Thursday, March 30, 2017

At-Home Learning Opportunities for 2017

© Nick Youngson / / CC BY-SA 3.0
You probably know by now that there are a plethora of opportunities to increase your knowledge on genealogy research processes. Many of them are accessed from your home for free. Here are the webinars that are offered during the month of April 2017.

Family History Library Webinars
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has published their March, April, and May classes, including many free webinars. Most of the classes offered in those months are for the Beginner, but there are a few in April for the Intermediate researcher. Visit the Family History Library Classes and Webinars wiki page for the schedule and links to upcoming webinars and their accompanying handouts.  Scroll down to the Past Webinars & Handouts section for links to the recordings and handouts of past webinars. Both the upcoming and past webinars are grouped by country and topics:
  • FamilySearch & FamilySearch Family Tree
  • General Research
  • Africa
  • British Isles
  • Scandinavia
  • Asia
  • Latin America & Spanish
  • Indexing Workshops
  • United States and Canada
  • and more

Legacy Family Tree Webinars
Legacy Family Tree webinars is known for its quality genealogy webinars by professional and well-known genealogists. Every Wednesday afternoon, and once a month on Friday evening, a new webinar is broadcast live for free. The webinar is recording and available for free viewing about a week following the broadcast. After that, you must be a subscribed member.

It is necessary to pre-register for the webinar if you wish to attend live. The entire 2017 year of webinars are available for registration by visiting the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website. Occasionally, a special webinar as slid in on short notice, like Blain Bettinger's Exploring AncestryDNA's New Genetic Communities announced last week and scheduled for Thursday, March 30. It is a good idea to check the schedule frequently or to subscribe to the Legacy Family Tree News in order to catch those special broadcasts.

The webinars scheduled for April are:
  •  Preserve, Share, and Search Your Digital Pictures with Google Photos by Geoff Rasmussen on April 5
  • Your Whiteboard in the Cloud: Trello for Genealogists by Lisa Alzo on April 12
  • Complete Photo Restoration in 4 Easy Steps by Eric Basir on April 14

  • Neighborhood Reconstruction: Effective Use of Land Records by Mary Hill on April 19
  • Finding and Using Land Ownership Maps by Rick Sayre on April 26
  • Researching Criminal Records by Ron Arons on April 28

Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) Webinars
The BCG offers monthly free webinars "as part of an ongoing series that supports our mission to provide education for family historians." (President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG). In late July, 2016, BCG partnered with Legacy Family Tree Webinars to host, produce, and publish all future BCG webinars (go here to read the announcement). The BCG webinars are stored on a separate webpage on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website. These webinars are broadcast live the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 5pm Pacific, and the recordings are available for free viewing for a limited time. The March 21 webinar Are You My Grandpa? Men of the Same Name by Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, is still free through March 31, 2017. April's webinar will be The Genealogy in Government Documents by Rick Sayre scheduled for April 18, 2017.

Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) Webinars
Sponsored by FamilySearch, ISGS webinars are broadcast live the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 8pm Central Time. The 2017 upcoming webinars are described on their Upcoming Webinars webpage. The live broadcast is offered free to everyone, but you must pre-register. Recordings are available to ISGS members indefinitely. Visit their website for infomation about their organization and the genealogy education opportunities.

April's webinar is Tracing slave and slave owner Ancestors with DNA and Genealogy by Nicka Smith on April 11. A printable brochure of the ISGS webinars for 2017 is found here.

Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) Webinars
SCGS webinars are offered twice monthly (the first Saturday and third Wednesday). The live broadcasts are free and open to the public; the recordings are available only to SCGS members. You must register to participate. The Saturday webinars are held in the morning (10am Pacific) and the Wednesday webinars are held in the evening (6pm Pacific). Visit their 2017 Webinar Series webpage for the scheduled broadcasts this year. The April webinars are:
  • Finding Scottish Ancestors Online by Nancy E. Loe on April 1
  • So Many Historic Books: How Can I Find My People? by James M. Baker on April 19

 BYU Family History Library Webinars
Separate from the Family History Library above, the BYU Family History Library hosts a series of online webinars that allow you to learn from family history experts without being required to go to the library. All webinars can be held on any evening. It is easy to connect to these webinars and view them on your own computer or mobile device.  The Online Webinars Webpage has a form you can fill out to receive emails on upcoming webinars. The schedule is usually posted there a month in advance; currently, the March and April schedules are there. Some of the April webinars are:
  • International Research with the Family History Guide on April 6
  • How You Can Help with Record Preservation on April 11
  • Researching in a Library or Archive on April 13
  • Digging Deeper into Google for Genealogists on April 14
  • Beginning Danish Research: Sorting out the places on April 18
  • Buying Technology: A Genealogist's Primer on April 20
  • Finding that Genealogical Gold Right Under Your Feet on April 25
You can also access past webinars and handouts on this page. The archived webinars are sorted into categories including, DNA,, Foreign County, Legal Record, Maps, Military Record,, and Newspaper training.

Other Webinars Offered
Many genealogy societies broadcast live webinars for free. Most provide archived recordings to their members, but some offer the recordings free. Some examples are:
Another excellent source of free webinars is the Family Tree DNA Webinars series. These free webinars are on genetic genealogy and DNA ancestry testing related topics. All webinars are open to the public and are recorded for later viewing.

If you find other sources for free at-home learning opportunities, please share them in the comments section below.

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