Best Free Online Genealogy Courses

For anyone that's interested in the study of their family and family history, a career in genealogy seems like the perfect route to take. In tracing back lineages, this type of job can uncover all manner of details for families who may be looking for answers.

Genealogy is a study that can take a long time to master, and it can often lead many to apply to a university in order to pursue it. However, with the growth of the internet, many online genealogy courses are popping up from official institutions.

Remote studying is a great way for those that have been looking to gain an education but perhaps have been limited with their time and ability to attend classes in real-time.

If a career in genealogy is of interest to you or someone you know, then this guide will be highly beneficial to mull over. You'll uncover all of the fantastic places that offer these types of courses to users across the world.

The Importance Of Family History Research

Genealogy research or family history research is highly important to understand where we've come from and to keep future generations within the loop.

This type of research can also uncover a lot of history that perhaps was either lost or forgotten about within family bloodlines. Did you know that the Royal Family of Denmark is one of the oldest bloodlines in the world?

Genealogical research is something that is needed and will always be required, which is why a career in this niche is one that's secure. Security and stability are often two of the needs that people often require when it comes to seeking out a new career path.

Ten Places To Find Online Genealogy Research Courses

There are lots of genealogy research courses out there that are worth exploring. Below, you'll find ten places that offer paid online genealogy research courses. Each has its own benefits and potential career paths that you could specialize in.

American Ancestors

American Ancestors is mainly geared towards those North American genealogists, but despite this, there's still plenty to find on this site.

The genealogical database on this site is over 1.4 billion entries to date and offers plenty of wonderful courses to get stuck into. Here are a few of the courses that are offered through AA to give you a taste of what they offer:

  • Building Your Genealogical Skills
  • Researching The Deep South
  • Getting Started in Jewish Genealogy
  • Researching Loyalist Ancestors

Course prices vary, but the average is between $85-$125, depending on which ones you're most interested in studying. They also regularly offer live streaming where they do a Q&A with professional genealogists, helping you get knowledgeable insight into the career path you may be moving into.

American Ancestors certainly offers a plethora of online courses and webinars that are sure to keep you intrigued when it comes to valuable sources of data and tools that will help you learn.

There are research tours and other live events that take place throughout the country, so if you're looking to enjoy the experience of studying in the flesh, then there are plenty of opportunities presented through this company.

FamilySearch Webinars

As one of the largest family tree websites to exist on the internet, FamilySearch Webinars are a must-try for anyone looking for a vast genealogical database. This one is a great place to start for those who are perhaps looking at genealogy as a hobby.

There are over 1.2 billion ancestors on the site from which you can gather information. This site expands on data from humans across the world, so not just located in one particular place.

FamilySearch Webinars offers both the vast database that is the family tree and a whole selection of free webinars and courses provided throughout the year. This may be too amateur for those looking to pursue a career in genealogy. However, it's still a useful resource to be aware of.

Sites like this may be extremely helpful in understanding genealogy research skills and understanding the intricacies of uncovering family history.

The free webinars and courses are provided by a service called RootsTech. Here are a few courses worth trying if you're new to the site:

  • Online Resources For Welsh Genealogy
  • Scotland: Finding Your Ancestors
  • What Does Your Surname Say?
  • Tips And Tricks For Finding Elusive Records

A lot of the free webinars are geared toward helping users to utilize the FamilySearch software effectively and efficiently.

The National Genealogical Society

The National Genealogical Society is one that offers membership for just $65 per year, which then unlocks a wealth of classes. Referred to frequently as the NGS, the company helps individuals learn about their family history.

As a non-profit organization, they have been leaders in the field of teaching genealogy research for over 118 years to date. They've helped both amateurs to discover their own lineage and provided the skills required to help many take that step into professional genealogists.

They've got lots of skill-building opportunities through their courses, as well as plenty of advice and tips to get started. The NGS specializes in providing the skills needed for real-world scenarios where genealogy is required for physical sources. The internet can only provide so much when it comes to uncovering family history.

