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Genealogy and Family History

How to Begin

Learning More

With genealogy, you never run out of new things to learn! As you progress in your research, you will learn more about your ancestors. More formal ways of learning can supplement the knowledge you acquire from day to day.


Formal courses in genealogy do exist. Some are listed here:

  • In Canada, the National Institute for Genealogical Studies [], affiliated with the University of Toronto, offers online courses for both amateur and professional genealogists at various levels.
  • In the United States, Brigham Young University (affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) offers both degree and certificate programs through its Center for Family History and Genealogy [].
  • Also in the United States, there is the very popular National Institute on Genealogical Research [] sponsored by several major genealogical organizations.

Local school boards, community colleges, universities, libraries and archives also offer genealogy courses and workshops as part of their programs.

As well, there are certification programs and professional associations for genealogists, some of which are listed here:


Conferences are regularly held and fit every budget, from small, local, one-day gatherings to large, week-long, national and international meetings. Most of these are sponsored by societies, or associations of societies. Many of the Canadian genealogical societies have conferences. Check the society websites for announcements on conferences, workshops and seminars.


Canadian genealogical societies present member-run programs and workshops that can be free or included with the cost of a society membership. These learning opportunities are just some of the benefits of joining a society.