Online Genealogy Learning - A Time to Smarten Up! | The Armchair Genealogist
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Online Genealogy Learning - A Time to Smarten Up!

   This begins our first entry in a series of posts regarding online genealogy learning. If you are interested in expanding your genealogy knowledge, or if you are new to genealogy then a little online learning maybe in store for you. There are many avenues available to every family historian when it comes to learning more about their craft. This series of articles will explore the many paths a family historian can consider in an effort to gain knowledge about genealogy research. Expanding ones knowledge can do wonderful things; it allows you to look at problems in a new light, sharpen your focus and in turn helps you tear down those infamous brick walls.

We will be looking at all possible avenues of online learning, from webinars, tutorials and podcasts to longer weekly courses that offer opportunities towards accreditation. We will address free learning opportunities, budget friendly learning, and formal learning with larger price tags. New opportunities for learning are becoming available everyday and this series will keep you upto date on what's new and what's tried and true in online genealogy learning.

Recently, I published an article in Internet Genealogy about Online Learning. Pick up a copy of the Dec/Jan issue.  After researching the National Institude for Genealogical Studies, I felt this organization had a lot to offer and I needed to give them some more attention.

Therefore, our first online learning spotlight shines on The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in affiliation with the University of Toronto at

 This is a web based course for family historians and professional genealogists(meaning professional in terms of professionalism, you do not need to be an accredited genealogist for these courses)

 They offer a certificate in genealogical studies or specialized certificates for specific countries

 To obtain a certificate you must follow the recommended prerequisite courses

 If you only wish to enhance your knowledge the prerequisite courses are not required

 Courses are identified as basic, immediate and advanced

 Homework and assignments are mandatory if seeking a grade or credit

 Class discussions, interactive bulletin boards, online meetings and live chats along with study groups provide a well-rounded learning experience

 Courses vary in length from six to eight weeks at a cost of $89.00 US. You may purchase courses individually or in packages.

 Accreditation is not available; however, a family historian can acquire through these courses the tools necessary in the development towards this goal.

There are too many classes offered to mention here, check out their website, it is very user friendly. You can take a single course with a very specific focus in a very specific country, or you may wish to take a series of courses and obtain a country specific certification available for Canadian, American, Irish, English, Germany or Scottish research.

A small snippet of some of the courses offered include:
African-American Genealogy
Genetics and Genealogy
Irish: Immigration, Naturalization and Emigration Records
Methodology, a six-part series
There are over 100 classes to choose from starting Feb 1, 2010 with many more classes available each month, most are open now for registration. Some classes will be added to the calendar soon, one that looks interesting is called Brick Wall Research.

Do not be intimidated by the quality of the school offering these classes and do not feel you need to be an advanced genealogist to engage in these courses. There are classes available for every level of experience and for every area of interest in family history research. In addition, to being reasonably priced, you don’t have to leave your house to complete them. A great combination if you ask me.

Pick-up a copy of the December/January issue of Internet Genealogy for more great online genealogy learning opportunities and visit us every Thursday for Online Genealogy Learning - A Time to Smarten Up!