The National Genealogical Society has plenty of courses to get you started including:

  • Introducing: Foundations in Family History
  • Continuing Genealogical Studies (CGS)
  • Family History Skills: Start Your Course

They offer both individual and societal/organizational membership for those that would benefit from having these resources available in their workplace. For online genealogy courses, the National Genealogical Society is a go-to for all things family history and genealogy research.

For the small cost of an annual membership, it unlocks a wealth of knowledge that's well worth the investment.

Boston University Genealogy Studies Program

The Boston University is one of many across the globe to offer a detailed course on genealogy studies for anyone wanting to take their research skills to the next level.

Boston University instructors deliver a fifteen-week online and non-credit course. In comparison to others, the Boston University Genealogy Studies Program is one that exposes students to every area of genealogy research skills that are required to excel in this industry.

Gaining certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, here are a few things you'll learn when taking this particular course.

  • How to hone your research skills for both personal and professional development.
  • Working with a variety of experts within the field of genealogy.
  • Find and evaluate information found online.

This is a critical course for anyone looking to continue their genealogy journey to more advanced levels.

Whether you're already a student that's completed foundational courses in genealogy or you're currently doing it as a hobby, it's a program that is adaptable to anyone. Professional genealogists will use this to become better genealogy researchers, so it's adaptable to any level of genealogical education required.

Udemy Genealogy Coursework

Udemy is an online school that offers a huge catalog of online courses and not just genealogy courses. They're considered to be an online university, making them a great option for anyone looking to further their genealogy journey.

You'll find eighteen different results for genealogical researchers to partake in, and this is one that will likely increase over time too. Here are just a few of the classes that are offered as part of the genealogical section:

  • Introduction to Family History Research
  • UK Genealogy: Researching Wills and Probate
  • Genealogy Photo Editing, Care and Repair
  • The Complete Guide to Immigration Genealogy

The courses themselves are highly affordable, making them accessible to many of those who might not otherwise have been able to gain the skills through other schools.

One of the advantages when using Udemy is that you can take the course over and over again, only spending the initial purchase price to gain access to the course. It's a great knowledge base for those students who want resources to go back on when studying.

Every course comes with a thirty-day money-back guarantee, so if you're not happy with some of the genealogy courses you've taken, you're more than free to return them.

Ancestry.com Learning Center

The Ancestry.com Learning Center is one that's popular for its genealogical archives, and for those looking for a great resource for genealogy courses, you'll find plenty here.

It's one of the best learning centers when it comes to studying genealogy. There are a variety of webinars and courses that have the best advice to give when it comes to proceeding as an amateur genealogist. If your intentions are to go further, then it's the perfect springboard in order to get all the knowledge before moving forward to more advanced courses.

In order to access these free online genealogy videos, you'll need to become a member of Ancestry. This is a monthly or six-monthly subscription that is well worth the expenditure in order to grow your family trees.

For those needing basic information for personal family history, it can provide everything you'll need to fill in the gaps. Here are some of the free genealogy courses that will help you expand your knowledge in this field:

  • Interviewing Family: Tips and Techniques
  • Genetic Genealogy Made Easy
  • Making a Breakthrough in your African American Research
  • Military Records on Ancestry.com

Some of the best data can be found through Ancestry.com, and when it comes to creating your own family tree, you can't really get much better than subscribing to this site.

MyHeritage Knowledge Base

MyHeritage Knowledge Base is one of the largest in genealogical archives and features both helpful genealogical articles and online webinars.

As knowledge pools, they're a great source of information for both amateurs within the field and those looking to advance into a full-time career within genealogy.

This comprehensive database is jam-packed full of articles, courses, and webinars to help genealogy researchers hone their skills. You've got a real mix of generalized courses and those that will help elevate the abilities of those looking to grow their knowledge base even further.

There are a number of notable online genealogy webinars that are worth mentioning when it comes to the MyHeritage platform:

  • Research Latin American Genealogical Resources on the Internet
  • Ask the Expert – How to Manage Your Raw DNA Data from MyHeritage
  • Advanced DNA Features on MyHeritage
  • Facebook Live: Using Mapping Tools to Research Your Ancestors
  • Identifying Common Ancestors with DNA

MyHeritage is certainly a platform that most individuals that are interested in genealogy, either professional or amateur, would benefit from. It's one to bookmark for any future research you do for genealogy in general, regardless of how you intend to use the knowledge.

