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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.

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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.

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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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Featured Genealogy Course Publisher

Introducing 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.

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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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About IrelandXO

Ireland Reaching Out, or IrelandXO is an award-winning Irish charity and genealogical website, which shows people of Irish descent how to research their family tree heritage. It also connects members of the vast Irish diaspora to each other and to people living in their place of origin today. With volunteers in each of the 32 counties, global members have access to an unparalleled level of local information regarding history and heritage. Ireland Reaching Out has a wealth of resources regarding the heritage and culture of local Irish communities.

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Information is organised by the civil parish, with the aim of bringing information that is very local, to a connected audience that is very global. A key part of IrelandXO.com is the XO Chronicles, a completely free family history-sharing platform where members can add, edit, and share information about their ancestors and the events that shaped their lives. With more than 20,000 additions from Ireland Reaching Out members, this is a valuable tool for those seeking more information about their ancestry. Members can preserve their own family stories for future generations. Should members of the diaspora wish to visit their ancestral homeland, Ireland Reaching Out volunteers may also welcome them home and show them around places of interest that may be relevant to their ancestry such as homesteads, cemeteries, and places of worship.

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Feedback from learners who completed the Introduction to Irish Family History course:

Great resources to start a search. For someone like me that is new to genealogy, it points a learner in the right direction from the start.
M Baynes
This is a very well thought out and concise course for people researching their family history, be they beginner or more advanced.
J Kennedy
I think it's brilliant and will be so helpful to both the uninitiated in Irish genealogy as well as those of us who have been at it for years and think we know quite a lot!
I McGrath
I give it 10 out of 10. It is excellent.
Sr de Lourdes

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