Genealogy Education Should Be Your Goal in 2019!

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions yet?

Actually, for genealogists, a better term might be setting 2019 GOALS. A goal is long term, but can be attained in smaller steps and doesn’t seem to have the eye-rolling reaction that yearly resolutions brings on.

I’m proposing one goal that every genealogist should have on his or her list each year – that is to enhance genealogical knowledge and to hone research skills.

How can family historians most easily attain that goal? Through an underused (although becoming more widespread) event – genealogy webinars.

Webinars are a terrific way to enhance your genealogy education and there are several benefits to be had:

(1) You attend from home on your computer. In your jammies, if you want!
(2) The majority of webinars are FREE if you attend live. You can’t be free!
(3) You can actively participate and ask questions through the message box during many webinars.
Best of all, there are hundreds of topics being presented each year. The only downside is that, for most webinars, handouts are only available to paid subscribers – but you can take your own notes.

There are more and more genealogical societies and organizations who are offering webinars on a regular basis.

Here are links to resources that I’ve come across to learn about and register for upcoming webinars:

Many, but not all, webinar events can be found on GeneaWebinars calendar, so you’ll want to bookmark GeneaWebinars Calendar.

American Ancestors – The New England Historic Genealogical Society offers both paid and free webinars. It also maintains an archive available to the public for free.

Board for Certification of GenealogistsBCG offers free webinars which are produced by Legacy Family Tree Webinars. BCG webinars are geared towards improving methodology and research skills. While the intended audiences are certified genealogists or those working towards certification, the lessons are excellent for everyone.

BYU Family History Library – BYU offers weekly webinars across a number of categories:

DearMYRTLE – Pat Richley-Erickson, aka Myrtle, hosts hangouts –  Mondays with Myrt (news and discussion about various genealogy topics), Wacky Wednesday and longer term (weeks) study groups. focused on Val Greenwood’s 4th Edition of The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy. She also has a number of videos on YouTube.

FamilySearchClasses and Webinars (go to Search and then Research Wiki. Then enter WEBINAR in the search box to get to the link. It’s buried!) FamilySearch archives its classes and webinars. Handouts are free, as are all of their online classes and webinars. FamilySearch even offers its mini-conferences online for free.

Florida State Genealogical Society – offers a monthly series called Poolside Chats.

Illinois State Genealogical Society – offers a monthly series called ISGS Webinars.

JewishGen Learning Center – has an archive of educational videos on YouTube. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the list and links.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars – This is the only company whose purpose is to host genealogically oriented webinars. MyHeritage bought the company a couple of years ago. All of its webinars are free to the public when presented live. However, there are a couple of subscription options, which includes access to all the handouts and to previous webinars.  The regular rate is $49.95, but they often have 40% or more sales. They also often a terrific bargain – $9.95 for a one month subscription, giving unlimited access. You can binge watch genealogy webinars and access all the handouts! (You can browse the categories and preview each webinar, too.)

Legacy also offers a bonus webinar category, not presented live, only accessible by members.

Ontario (Canada) Genealogical Society – offers monthly webinars, not necessarily with the focus on Canada. This month, Thomas MacEntee is presenting Turning Genealogy Clues into Genealogy To-Do’s.

Southern California Genealogical Society – offers two webinars per month

Wisconsin State Genealogical Society – offers monthly webinars

YouTube – There are literally thousands of hits for genealogy. Narrow your topic and you will be surprised at what’s available for free by well known speakers.

Last, but most definitely not least, I’d like to promote a new genealogy society, the Virtual Genealogical Association. If you would like the friendship and virtual companionship of other genealogists, then VGA is for you. It is just a year old and hosts many activities. It’s just like an in-person genealogy society, offering SIGS (Special Interest Groups) and local (virtual) chapters, but all activities are online. There is a Facebook group where announcements are made and news shared, along with an official website. It also hosts monthly webinars for members. Membership is $20.00 per year, which is a great value. An added bonus is that it seems to becoming a habit to have in-person get-togethers at live genealogy conferences. Last summer, I met up with six other fellow VGA members at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.

If you’ve come across other groups offering webinars on a regular basis, please leave a comment. 🙂


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