RootsMOOC – Intro to Genealogy and Family History Research

If you're looking to find free genealogy courses, then RootsMOOC is one of those online introductory courses within the field of genealogy.

It's a casual course that doesn't have the formal frills that you'd expect with school-level courses. However, it does provide a wealth of knowledge that is certainly worth digesting. For novice genealogists and those looking to broaden their basic knowledge, it's perfect!

Whether you're looking to add to your family tree or you're considering a career in genealogy in some way, shape, or form, the course covers all the basics you'll need to know.

Here are some of the key skills you'll learn when it comes to this genealogy course in question:

  • How to use popular tools and technologies for genealogical research.
  • Completing an ancestor chart.
  • Sharing genealogical research progress with other genealogists.

Again, this course provides the basics of genealogy, and while it doesn't go into the deeper specifics of this field of study, it does offer plenty of interesting information nonetheless. For new researchers, it's all you'll need to get you started and, more importantly, to form the foundations required as you build upon your experience within genealogy.

UK National Archives Family History

When it comes to research skills in genealogy, it's important to be able to expand your knowledge beyond just what can be found in your own country. Every country stores its records differently, and there are specific approaches to genealogy research depending on where you're looking.

For tracking genealogical records in the UK, the UK National Archives is a great place to start for family tree history.

With millions of historical records to hand, its archive is one that's been kept going for over several hundred years. That's a great amount of data collection that is worth exploring, despite it not offering access to birth, death, and marriage certificates. It offers resources that can be helpful for budding genealogists to find.

Improve your research skills with its variety of research guides available on the following topics:

  • World War I
  • World War II
  • Criminal, court, and prison systems
  • Political and economic history
  • Current legal records
  • Medieval and early modern history
  • Map interpretation and land records

Unlike some sites for online genealogy webinars and courses, the UK National Archives doesn't provide such a service. However, the research guides above are just a great way of digesting new information and knowledge that will be helpful for building key skills as a genealogist.

For anyone outside of the UK, it's a learning experience in how another country keeps various records and navigates through them.

National Institute for Genealogical Studies (University of Toronto)

Another university, the University of Toronto, has its own National Institute for Genealogy Studies. They have dozens of online courses that cover everything you need to know when it comes to tracing census records and U.S. court documents.

A lot of amateur genealogists will often sign up for these courses individually or register for multiple in order to get a more formalized educational experience.

Whether you're looking to expand your knowledge in a specific area or you're wanting to get a broader awareness of genealogy, you can choose to take as little or as many courses as needed.

Not only are there classes to help genealogists through specific types of records, but there are also general classes that are available through this university.

  • Forensic Genealogy
  • Connecting Family: Online and Virtually
  • Heraldry: Understanding the Art and Science

For professional-level education within genealogy, you'll benefit from these online genealogy courses at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. It's worth keeping an eye out on the school's site for regular updates on new classes that may pop up in the future.

Are There Free Genealogy Courses Available?

Yes! Many free genealogy courses are available to take advantage of, many of which are mentioned on this list above. You can easily find free genealogy courses on the internet with a quick Google search. However, we'd recommend you first check out all of the options mentioned in this article to get started.

Final Thoughts

Whether you're just looking to understand your family tree or you're branching out into the professional world of genealogy research, there are a lot of resources out there already online. Take advantage of what's available through online courses, and hopefully, you'll achieve everything you want to with the sites mentioned in this article.

Link To or Reference This Page

We spent a lot of time downloading, cleaning, merging, and formatting the data that is shown on the site.

If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

  • " Best Free Online Genealogy Courses". NameCensus.com. Accessed on August 16, 2022. https://namecensus.com/blog/online-genealogy-courses/.

  • " Best Free Online Genealogy Courses". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/blog/online-genealogy-courses/. Accessed 16 August, 2022

  • Best Free Online Genealogy Courses. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from https://namecensus.com/blog/online-genealogy-courses/.