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Online Class: Genealogy 101

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Course Description

Genealogy is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the United States. According to some experts, nearly 75% of Americans are interested in discovering their family history. There are many reasons for this: some people are interested in learning more about their heritage, others want to preserve their family's history for future generations, while still others become involved as a means of spending time with older relatives. Whatever the reason, based on the number of books, web sites, and software programs devoted to this topic, there is widespread interest that continues to grow.

While taking on the task of researching your family tree can appear – and in many cases actually be – a daunting task, it is far from impossible. Thanks to the increasing availability of information online, many people can easily conduct a great deal of their research from the comforts of their own home. In this course, we will present tips and strategies for beginning the process of constructing your family tree. In addition to describing the various records and sources available for finding information, we will help you to understand some basic genealogy terms and tools. We will also discuss the steps that you can take to permanently preserve your family's records and history. 

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Instructor Feedback
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe how to begin the process of researching your genealogy.
  • Describe where to look for clues.
  • Describe where and how to find official records kept by local municipalities, churches, and other entities.
  • Describe using technology to connect with other people that have information you need.
  • Describe how to avoid common mistakes.
  • Know how to write and publish your family history, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
IACET Accredited Provider
Universal Class, Inc. has been approved as an Accredited Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this approval, Universal Class, Inc. has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is widely recognized as the Standard of good practice internationally. As a result of their Accredited Provider status, Universal Class, Inc. is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its courses that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

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Course Lessons

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Lesson 1: Introduction to Genealogy

Simply put, genealogy is the study of family history. Make no mistake however, genealogy is anything but simple. 28 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Review Article: The National Archives (The National Archives offers a great deal of information and resources regarding genealogy.)
  • Review Article: Why study Genealogy?
  • Review Video: YouTube (interesting video on the joy of genealogy.)
  • Take Poll: Why Genealogy?
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment: Why Genealogy
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 1: Introduction

Lesson 2: Getting Started

Chances are, you didn't wake up this morning and think, "Gee, I think I'll take an online genealogy course today." 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Review Article: Getting Started
  • Review Article: National Archives
  • Review Article: National Archives
  • Review Video: YouTube (This video offers a visual tutorial of genealogy search basics.)
  • Take Poll: New or Seasoned?
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment: Planning it Out
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 2 : Getting Started

Lesson 3: Sorting It All Out

Feeling overwhelmed yet? If you are, don't despair, because in this lesson, we will show you how to begin to get a handle on the information you have gathered so far and begin to get it organized. 29 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Review Article: Sample Pedigree Chart
  • Review Article: Misbach Enterprises (This site offers a variety of pedigree charts so you can find one that suits you and print it.)
  • Review Article: New Misbach Enterprises Link
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment: Charting it Out
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 3 : Sorting it all Out

Lesson 4: Looking for Clues

Contrary to what you may believe, it is not always necessary to conduct an extensive search for information about your family's past. 28 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Review Article: Genealogy Today (information about finding funeral cards online.)
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment: Photographs galore
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 4 :Looking for Clues

Lesson 5: Official Records (Part 1)

Official records-those records kept by local municipalities, churches, and other entities, represent the most accurate source of information. 29 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review Article: Census Finder (information on obtaining census records.)
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment: Record Sources
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 5 : Official Records: Part 1

Lesson 6: Official Records (Part 2)

In this lesson, we continue looking at some of the most common sources of information that can help you piece together your family tree. 27 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review Article: Castle Garden (database of 12 million immigration records.)
  • Review Article: National Archives (information on how to obtain military records.)
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment: Search Practice
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 6 : Official Records, Part 2

Lesson 7: Official Records (Part 3)

As you may have guessed based on the amount of time we have devoted to this topic, there is a wealth of information available in official records. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Review Article: Find a Grave (a database of burial records.)
  • Review Article: Interment.net (another site that database of cemetary records for finding burial records)
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment: Land Records Search
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 7 : Official Records, Part 3

Lesson 8: Learning from Others

As you can probably imagine, the Internet has made networking with genealogists from around the world nearly effortless. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Review Article: Facebook (This may be a good option for researching, interviewing and gathering information from others.)
  • Review Article: Yahoo Groups (Discussion groups such as this one can serve as a helpful tool in your search. They can provide info, leads, and offer tips on overcomin
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment: Joining Lists
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 8 : Learning from Others

Lesson 9: Avoiding Common Mistakes

Let's face it, if you're new to all of this, you are bound to make a few mistakes along the road to filling out your family tree. And if you do, don't worry - most of them are fixable. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Review Article: About.com (top ten genealogy mistakes that people make.)
  • Review Article: Genealogy Blog (insight and news on the topic.)
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment: Making Mistakes
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 9 : Avoiding Common Mistakes

Lesson 10: Dealing With Dead Ends

Even with all the resources available, chances are that you are going to hit at least one roadblock in your quest to fill in your family tree. 28 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Review Article: National Genealogical Society (information on genealogical conferences and events.)
  • Review Article: Impossible and Improbable
  • Take Poll: Road Blocks
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment: Problems Encountered
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 10 : Dealing with Dead-ends

Lesson 11: Handling Special Situations

Up to this point, we've been proceeding with the "one size fits all" approach -- meaning that there is nothing atypical about your family tree. But, we all know that the world - and its inhabitants - are far from "one size fits all." 29 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Review Article: AfriGeneas (information on African American genealogy.)
  • Review Article: CyndisList (list of places that offer information and resources regarding adoption and genealogy.)
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment: Handling Special Situations
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 11 : Handling Special Situations

Lesson 12: Keeping It All Organized

In the last 11 lessons, we've covered a great deal of ground, and have given you plenty of direction for researching your family tree. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Review Article: Genealogy Software Review
  • Review Article: Organization for Genealogists
  • Review Video: YouTube (video offers a look at organization as it pertains to genealogy.)
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment: Organization
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 12 : Keeping it All Organized

Lesson 13: Family Histories

For many genealogists, the ultimate goal is writing a family history. As daunting as that task may sound, there are ways to turn that goal into a reality. In this lesson, we will discuss how to write and publish your family history. 108 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Review Article: Gen Writers (site focuses on writing)
  • Review Article: Writing Your Family History
  • Take Poll: Let us know what you think of this course
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete Assignment: Discovery at Family Gatherings
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment: Making a Plan
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 13: Family Histories
  • Complete: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Genealogy 101
Course Number: 7550451
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: How To
CEU Value: 0.9 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: C. Michael McKenna
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Requirements: View Technical Requirements
Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $75.00

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Student Testimonials

  • "Instructor was extremely helpful and enthusiatic about the topic." -- Donna S.
  • "I found him pleasent and professional with a great sense of humor." -- Mike T.
  • "The instructor was outstanding. The speed with which he graded the lessons and quizzes was far better than I had expected. With each lesson submitted he inserted comments and remarks which were presonalized to my lesson and were greatly appreciated." -- Frank B.
  • "I learned new aspects of researching my family history that I hadn't considered." -- Jill T.
  • "Net links will prove very helpful in my family history search. Instructor's feedback was very useful and encouraging." -- Michelle B.
  • "The instructor was very positive and encouraging. It also helped me with areas that I was not very familiar with, specifically land and probate records and the section on examining computer programs. Also, the extra assignments ("go to this webpage and look at...") were particularly helpful because they introduced additional sources that were new to me." -- Kathryn H.
  • "This course Genealogy I recommend to anybody. It gives so much information...The instructor is one of the Best, he is very helpful, he has lot of knowledge." -- Sophie S.
  • View More Testimonials...

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