FHGEN 252B: Geographic Specialization—England and Wales
The purpose of this course is to introduce you to records and methodologies used for genealogical research in Scotland and Ireland. In many respects, research in Scotland and Ireland is similar to research in England and Wales. The major record groups used for 19th and 20th century Scottish and Irish research are census, civil registration, church records, and probate records.
This course, in conjunction with the other courses in this program, will help prepare you to apply for a professional genealogy credential through ICAPGen or BCG. This course provides you with solid academic content and develops practical research skills which are critical for a professional genealogist across many research settings.
Before taking this course you must successfully complete FHGEN 251B.
During this course, you will do the following:
- Learn about the most important record groups for genealogical research in Scotland and Ireland.
- Complete weekly reading assignments and activities.
- Submit weekly reports or assignments to the instructor.
- Finish one research project (a two-generation research projects for either Scotland or Ireland).
- Take a midterm exam and a final exam.
Learning Model Architecture
The course follows a weekly cycle of Prepare, Teach One Another, and Ponder & Prove activities.
You will prepare by setting goals and scheduling your time wisely. This will help you complete assignments, stay on task, and perform valuable work in the future. You will have little predefined structure and will be responsible establishing your own productive schedule.
Teach One Another
You will teach one another as you research specific individuals and their families. Your classmates will provide you with tips and assistance that can help you reach your goals. Likewise, you will have many opportunities to do the same.
Ponder & Prove
You will demonstrate your work each week by completing activities and quizzes.
- Adolph, Anthony. Tracing Your Scottish Family History. Buffalo, New York: Firefly Books (US) Inc., 2009
- Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, 4th edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2012
Compare prices for your textbooks through the University Store Price Comparison site. They will show you all of the options from the University Store plus several online options to help you find the best price.
As part of this course, you will use some websites which require fees and registration. The websites are vital for effective research in Scotland and Ireland, so you will want to become very familiar with them. The following are the main websites for Scotland and Ireland:
Records on this site include Scotland Civil Registration records (births, marriages, and deaths after 1855), Scotland Church records (Presbyterian Church), Catholic Church records, census records, and testaments. In addition, there are many research aids.
- Register on the site.
- You buy credits to pay fees (30 credits for £7).
- You can do a search for no cost, but to see the results you pay 1 credit for each page of search results.
- To view a document or download it for printing, you pay 5 credits for each page.
Records on this site include baptisms/births, marriages, and burials/deaths; census; Griffiths Valuation; gravestone inscriptions; passenger lists; and census substitutes. In addition, there is information about County Genealogy Centres.
- Register on the site—registration gives you 100 free credits.
- You can buy additional credits. (There are various amounts of credits you can buy, but the least is 25 credits for €5.)
- You can do a search at no cost, but to see the results you pay 1 credit for each page of results.
- To view most documents, you pay 25 credits.
- Scotland two-generation research project OR
- Ireland two-generation research project
Two-Generation Research Project
You will trace a family of your choice in Scotland or a family of your choice in Ireland for two generations. (The first generation will consist of a husband, wife, and their children. The second generation will consist of the parents and siblings of either the husband or the wife of the first generation.)
At least one generation must have lived during the mid-1800s to early 1900s so that you may find the family members in the census and civil registration records. You will research as many members of your two-generation family as you can within the semester. You are expected to seek birth or christening, marriage, and death or burial information for family members in both families. Your research log should show that you have accessed the correct records in order to obtain the expected information. You may trace your family or the family of a friend, or you may pick a random family from a census record to research. Contact your instructor for help selecting a family to research.
During the weeks appropriate to your research project, we recommend that you search for at least 4 to 5 hours in the records you are learning about. If you do not have time to find every member of the family, that is fine. It is not mandatory that you find every single record for every single family members.
Record each source that you searched on your research log, update your database with any new information that you found, and then write a report about your findings to submit to the instructor for grading. The research from your weekly reports will be valuable resources when you write your final two-generation research project.
The two-generation research project must include the following items:
- The two-generation research report.
- Your research log.
- A gedcom file that includes the members of both families and documentation for each event.
- Digitized images of the documents you located that contain information about the families.
Grading in this course will be as follows:
In this course, you will be required to write papers. Carefully follow the instructions to write a professional, college-level paper. Make sure that your paper is focused on the topic given by your instructor. Be concise and clear. Rambling is not accepted. Do not attempt to "pad" your responses by being wordy. Your papers should be well-organized, using paragraphs with correct spelling and punctuation standards.
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