steps, and develop your research plan. Along the way techniques are demonstrated with examples and problem solving will be showcased using a variety of case studies.

During this course you will have the opportunity to build on an example from your own family history research.

Lesson Headings:
  • * Five golden rules of genealogy
  • * Write it right: notes, sources and gaps
  • * Inside sources and search techniques
  • * Research tools and problem solving

Each lesson includes exercises and activities and a minimum of 1 one-hour chat session per week. See How the Courses Work.

STUDENTS SAID: "The course is fundamental to an understanding of genealogy research and I was very pleased to have been here at a time when it was introduced. The content was very useful - crucial even. I enjoy the chat sessions a lot - it is so helpful to go over the lesson with the tutor and other students on board... The notes were detailed and clear (as you would expect!) and some parts are definitely for printing and keeping handy. A thoroughly enjoyable and valuable course, delivered with great knowledge and understanding - and humour."

"The course allowed you to reflect on your practice and apply new strategies to the work you had already done on your family tree. This allowed you to recognise how you could carry out research more professionally and effectively."

"I've enjoyed it all, it's reinforced so many things I knew and were probably at the back of my mind. It's been really helpful seeing new ways to think about researching things. I've even used some of the things in my normal job which I wasn't expecting..."

Relevant Countries: Examples based on England and Wales records

Course Length: 4 weeks
Start Date: 09 Jan 2023
Unassessed Cost: £52.00 Course Full
Assessed Cost: £70.00 Course Full

Start Date: 01 May 2023
Unassessed Cost: £52.00

Assessed Cost: £70.00


Start Date: 11 Sep 2023
Unassessed Cost: £52.00

Assessed Cost: £70.00

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