Tyler Stahle | Sep 6, 2017

3 Ways to Improve Your Research Skills From Home

This is the first of a three-part series exploring free online genealogical resources. Read part two and part three.

For many of us, loving our ancestors and heritage comes naturally. However, developing our research skills to find and add family members to our tree is something that requires work, practice, and patience. It’s important to remember that becoming a better family historian is a lifelong pursuit—a journey more similar to a marathon than a sprint.

Thanks to modern technology, there are dozens of online tools, trainings, and tutorials that you can use to expand your genealogical repertoire. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best free online genealogical resources here.

FamilySearch Learning Center

While you may be familiar with FamilySearch’s vast record collection, you might not be as familiar with the various online courses and tutorials available for free in the FamilySearch Learning Center. To find to the Learning Center and available courses, navigate to familysearch.org. On the home page, click Get Help on the top right. From the drop-down menu, select Learning Center.

Once you’re in the Learning Center, you can scroll down to view hundreds of lesson options on topics like the following:

  • United States probate records
  • Hispanic records
  • State and special census records
  • Placing source documents in a family tree

Each course is presented in video format with additional resources such as articles or similar videos linked at the bottom. You can also download the course video and handout to your computer to review later.

BYU Independent Study

BYU Independent Study offers a number of free online courses related to family history. While these classes are not available for university credit, they are great resources that can help you become a more effective family historian. You can complete one or all of these courses at your own pace. Some examples include the following:

  • Introduction to Family History Research
  • Writing Family History
  • Helping Children Love Your Family History
  • French Research

And many more!

The Genealogy Guys Podcast

If you’re looking for a new podcast to listen to while you exercise or drive to work, consider the Genealogy Guys Podcast. The podcast, hosted by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, offers interviews, book reviews, and the latest news from genealogical organizations. The podcast offers a balance of content that would interest the beginning genealogist as well as the seasoned expert.

What other online resources do you use to improve your family history skills? Tweet us @RootsTechConf to join the conversation.

Tyler Stahle

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