Monday, 5 August 2013

Pharos course Scottish Research Online returns September

Fancy learning a bit more about Scottish genealogy research, and some of the techniques and resources available to help you further your ancestral pursuit? Fear not, there's a Pharos course for that!

The next Scottish Research Online course, taught by yours truly, starts from 4 SEP 2013, and last for five weeks - here's the official blurb:

Scottish Research Online

Scotland was first to have major records digitized and offer indexes and images online. It has also been a leader in placing resource information on the World Wide Web. This course describes the major sites, the types of information and data that they offer, the forms in which databases are presented and how to analyze results. You will learn to lay the foundations for searching a family, how to select best resources and what to do next either online or in libraries and archives.

Instructor: Chris Paton

Scotlands People, Family Search, Ancestry, FreeCen: content, comparison, assessment
Essential Maps and Gazetteers
Civil Registration and Census Research Online
Searching in Church of Scotland Registers Online
Scottish Wills and Inventories Online
Take It From Here

Note: it is recommended but not required that students in this course sign up for the basic search option, 30 units/seven days, at ScotlandsPeople (cost is seven pounds)

Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat s See How the Courses Work.

STUDENTS SAID: "I particularly liked the fact that the course didn't just focus on the well-known BMD resources available, but on a much wider range of websites, including many which give extremely useful background information on the geography and history of the localities where our ancestors lived." "a very knowledgeable Instructor"

COMMENT: The course works as follows - a lesson is posted out to students once a week (in PDF format), and an online chat is held to discuss key points. The chat is not compulsory, but recommended, as I tend to discuss some of the areas in even more depth (if you can't make it I always send transcripts of the chats out after). If you haven't participated in an online chat before, honest, it's a doddle - I post a link to a virtual chat room, you click to join, and take part by typing questions and answers. Easy! There is also a dedicated forum that runs for the length of the course, and I can deal with more individual Q&As there, and so on - bear in mind that if you can't make some or any of the chats, we can still interact via the forum in a more time convenient environment.

It's always a popular course, so booking is recommended. Oh, and it's always a lot of fun :)  For details on how to book a place, visit

Hopefully see you there! (And do look at the Pharos site for other courses also, there's plenty on the go!!!)


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see Time to smash a few brick walls...!

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