Course details

Mapping Strategies for Family Historians (343)


Tutor: Sophie Kay


Maps have the potential to transform the entire process of family history research. This four-week course will introduce you to three novel, practical mapping methods to support sound critical thinking and allow your genealogy research to flourish.

Students will develop the knowledge and technical skills required to use maps for decision making and contextual awareness in evidence-based family history, and as a means of guiding research planning. Applicable to a broad range of eras and places, the three mapping methods either use the bigger picture of an individuals behaviour over time to generate research leads, or use a single ancestral address to gain detailed insights into the experiences of an individual or family.

This course assumes a basic knowledge of core UK records (civil registration, census, parish registers or equivalents) and uses map examples from the 16th to 20th centuries. Suitable for established novices and upwards, the course content will focus primarily on UK-based research, but all methods are internationally applicable and participants are welcome to explore research problems beyond the UK too.

On completion of the course, students will be able to:
* Implement the Outlier Method, Ancestral Walks and Concentric Survey approaches digitally and on paper and understand their suitability for particular situations
* Employ mapping techniques to hone, direct and develop their genealogy research
* Generate specific searches within primary and secondary historical sources using mapping insights derived from an ancestors locality
* Critique the provenance and bias of historical maps
* Use a range of archival catalogues and collections to locate maps for use in their personal research.

Students will have the opportunity to work on their own family history for some of the exercises in the course.

Maps can be the gateway to valuable and fascinating insights about how our ancestors lived and why they made certain decisions. This course will give participants the confidence to bring maps to the heart of their research process to pursue those ancestral narratives further and hopefully have tremendous fun along the way!

Lesson Headings:
  • * Introduction to maps and how to use them
  • * Ancestral Walks
  • * Concentric Surveys
  • * The Outlier Method and how to integrate maps into your family history workflow

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

Relevant Countries: UK

Course Length: 4 weeks
Start Date:   2022
Cost: £52
Start Date Available Soon
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