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Learn how to research your own family history

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

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I'm really looking forward the Genealogy: Researching Your Family History course that starts in three weeks time and to working with all of the budding family historians who have signed up for it.

When I started researching my own ancestry many years ago, it was quite different to what is available today. For example, there wasn't the range of resources available online that there are today and if you wanted to search the census records, it involved sitting for hours in front of a microfiche machine in the local library. Civil Births, Deaths and Marriages weren't available online and researching those involved taking a day off work to visit the GRONI office in Belfast. You had to book a place and when there, searched on a computer to find a likely entry in the register, gave that reference to an assistant who then went and physically retrieved the information for you. A time-consuming process and one that has been vastly improved in recent years.

What hasn't changed for those researching their family tree is that there is such a wide range of materials held in many different locations and it can be a bit of a headache trying to figure out what there is, where it is and how useful it might be to you. What records will help you to build your family tree? How can you be sure you're researching the right family? What if you can't find certain ancestors? Which websites are the most useful, which ones represent the most value for money, where can you get information for free, what records are not available online but are held in archives?

All of these questions and much more will be answered on the Genealogy: Researching Your Family History course - a 10-week, part-time evening course being run in Ballymena, starting on Thursday 27 September 2018.

I've designed and delivered adult training and education for many years and after completing the Post Graduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies with the University of Strathclyde, I really wanted to do something that would help those folk who didn't know how or where to start researching their family tree or who didn't know how to break down the brick walls they had encountered. And so, the evening course came about.

There are still a few places remaining, so if you'd like to join us on course, you can register for it here https://www.rootsrevealed.co.uk/courses


Natalie Bodle, a native of Northern Ireland is the author of the Roots Blog and founder of Roots Revealed. She is a professionally qualified genealogist and is a member of APG. She is also a qualified tour guide and a member of TGNI.

Roots Revealed provides genealogy research services to clients who are searching for their Irish, Northern Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors, in addition to genealogy tours and family history courses. For more information about the full range of services provided by Roots Revealed, please visit www.rootsrevealed.co.uk or get in touch by emailing enquiries@rootsrevealed.co.uk

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