Course details

Using Printed Sources in Family History (253)


Tutor: Simon Fowler


The study of genealogy most often involves research using a variety of original historical documents, whether online copies or transcriptions, or copies or original documents in archives. You will often hear it said: make sure you look at the originals! We are so used to working in this way that it is easy to overlook the value and additional context that can be gained from printed sources.

And you may think that your ancestors werent grand enough to be mentioned in a newspaper, let alone a directory or local history book. But stories from the lives of millions of our forebears have been captured in this way particularly in newspapers and magazines. There may be no other ways to discover them.

This course looks at how to use printed material in your genealogical research. We will discuss biographical dictionaries, trade and street directories, record society transcripts and calendars.

There will be a special focus on studying newspapers and magazines, the most important printed resources by far. They are an amazing resource for family history, but too little used by researchers. We will in particular be looking at the major collections available online.

This course will provide background about the records how and why they were created as well as suggesting the best research methods to use online and in archives. There will be plenty of opportunities for students to explore the records for themselves.

There are three lessons, one per week, covering the following topics:

Lesson Headings:
  • * Using libraries and finding books
  • * Getting the best from newspapers
  • * Other published sources

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

Relevant Countries: England and Wales

Course Length: 3 weeks
Start Date: 03 Jan 2022
Cost: £34.99

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