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Family History Research (Foundation)

City Colleges’ Certificate
  • Inform your understanding of the past
  • City Colleges Professional Certificate Award
  • Live online training with real-time instructor-student interaction
  • 10 weeks, 1 evening per week from 6.30 to 9.30 pm GMT
  • Choose to sign up with a deposit on our Instalment Plan options
  • Pay in full & get €100 off listed price
  • Starts: September 2024

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Price from €1095
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An interest in ancestral research can be a long-term hobby that enriches your life and informs your understanding of the past.  This Professional Certificate course is the first step in a journey of self-fulfillment, whether the student is looking for structured learning or a pathway towards a new career.

Like all research-based activities, genealogy demands a familiarity with records and the skills to extract relevant details from them.  It requires the ability to differentiate between sourced and un-sourced material, and between facts and probabilities.  This certificate course provides an introduction to the records and research skills that can be built on through practical experience.

Each lecture is delivered by a member of Accredited Genealogists Ireland who is an expert in the field of research in question and students are supported in their learning with weekly tutorial sessions.

An advanced Diploma course will run in Spring 2024 and it will be a pre-requisite for that Course to have completed this Foundation Certificate Course

This diploma course is being delivered by Members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland(AGI)
• Week 1 – Introduction to Irish Genealogy & Overview of Online Sources.
• Week 2 – Introduction to land divisions and mapping & Census returns.
• Week 3 – Civil records of birth, marriage and death. Double lecture to include workshops.
• Week 4 – Introduction to Land records – Griffith’s Valuation; Tithe Applotment Books; The Valuations Office books and Rates Revisions Books.
• Week 5 – Church records – Roman Catholic & Church of Ireland registers & records
• Week 6 – Report writing
• Week 7 – A look at the Administration of Ireland and the Public Records Office & an examination of some real life research case studies.
• Week 8 – Repository Visit for Irish students. Online lectures about repositories for students who cannot visit Dublin.
• Week 8 – Newspaper Records and a three mini-lecture set covering school records, burial records and Poor law Records.
• Week 10 – Occupational Records and Military Records

Click here for course timetable/Download timetable


Assessment – Selected homework tasks will be given through the course and will be worth 40% of grade. A written assignment tracing a family in the records covered on the course will be due at week 10 and will be worth 60% of grade.

Sandra Doble, MAGI, has been a Member of AGI since 2015, having been an Affiliate from 2013. Previously she had worked in accountancy, having qualified as a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Having worked for over fifteen years in auditing and as a finance manager, she decided to turn to her true passion of genealogy and pursue it professionally. She successfully completed a diploma course in Family History / Genealogy and about the same time set up her own business. She is part of the AGI team that operates the Genealogy Advisory Service at the National Archives. Research on Church of Ireland families is one of her particular interests.

Nicola Morris, MAGI, has been a Member of AGI since 2009.  She is well-known to television viewers for her appearance in the British, American and Irish versions of Who Do You Think You Are?, as well as Where were Your Ancestors During the Famine, The Genealogy Roadshow and The Great House Revival.  Having graduated with a history degree from Trinity College Dublin, she gravitated towards a career in research.  After several years conducting genealogical research she established her own business and applied for membership of AGI.  She lectures widely on genealogical topics and writes in various family history publications, including a regular Q&A section in Irish Roots magazine.  She also works on the AGI team in the Genealogy Advisory Service at the National Archives.

Sandy O’Byrne, MAGI, has been a Member of AGI since 2017, having been an Affiliate from 2014. Prior to working in ancestral research she was a journalist and features writer, covering particularly food, wine, travel and books. She also wrote three books and was a part-time lecturer. She had graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an Honours B.A. in History of Art and English, specialising in the eighteenth century Irish country house. Family history had always interested her
and she began exploring her own ancestry. This resulted in tracing one line back to William the Conqueror. Having successfully completed a diploma course in Family History / Genealogy in 2012, she decided to work full-time in genealogy.

Joan Sharkey, MAGI, has been a Member of AGI since 2003.  She has been involved in genealogy and local history since the 1980s, when she joined a local group that became the Raheny Heritage Society.  In 1998 she received a Diploma in Local History from NUI Maynooth. Undertaking further research on her diploma project resulted in the publication of her book, St. Anne’s: the Story of a Guinness Estate, in 2002.  Embarking on a career in family history research, she worked from 1999 to 2002 as a genealogist with American Elderhostel groups visiting Ireland to research their ancestry.  Since joining AGI she has worked alongside her colleagues in the Genealogy Advisory Service at the National Archives.  She has given many lectures on local and family history.

Michael Walsh, MAGI, B.Sc (Econ), has been a member of AGI since 2012. After graduating from University College London with a degree in economics and politics, Michael enjoyed a career in information technology, working for several large British and American companies in senior project management roles. On retirement from these roles, he established his own professional genealogical research service, Family Lines. This concentrates on helping people who do not live in Ireland to do their own family history research, by providing practical help on the ground in Ireland. Michael’s special interest is in tracing Irish families who have settled in North America and Great Britain

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