Fabulous Free Webinar Offerings for February You Do Not Want to Miss.

Do you love free webinars?

I love free webinars.

There are some great webinars this time of year and if you are like me you want to mark your calendar now.

One thing you need to have on your February calendar is the RootsTech Salt Lake City live stream.

RootsTech is like the Super Bowl of genealogy and some of the greatest minds in the field gather at RootsTech.

RootsTech offers several of their presentations live via streaming.

RootsTech SLC runs February 26 -29, 2020. It is the anniversary event celebrating 10 years.

There are three options for joining in on the genealogy fun.

  1. Travel to SLC for the conference
  2. Catch the free live stream
  3. Purchase a virtual pass

Free live streams from the event start at 8am MST on February 26, 2020 and each day offers a full day of learning opportunities. The last free stream session starts at 3pm MST on February 29, 2020.

Some of the great presenters that I am looking forward to include Angie Bush, Blaine Bettinger, and Judy Russell.

If the 3-day free live stream is not enough knowledge, consider the Virtual Pass. For $129 USD you can access 30 presentations not available in the free live stream for the next 12 months. Some great presenters who will be available in the Virtual Pass presentations include Roberta Estes, Dana Leeds, and Lisa Louise Cooke.

Another wonderful thing to check out about the RootsTech page is the free video archive. The archive includes hours of great presentations from previous RootsTech events. Great presentations available in the free video archive include presentations by Amy Crow Johnson, Diahan Southard, and Jonny Perl.

The RootsTech site offers up hour after hour of great genealogy learning opportunities. If you haven’t added it to your genealogy toolbox you need to do it today.

Do you have any can’t miss genealogy events on your calendar for the coming months?

Free online genealogy courses. Worth the time?

Once upon a time, there was a woman who questioned the value of free online courses. The woman was me. The time was nearly six weeks ago. That was when I signed up for the Future Learn genealogy course by the University of Strathclyde Glasgow. I am rapidly approaching the final week of the course, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the program.

Genealogy: Researching your family tree.

The course instructors are Tahitia McCabe and Graham Holton. Both Tahitia and Graham instruct other courses at the University of Strathclyde at Glasgow. Tahitia is the course leader and Graham is the head tutor in the MSc in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies program at the school.

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Things to love about this course.

There were several things about this course that won me over. The first thing I really enjoyed about the program was the structure. Each week, the instructors release a new module. Students can work through the material as their schedule allows. I found personally that I enjoyed breaking the weekly course material into two study sessions each week.
You perform exercises suggested throughout the course and converse with classmates in a comments section on each page or you can attend the study group in the tab at the top of the page. Tahitia and Graham also interact with students through the course to answer questions, adding a very beneficial element to the course.

Sprinkled through the course are small quizzes. They are 5 questions, optional to complete, and your score doesn’t affect your ability to complete the course. I found these to be a great self-test as I moved through the course.

During week 5, there was probably my favorite part of the entire genealogy course. There was a strong focus on DNA, which I found very enjoyable and they host 2 livestreams with Tahitia and Graham. In the livestreams you get to meet virtually with the instructors and ask questions that remain unanswered. They went to great lengths to answer every question and even ran over their scheduled time answering questions.

A couple finer details.

Don’t let yourself get sucked down too many rabbit holes. The instructors loaded the course with great resources and the comments section reveals a great deal many more gems. Save the links and investigate them later to focus only on the lessons given or you might spend hours just looking at great new research resources.

The school that offers the course is in Scotland and many of their topics are heavy in records for that region. As someone who focuses on North American genealogy, I found that part of the course is exceptionally helpful. It gave me a greater understanding of what sort of records I should search for when I research genealogy in Scotland.

Once upon a time, there was a woman who learned she was wrong.

My takeaway from my experience with the genealogy course on Future Learn is that there can be great value in a free online course. This course has something to offer new genealogy researchers or experienced genealogy researchers alike. I am glad that I took the time to test my theory on free online classes with this one. For those interested, you can pay for either an individual course certificate or subscription to Future Learn and get a certificate of completion for the course. The next Genealogy: Researching your family tree course begins in March 2020.

Future Learn also offers several other classes that can be helpful to genealogy researchers. I recommend going to the site and doing a quick search for either history or DNA.

My rating for this course?

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Have you taken any free online courses that you enjoyed? I’d love to hear about your learning experiences in the comments!

Free Courses for Genealogy Research Success

Frugal Finds

I have raised 3 kids. Well 2 and a half… one is still floating around the nest for a few more years. One thing raising kids taught me was how to be frugal. I’m annoyingly cheap. That carries over into my genealogy. I splurge on my ancestry account, but mostly I spend my genealogy dollars carefully.

