Exploring City Directories: How to Trace Your Family in Yesterday’s Yellow Pages

City directories are indispensable tools for genealogists, but they go far beyond just listing your ancestor’s address. They connect an ancestor to a certain place in time and lead to a multitude of sources and present a fuller picture of your ancestors’ lives. In this course, we’ll explore city directories and their applications so you can fully take advantage of this comprehensive source. Learn More →

Course Preview: Reverse Genealogy

There’s a very good reason why working backward is so effective. Let’s say you enter information about yourself into your genealogy database and then record everything about your parents. Next, you work on one of your grandfathers. A quick review of your paternal grandfather reveals that all you have on him is the date he died and the date he was born. If you’re lucky enough to have his birthdate and birthplace then you could get his birth certificate, which will tell you who his … Learn More →

Finding Books About Your Family

When searching for published genealogies in a library catalog, try a keyword search for the last name and the word family, such as Jones family. Adding a place (Jones family Virginia) can narrow the search if you get to many results. Try variations on names and places, as most catalog search engines don’t look for alternate spellings. Not every surname mentioned in a book will be in its catalog entry, so don’t limit your search to your family names. Try neighbors’ and in-laws’ names. Also … Learn More →

Published Genealogies: How to Use Others’ Research to Grow Your Family Tree

People have been doing genealogy for centuries—and their efforts have produced a plethora of “pre-researched” family trees you can use as a springboard for your own research. From articles in genealogical society journals to entire books outlining specific lineages to searchable online databases of user-contributed family trees, this course shows you how and where to look for the work others have already done, allowing you to save time and add branches to your family tree. COURSE BEGINS: There are no sessions currently scheduled for this … Learn More →

Advanced Google for Genealogists: Techniques to Take Your Research to the Next Level

Attention, Google users: Want to get more out of the most popular search engine? In this course, you’ll learn how to tame Google’s seemingly endless search results to find the answers you need—including solutions to common genealogy search dilemmas, such as looking for names that double as familiar words (Ward, Shore) and bypassing results for famous people with your ancestral surname. You’ll also take advantage of Google features and services that will help you research more efficiently. COURSE BEGINS: There are no sessions currently scheduled … Learn More →


Research in Foreign Records: How to Find Your Family Across the Pond

After you’ve identified the immigrant in your family tree and pinpointed the place your family came from, you’re ready to begin exploring resources in the country. The third course in our immigrant research series walks you through the steps to successfully cross the pond and find your family in foreign records. WHAT YOU’LL LEARN How to set yourself up for success and identify available records Ways to access records from countries all over the world—without traveling there Tips for writing to overseas archives and record … Learn More →


US Military Records: Trace Your Ancestors’ Service

With so many military conflicts throughout America’s history, it’s likely your ancestors were involved. Finding records of their service will help you round out the portraits of their lives and honor their memory. Military files also can reveal information about widows and children—and even ancestors who didn’t serve might have left behind draft records. This course will teach you what to look for and how to locate the records you seek. Learn More →


Finding Your Ancestral Village: Strategies and Tools to Pinpoint Your Family’s Place of Origin

Most genealogists hope to “cross the pond” as quickly as possible—but to do that, you need to know the name of the town or village where your ancestor lived. This course will teach you how identify your ancestor’s place of origin, show you the key tools you need to do so and give you an overview of the factors that likely influenced an immigrant’s decision to leave home. Each of the four lessons includes an assignment designed to help you progress in tracking the ancestral … Learn More →


Reverse Genealogy: Working Forward to Break Down Brick Walls

When we first begin researching our family tree, we’re taught that we should start with ourselves and work backward. Starting at the end of someone’s life and working backward is the most efficient and accurate way to research—in most cases. But two genealogical challenges call for a change in strategy: Overcoming brick walls Finding living relatives When you drive a car down an alley and you come to a dead end, what do you do? Throw the car into reverse, of course! The same is … Learn More →

First Steps

Discover Your Family Tree: Genealogy for the Absolute Beginner

When you’re a family history newbie, the prospect of diving into your roots research can seem overwhelming. This course will start you on the fun and rewarding journey of discovering your roots. Learn how to begin, where to look for information to extend your family tree, what to do with what you find and how to put it all together. WHAT YOU’LL LEARN How to fill out a family tree chart How to record and organize information Where to find information to extend your family … Learn More →