New course format

Mr Burns USB Webcam
Mr Burns USB Webcam

For the past two years I’ve been teaching a Basic English Research genealogy course with GenClass.  Every time this course runs, part of the preparation involves updating the course materials to incorporate new research sources as they come available and also checking the web links to make sure that they’re all still alive and kicking.  This time it’s slightly different…..

As part of the new arrangement with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies I’m also having to change the format of the course material so that it fits in with their IT systems.  I’ve had to learn how to use to Microsoft’s Live Meeting software which we’ll be using to run the class chats and I’ve still got to buy a webcam for the chats.

It’s all very exciting and the course material looks great!  The only downside is the webcam – I’ve always hated having my photo taken.

Here’s the full press release:

NEWS RELEASE: GenClass instructors merge 24 courses with the 150 existing courses at National Institute for Genealogical Studies!

GREAT NEWS! Lots of new topics & new courses available through the National Institute… As of February, you will see a new ‘type’ of course offered at the Institute — INTENSIVE SHORT TERM courses.

* Intensive — packed with lots of very helpful information, research techniques & tips;

* Short Term — most will be four (4) weeks in length;
* Instructors — experts in their field of genealogical research;
* Live Meetings (optional) —  four (4) optional ‘real-time’ online meetings with your Instructor and fellow coursemates;
* Direct Communication — consult directly with your instructor via e-mail;
* Feedback — discuss specific topics through various online or offline threads;
* Assignments (optional) — although there may be some personal assignments to enhance a technique, submitting them is completely optional;
* Exam (none) — no final exam to be completed;
* Inexpensive — under $50;
* One-on-One Advice — Book an appointment with your instructor to discuss in-depth individual research problems (additional fee).
(The above may vary by course; check the course description for details.)

Below is a list of the new courses, the instructor and their first anticipated start month. Check online for a full description of the course, actual dates courses are offered throughout the year and to complete your registration. (Go to, click on menu item COURSES, click on COURSES again, click on INTENSIVE SHORT TERM view, click on name of course).

START DATE: February 15

Research: African-American Ancestors; Michael Hait


Investigation: Adoption Records; Linda Rakita
Investigation: Lost Friends and Family; Linda Rakita
Research: English Ancestors-The Basics; Sheena Tait


Brick Wall Research; Lisa Alzo
Research: Australian and New Zealand Ancestors; Kerry Farmer
Research: Female Ancestors; Lisa Alzo
Research: Native American Ancestors; Barbara Benge


Research: Jewish Genealogy on the Internet; Micha Reisel
Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your Family Story


Research: Canadian Genealogy on the Internet-Part 1; Pat Ryan


Research: Canadian Genealogy on the Internet-Part 2; Pat Ryan
Research: Salt Lake City, The Largest Genealogical Library-Part 1; Pat Ryan
START DATE: August 2
Research: Canadian Genealogy on the Internet-Part 3; Pat Ryan
Research: Jewish Ancestors-Basic Introduction; Schelly Talalay Dardashti
Research: Salt Lake City, The Largest Genealogical Library-Part 2; Pat Ryan


Electronic Resources-Family Tree Maker 2009-The Basics; Cindy Rowzee
Electronic Resources-Family Tree Maker 2009-Advanced; Cindy Rowzee
Jump Start your Genealogy; Lisa Alzo
Organizing Your Family History; Cindy Rowzee
Research: European Ancestors-Part 1; Lisa Alzo
Research: European Ancestors-Part 2; Lisa Alzo
Research: United States-Great Lakes States; Lisa Alzo
Research: United States-Northeastern US; Cindy Rowzee

GenClass was formed in 2007 by a group of instructors who formerly taught courses for They quickly earned the reputation of offering affordable intensive courses with lots of valuable information covering a variety of general and specialized topics. Students enjoyed the Instructor involvement throughout the process. Ten instructors, with a total of 24 courses, have recently moved their courses to the Institute’s training platform.

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies, in affiliation with the Continuing Education unit of the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, offer Certificate Programs in Genealogical Studies in the records of Canada, England, Ireland, Germany, United States and a Librarianship Program. The Institute celebrated its 10th anniversary of Genealogical Education during 2009.

Louise St Denis, Managing Director

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies

Mitchell Library lectures

The Mitchell Library in Glasgow
The Mitchell Library in Glasgow

The Mitchell Library in Glasgow is running a series of family history lectures starting on 14 November and running through into December as part of the Archive Awareness Campaign.

The lecture subjects are:

  • An introduction to Irish family history
  • Census substitutes
  • School archives
  • Family and estate records
  • Poor law archives
  • Archive sources for family history
  • Church archives

To find out more, go to

Online courses in November

There’s a week left to sign up to a GenClass genealogy course in November. Each course lasts for 4 weeks and costs US$34.50
The courses are:
Adoption investigative course
This class provides not only instructions of how to search, but addresses the emotional aspects that affect such a deeply personal and poignant endeavor.
Australian and New Zealand genealogy
How to research your family in Australian and New Zealand records. Learn how to use the online indexes and find the digitized records that can help overcome the “Tyranny of Distance”.
Native American genealogy
All areas for each of the different tribes in North American are covered from the Canadian First People to the various tribes in the United States.
Basic English research
Start researching your English ancestors using both paper-based and online resources. Learn how to find the “bones” of your family using birth, marriage and death records, the censuses, parish registers and wills.
Canadian research – part 3
After the census, the next most important series of records are more specific. Specific types, and ethnicities of persons and the records created about them. And, of course, immigration – which includes passenger lists – and Government records.
Eastern European genealogy – the basics
This class will show you how to begin researching your Central and Eastern European roots using both traditional and online sources.
Family Tree Maker 2009 – the basics
The program has been completely redone and has many new features that are available to you, if only you knew where they were. Learn your way around this new Family Tree Maker as well as learning how to enter your information including names, dates, media and sources.
Lost friends and family
Have you ever wanted to locate a lost love or missing relative? Reminisce with a military buddy or childhood friend? Don’t let another year pass without that special someone back in your life!
Salt Lake City – part 1
Using the Internet, access the largest genealogical library in the world located in Salt Lake City – without ever leaving your home! Perform searches, knowledgeably; and more importantly – understand what you’ve found.
Scottish genealogy
This extensive class will provide a detailed description of what you need to know to track your Scottish ancestry.
Write your family history step-by-step
You don’t have to be a prize-winning novelist to capture your family’s story on paper! This class will cover how to document your family’s story in simple manageable steps.
Each course begins on Saturday 1 November and ends on Friday 28 November.
What better way to spend cold November evenings!