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Free Online Genealogy Courses

Fans of the British and American TV series ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ love to watch as celebrities discover the stories of long-forgotten ancestors. Sometimes a piece of family folklore is found to be true - or false! Often, tales emerge from the mists of time, of heroic feats, devastating failures or epic adventures. The actor's emotional connection to these ghostly characters is increased when they discover shared, inherited talents or traits, or learn about heartbreaks and tragedies that befell their forebears. Often we’re left wondering what mysteries our own family tree heritage holds and wish we could find out more. Sometimes it launches us on our own genealogical journey.

It’s one thing to sketch out your family tree and begin to gather anecdotes about what your forebears achieved, suffered or survived, it’s quite another to mine the rich seam of resources that are available to the dedicated genealogist. Depending on which country or countries your ancestors came from, the paper trail can be quite straightforward or very complicated! In this case, the best way to research your family history is to take a basic genealogy course. This will teach you how to make sense of some of the more confusing clues, and direct you to invaluable resources that may help you go further back in time than you ever imagined.

The beauty of taking a free online course with Alison is that you will emerge with a genealogy certification to add to the newfound information you have about your family’s roots. Who knows, you might also discover that you are connected to the great and famous. Whatever you discover, it will give you a new sense of your place in the world, along with a new clutch of stories to pass to the next generation.

Top Free Online Genealogía Courses

Basic Irish Genealogy

For anyone beginning their research journey, a basic genealogy course, such as our Introduction to Irish Family History, is the perfect place to start. Like any good course, it introduces the basics of Irish family history research, explains the best genealogy research tools available, and helps researchers interpret their findings in a meaningful way. Tracing an Irish family tree can be difficult without the sort of insights provided by a course. For example, one person may pop up under multiple aliases - a Latin name, given at baptism, an Anglicised name, their Irish name and then the one that their family and friends would use.

Studying Irish genealogy online can show you how to interpret such anomalies. It will also give guidance on accessing important records such as censuses, and civil and parish records. Further resources include fascinating treasure troves such as the Military Archive as well as records pertaining to the 1916 Rising. With many of Ireland’s census records having been destroyed, being able to access and interpret other sources of information is invaluable to tracing your family history. Apart from discovering where you came from, Alison’s free online genealogy courses also shine a light on major historical events, including the Great Famine of the 19th century, which caused so many people to leave this small island on the western tip of Europe and begin their lives anew in far-flung corners of the world.

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Ireland Reaching Out

Irish Genealogy has a special place of importance at Alison as our Founder Mike Feerick also founded a wonderful government-sponsored Irish-based Charity called 'Ireland Reaching Out' in 2009. Ireland Reaching Out helps people of Irish Heritage find their way home to their communities of origin in Ireland. Many people of Irish heritage around the world, from the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, South Africa, and even Argentina trace their roots to Ireland - but few know where exactly in Ireland they are from.

Ireland Reaching Out provides a free volunteer-driven service that helps people find out exactly where they are from and operates a 'Meet & Greet' service so that when you come to Ireland, you are met by a local volunteer, and shown if possible, the house your ancestors were born in. You can walk the land they once farmed, visit the graves of those who came before you and visit the local pub, if possible, and meet living relatives in Ireland. For more info, view the video below or go directly to the Ireland Reaching Out (IrelandXO) website at https://irelandxo.com

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Where can I go to begin tracing my Irish family tree?
Can I trace family members in any part of Ireland?
What help is available?