Do you have an interest in genealogy and are not sure where to start? Do you have experience in researching family history and want to deepen your knowledge? Taking courses in genealogy is a great way to learn the sources, skills and techniques needed to become a good genealogist.
We’ve previously written a guide about Courses, Certificates, Diplomas and Masters in Genealogy, but those are all paid.
In this list, you’ll find genealogy courses online that are 100% free.
The University of Strathclyde
The University of Strathclyde offers two main (paid) programs: a Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies and a Postgraduate Diploma and a Masters (Msc) by dissertation. Luckily, they also provide a very popular and excellent free course titled Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree.
Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree
This free online course helps you develop an understanding of genealogy: how to research your family tree and share the results. The course is primarily designed for people at beginner to intermediate level and helps you add historical context to your family history and discuss how to record and communicate research findings in a clear fashion.
This course is free.
FamilySearch Learning Center
FamilySearch is the most extensive free genealogy site in the world, and they have a learning center that is full of incredibly useful resources. They have a massive selection of quality courses that cover everything from research techniques and creating family trees to reading handwritten records and using genealogy software.
The National Archives
The UK National Archives has a large collection of videos and resources for genealogists, and they can all be accessed online and for free. They include webinars, research programs, instruction guides and much more.
Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University (BYU) offers a number of courses on family history that are available online and can be done by anyone access to a computer. These courses are a great way to learn something new at no cost.
Introduction to Family History Research
This course covers the initial organization of information (using forms to make sense of data, understanding the basic research process), identifying gaps in your information, developing research objectives and skills, obtaining and searching sources and evaluating and sharing your results.
Writing Family History Course
This course requires you to register using an email (and confirming your address). As you spend time doing family history research, you have undoubtedly seen the lives of your ancestors come together and form complete pictures. You have probably not only found their dates of birth, marriage, and death, but information and stories about those events and many others from their lives. This course will help you to take that information and present it in an interesting and readable family history that you can share with your family and perhaps many other interested people. This course can give you the guidance you need to present an inaccurate, interesting and organized family history.
Family Records, Vital Records and Military Records Courses
This courses will help you to use family, vital and military records as you research your genealogy. Among their objectives you’ll find explaining how records fit into the research process, listing where to look when searching for records, organizing and extracting information from them, and begin preparing your own records for posterity.
France, Germany, Hugenot and Scandinavia Research Courses
These courses are designed to serve the needs of a multitude of people. As you go through the material, you will be able to discern the things that you need right now and the things that you may want to leave for later. They cover specific guidelines for researching French, German, Hugenot and Scandinavian records and family history.
State Library of North Carolina
The State Library of North Carolina provides a complete introduction to genealogy research course, partially online and for free. North Carolina’s Government and Heritage Library teamed up with Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library to create a massive open online course on starting genealogical research.
RootsMOOC: An Introduction to Genealogy and Family History Research
The development of the RootsMOOC course materials was funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The course was originally presented on the Canvas network and materials are still available online in the evaluation copy. The course videos from the Government and Heritage Library and the Z. Smith Reynolds Library are also available at the site.
Some genealogy courses are inexpensive and can provide you with more specific information that you won’t find in the free ones. We recommend you take a look at our Courses, Certificates, Diplomas and Masters in Genealogy article.