I take advantage of a lot of free research resources. I have a list of sites I rely on to provide me with research information that might be harder to find on bigger sites. I also take advantage of a lot of free courses. The Internet is full of free genealogy courses, webinars, videos, and how to articles. Sometimes the trick is knowing where to look to find the best resources among the vast noise out there.

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Future Learn

Recently I took the Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree course on Future Learn. The course is 6 weeks long, taught by instructors at the University of Strathclyde Glasgow, and offered free on the Future Learn open course platform. I cannot say how much I enjoyed the course. It is great for beginners, but even experienced researchers will get great information. There are quite a few other courses on Future Learn that could interest researchers.

Evidence Explained

The National Genealogical Society offers a certificate in American Genealogical Studies. The certificate course comprises 4 classes that teach different aspects of genealogical research. The classes are a great value but out of my budget, so I looked at what I could find about the course that might be helpful. The required materials for the second two classes of the program include a book called Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

Elizabeth Shown Mills is a fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. She is an expert in the field and her book is an irreplaceable resource. She has brought some of her knowledge to a series of quick lessons on her site Evidence Explained.  On her site, she provides 26 quick lessons that provide in-depth explanations of evidence and how to understand what it means.

There is a wealth of free learning resources on the Internet. What are some of your favorite free learning finds?

**No plugs just honest opinions. I receive no compensation for this post.**

Free Genealogy Sites. My Top 3 For Michigan.

Localized Research

One of the best research tips I have ever learned is to look local. If possible, pinpoint an area or region where your ancestors lived for a long time and focus on performing research in that area. Dig deep, look for those regional resources that don’t get picked up by the larger records databases.

I find a lot of great free genealogy sites by performing pinpoint research to discover what more is out there. A great many generations of various branches of my family have lived in Michigan. That has made me have to dig deeper to learn where to look for Michigan related genealogy sites.

My Favorites

Time after time I have often found myself turning to these three sites to further my research.

  1. Michiganology – This is the new manifestation of the retiring Seeking Michigan site. This site is great for locating copies of historic vital records from the state of Michigan. It has a ton of Michigan based historic information and access to the Michigan state census records. Some of the sections I love on this site include the land plats. Michiganology.org contains Michigan death records from 1897-1952 and of greater research importance the site has the Michigan state census for years 1884 and 1894 which is a great boon for anyone bemoaning that missing 1890 Federal census.
  2. Flint Genealogical Society – Flint is my hometown and the local genealogical society has been working over 50 years to help preserve the history of this proud industrial town. The site has great localized indexes of the cemeteries in the city with burial information for those interred. It has a searchable database of birth, marriage, divorce, and death records for the city for the years of 1867 – 1930. With a great deal of relatives who flocked to Flint during its heyday I find myself frequently needing information which is located on this site for free without having to sort through millions of records contained on some of the larger sites.
  3. Michigan Digital Newspaper Portal– Central Michigan University has created an amazing database of digital copies of historical newspapers from around the state. I have managed to locate some intriguing articles about some of my relatives in the state by digging through this treasure trove of information. I have realized that both my Great Grandfather and his Father were very noteworthy during some of their earliest years in the state. Not necessarily in the positive way. The digital copies of the articles are easy to search and provide great quality scans of the entire paper.

These are my top 3 favorite research sites when I am working on Michigan genealogy projects. Find these sites and more genealogical research resources on my research page.

Looking local can turn up a lot of free resources that can get lost in the noise of bigger sites. Whenever possible take the time to pinpoint research with local genealogy research sites. Keep an eye out for more of my favorite localized resources coming soon!

This article was obtained from the Digital Michigan Newspaper Library and Central Michigan University. It appeared in the Isabella County Enterprise in Isabella County, Michigan on October 30, 1925. My Great Grandfather, William Spence, had a run in with authorities for making liquor. 100 gallons of mash sounds like the start of quite a Halloween party! This is just one of several instances where dear old Great Granddad had run ins with authorities.

Privacy: How to Protect Your Information Online – free webinar by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL now online for limited time — GeneaWebinars

The recording of today’s webinar, “Privacy: How to Protect Your Information Online” by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, is now available to view at http://www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free for a limited time.Webinar DescriptionProtecting privacy online is a continuing concern. Family historians need to decide what personal and family history information we’d like to keep private while still…

Privacy: How to Protect Your Information Online – free webinar by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL now online for limited time — GeneaWebinars

Legacy Family Tree Webinars : An Introduction to DNA Painter

Not sure where to begin with your DNA results? DNA Painter is one site that every genetic genealogist should have in their tool box. This site offers amazing tools which allow the user to take DNA results to the next level.

This free webinar from Legacy Family Tree is a great introduction to DNA Painter.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars : An Introduction to DNA Painter

Source: Legacy Family Tree Webinars : An Introduction to DNA Painter