Genealogy Education: BYU Independent Study Courses

Education is a key part of genealogical research. There are many online opportunities. This post will cover the BYU Independent Study Courses. They can be found at:

Look for the offerings in the categories within: Family History / Genealogy

Some of the courses are several years old, but the information in them is relevant, Succinct, and useful. Because of the changing nature of the Internet, the links may not work.

Remember that the records that were difficult to find might now be digitized, and indexed.


Accessing the Courses

The first time you access a course, you will be asked for your name and city/state/zip. You will need to validate your e-mail address through an e-mail sent to the e-mail address you used. Just open the e-mail and click on the link in it.

From now on, you will use your e-mail address to access the courses.

The Mastery Checks that have blanks to fill in can have very detailed answers. Do not be put off that you have not listed all the steps; learn from the answers that are provided.


The Courses

The courses that are currently listed Family History / Genealogy — Introductory are:

FHGEN 070 — Introduction to Family History Research

  • This class has  four lessons, each with multiple pages. The lessons cover getting started, getting organized, discovering new facts, and using that knowledge.
  • It discussed the five steps to the basic research process, and developing research objectives.
  • There are links to the charts, forms and logs that you will need.
  • There are mastery checks with automated feedback so that you can check your understanding.

FHGEN 075 — Writing Family History

  • This course links to a manual that contains the whole course.
  • Walks through the process of writing a family history.
  • Discusses making a family history CD.

FHGEN 080 — Helping Children Love Your Family History

  • This course comes in three lessons, each of which is a pdf document.
  • The steps to gather, validate and record your family history.
  • Bring your family history to life in comic and coloring books, plays and clothing, vacations and interviewing.
  • Scrapbooks, autobiographies and videos are also included.


The courses that are currently listed Family History / Genealogy — Record Type are:

FHREC 071 — Family Records

  • There is one ten-part lesson in this course.
  • Use diaries, journals, letters, civil and military records are covered. Others are covered.
  • This has been my favorite of the courses. It lists the records that might have people think out of the box in their research.

FHREC 073 — Vital Records

  • There is one fourteen-part lesson in this course.
  • It covers understanding and locating vital records, as well as locating substitutes for vital records.
  • Links to websites of interest, and a blank research log form.
  • There are mastery checks with automated feedback so that you can check your understanding.

FHREC 076 — Military Records

  • There is one lesson in this course. The lesson has twenty-eight parts.
  • This covers three types of records: pre-service, service, and post-service.
  • This lists the eight series of service records in the National Archives
  • There are six appendices (separate from the lessons)
  • Remember that there are websites, such as the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database that can be used instead of indexes.


There are also several other courses that focus on Family History / Genealogy — Regional and Ethnic:

FHFRA 071 — French Research
FHGER 071 — Germany Research
FHHUG 071 — Huguenot Research
FHSCA 073 — Scandinavia Research