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The Center for Corporate and Professional Education


Genealogy Course: Methodologies of Family History and Genealogical Research


with David Martin

Calendar Next available session starts Oct 4, 2023 at 6 pm, runs for 6 weeks

This six session course introduces the student to the basic methodologies of family history and genealogical research. Included are the use of primary versus secondary sources, standards of evidence, systematic record-keeping, production of useful charts, techniques for gathering personal family data from a variety of sources, census records, land and probate records, DNA information, immigration and naturalization records, and assembling a history of one individual using genealogical methodology. Students will carry out independent reading, in-class exercises, and homework assignments which will be individually evaluated by the instructor.

Course Objectives

  1. Write effective letters of inquiry for collecting family history data.
  2. Plan, carry out, and analyze a personal interview to collect family history information.
  3. Use effectively a variety of legal source records to construct a family history.
  4. Collect relevant data from sources such as church records, civic vital records, and newspapers and then evaluate those data in terms of their credibility.
  5. Properly cite sources.
  6. Develop and carry out a research plan.Organize research findings in a narrative about a specific ancestor.
  7. Develop a plan for continued research on family history after the completion of the course.

Course Requirements

  • Participation in all sessions of the course
  • Completion of weekly assignments and submission to the instructor on the schedule specified.
  • Completion of a final project of a narrative report on one ancestor, detailing her/his life events, relationship to the family, local historical events occurring during her/his lifetime, and world events of which she/he may well have been aware during the lifetime.
  • The final project is due two weeks following the final scheduled (6th) session of the course.

Course Format
Take this course from the comfort of your home or office! This course is offered remotely with scheduled (live) Zoom sessions. 

About the Instructor
David S. Martin, Ph.D., is Professor/Dean Emeritus from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC where he has taught genealogy courses in the Honors Program. Since retirement, he has taught 23 different courses in genealogy for beginners and experienced genealogists in southeastern Massachusetts, both in-person and online.

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