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Online Genealogy Classes

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Online Beginner to Intermediate level Genealogy Classes

In line with the University’s Strategic Vision of incorporating and using technology in all areas of work, we are delighted to offer online versions of our successful classroom based genealogy classes. By doing this we are offering further flexibility of choice for students. You can study from your own home wherever that may be and at whatever time you choose. These classes will also put you in an online community of budding genealogists which will allow you to share resources and further your own research.

We are following the model used in our highly successful ‘Blaze: online creative writing classes’ and as such the classes will be delivered through MyPlace, the University’s virtual learning environment. This is a user-friendly platform and all you need is a broadband internet connection. It is suggested that before undertaking any of these classes that you are familiar with Windows operating systems, file management and use of the internet.

Successful completion of class assessments will enable students to gain credits at level SCQF7.

Classes will be delivered throughout 2016/17 as follows, with dates to be advised.

Family History Research: from the Beginning

10 credit points (at Level SCQF 7)

In this class, you will discover sources useful for tracing your own family history. This will include indexes, original records and a range of online sources. Although we will focus on Scottish records, we will illustrate how these strategies can be used to search for records in other countries. Using case histories, we will provide you with ideas and strategies to help you to use these sources to produce a genealogical record of your family. We use a range of technologies available through Myplace to share and discuss how we can apply strategies to build your family history. 

The text for this class is ‘Discover Your Scottish Ancestry: Internet and Traditional Resources’, G Holton and J Winch, 2nd Revised ed. 2009, (Edinburgh University Press).

Using Technology in your Family History Research

10 credit points (at Level SCQF 7)

This class will explore the vast range of online sources which can be utilised to research your family history. It will therefore be necessary for you to have a subscription to an online service, and a discussion of what is available through a variety of service providers will be held at the beginning of the class. This will help to assist you in making some decisions about the most appropriate service for your own needs. Although we will focus on Scottish records, we will illustrate how these strategies can be used to search for records in other countries. We will discuss a range of strategies to assist you in making the most effective use of online resources. The class will also introduce you to a range of genealogy software. We will discuss a range of sources beyond those for births, marriages and censuses and will also explore ongoing developments in technologies which are of relevance to genealogists. The tools available in MyPlace will be used to share and discuss many of these ideas. This class was previously titled ‘Family History, the Internet and More’ and has been renamed to reflect the growing number of online resources which are available to budding family historians.

Family History Research: Beyond the Basics

10 credit points (at Level SCQF 7)

This class will focus on sources beyond birth, marriage, death and census records. The records used will be relevant in the main to Scottish based research, although some aspects will be of relevance to those undertaking research in other countries. This will include wills, testaments, inventories, valuation rolls, poor law records, and court documentation. There will also be work on the interpretation of old documents and an introduction to palaeography. Students should be familiar with basic records.

The required reading for this class is: Bruce Durie, ‘Scottish Genealogy’, 3rd edition (History Press, 2012). 

Genetic genealogy: an introduction

10 credit points (at Level SCQF 7)

This class aims to impart a basic knowledge of the scientific and technological aspects of genetic genealogy and teach the skills needed to interpret DNA test results for genealogy. There has been an increasing interest in genetic genealogy as the technology of DNA testing has developed and the potential for genealogical applications has become clear. The scientific and technological complexities of the subject make it challenging for genealogists and family historians, who are more likely to feel an affinity with the field of arts and humanities, rather than that of science and technology. Many individuals who have a DNA test carried out find it very difficult to fully understand the meaning of the results and what further tests and/or genealogical research might prove worthwhile. This class addresses this issue and illustrates that genetic genealogy is an important tool in the field of genealogical studies. The class is also suitable for those who have not yet taken a test.

Class supported by

 FTDNA logo

Introduction to Heraldry

10 credit points (at Level SCQF 7)

Heraldry has been called ‘the floral border of history’. But apart from its intrinsic interest and visual appeal, heraldry is an important aspect of any genealogist’s work. Often, the only pedigrees and lineages available are not in birth, marriage and death registers. This new online class aims to impart a working knowledge of the science and art of heraldry, and to teach the skills required to petition for arms. By the end of the class, students will be able to: read and compose blazons; compose arms from a blazon of a stated person or body; understand national differences in heraldic practice; research and present a petition for arms.

Contact Details

Enrolment for 2016/17 will be available from 19 August.  Registration and payment can be made online (for those paying the full class fee by credit/debit card only) via the Online Shop. For all other payments, please telephone our main enrolments line on 0141 548 2116.