Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Learning Genealogy Web Skills Tutorial

The Internet and the plethora of genealogy research sites can be overwhelming for new researchers.

The best site I've found for introducing many of the "standard" online research sites is the "Research Your Family Tree Tutorial" site. This online tutorial course demonstrates how to use many Internet sites, and allows you to practice using the sites with your own family data.

The Objectives of the course are (from the site):

During this tutorial, you will learn to locate family history information and gather documentation to confirm the accuracy of your information. After successfully completing this tutorial, you will be able to:

** Ask questions that elicit important family history information from knowledgeable relatives.

** Record names, dates, places, and sources on Ancestor Charts and Family Group Sheets.

** Use online databases for locating family history information.

** Use the Google search engine to find Web pages containing information on your ancestors.

** Collect vital records documenting births, marriages, and deaths.

** Locate other documentation about your family such as census records, probate records, church records, and military records.

** Communicate with other researchers gathering information on your surname (last name) or geographic area.

That's quite a set of objectives, isn't it?

The Course Outline is on the left hand margin of the web site - you can click on one of these module topics:

1 - Getting Started (home sources, charts, recording information, citing sources)

2 - Using Online Resources (online databases, search engines and directories)

3 - Gathering Key Records (vital records, census records)

4 - Exploring Further (probate, land, military, newspaper records)

5 - Sharing Information (discussion lists, message boards, software programs)

In each module, you can see a demonstration of what is being taught, and you can practice online with guidance from a step-by-step list on the left side of the screen.

This is an EXCELLENT online tutorial site - and can be perused at the pace of the learner. If you are just starting out in research, or know someone who is just starting, refer them to this site.

For experienced genealogists who are not familiar with the Internet resources, modules 2 through 5 are great to get you up to speed.

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