Courses

The Honneyman Room, where courses are held.One of the NIFHS courses in progress.

The North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS) runs courses on a variety of topics for Members and the public.  The courses are presented in the Honneyman Room of the Society’s Research Centre in Newtownabbey but can also be presented elsewhere. A programme of courses has been prepared and is listed below.  They are organised by the Society’s Education & Development Officer, who should be contacted on Education@NIFHS.org if you have any queries about the courses.
A course will not run if there are not enough enrolments for it.

THIS PROGRAMME MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

The courses are open to Members and Non-Members

Help from a Member.

Help from a Member.


image - book now

The courses for Autumn 2019 with their start dates and times:

Unless otherwise stated, the fee for each course is £8 for 1 session, £14 for 2 sessions and £18 for 3 sessions; each session lasts 2 hours.
These courses are open to members and non-members.
To book a place on a course, e-mail Education@NIFHS.org.
All courses are held in the Honneyman Room, NIFHS Research Centre, Unit C4, Valley Business Centre, 67 Church Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 7LS.


“Starting Your Genealogy – Beginner’s Course”

Course Tutor
Rosemary Sibbett
2 sessions in 1 day – Saturday 5 October 2019 (11.00 am – 1.00 pm & 2.00pm – 4.00 pm)
When
£14 – payable at the first session.
Cost
Subject
.
image - book now
Starting off your family history can be exciting but also is sometimes daunting. Where should you be looking for information? How do you organise your research? What are the first steps you should be taking? This course aims to give you the confidence and the necessary knowledge to allow you to make progress.  N.B. Lunch is available at the café downstairs.

“Family Finder 1”

Course Tutor
Martin McDowell
3 sessions – Tuesdays 8, 15 and 22 October (7 pm – 9 pm)
When
£18 – payable at the first session.
Cost
Subject
.
image - book now
This 3 session course is designed for those who have already taken Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder Test and have received their results.  You will learn how to use the tools on their website to further your genealogical research and discover what steps you can take to confirm relationships with your cousins.  The course also covers how Family Finder can be used to verify your research and how the unique X chromosome can help to confirm a match. If you have a laptop, bring it, along with your log-on details to allow for practical learning.

“Family Finder 2”

Course Tutor
Martin McDowell
3 sessions – Wednesdays – 23 and 30 October and 6 November  (7 pm – 9 pm)
When
£18 – payable at the first session.
Cost
Subject
.
image - book now
This 3 session course is designed for those who have already taken Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder Test and have received their results.  You will learn how to use the tools on their website to further your genealogical research and discover what steps you can take to confirm relationships with your cousins.  The course also covers how Family Finder can be used to verify your research and how the unique X chromosome can help to confirm a match. If you have a laptop, bring it, along with your log-on details to allow for practical learning.

“Making the Most of Your Autosomal DNA Results”

Course Tutor
Anne Johnston
2 sessions in 1 day – Saturday 2 November 2019 (11.00am-1pm & 2pm-4pm) 
When
£14 – payable at the first session
Cost
Subject
.
image - book now
This course is a follow up to the very successful Family Finder course and aims to reinforce and expand on some of the key concepts of autosomal DNA testing. It will also include a step-by- step guide to analysing your test results, how to use simple spreadsheets to record and organise your analysis and make suggestions on how you can maximise successful matching.

“Using Land Records”

Course Tutor
Andrew Kane
1 session – Thursday 14st November 2019 (7 pm – 9 pm)
When
£8 – payable at the session.
Cost
Subject
.
image - book now

From confirming information in civil registration and church records to tracing pre 1850 families, land records are essential to our research. Come and learn how they can help you break through your brick walls.


“Life in Ulster in the 1830s”

Course Tutor
Mike McKeag
1 session – Tuesday 29 October (11 am -1 pm)
When
£8 – payable at the session
Cost
Subject
.
image - book now
Most of us can trace some of our ancestors back to the 1830s, before the Great Famine.  What were they, their lives, their homes, their work, their entertainments like?  This is the sort of background information that helps to bring those people to life and can make a family history much more interesting than just a list of names and dates.  Using the Ordnance Survey Memoirs and other sources we can better understand our own families.

“Understanding Heraldry”

Course Tutor
Mike McKeag
1 session – Tuesday 5 November (11 am -1 pm)
When
£8 – payable at the session
Cost
Subject
.
image - book now
Have you ever looked at coats of arms and wondered about their significance?  The first session explains the origins of heraldry and the work of heralds and the components of these colourful works of art.  The second session introduces the language of blazon, which is the clue to identifying coats of arms that you may see on old buildings or in stained glass windows.

“Using WikiTree”

Course Tutor
Anne Johnston
1 session – Tuesday 19 November 2019 (2pm – 4 pm)
When
£8 – payable at the session.
Cost
Subject
.
image - book now
WikiTree is a free genealogy website that allows users individually to research and contribute to their own personal family trees, whilst building and collaborating on a single worldwide family tree within the same system. It also allows users to record DNA tests, linking them to relevant cousin profiles. This course will provide an introduction to WikiTree and by the use of practical examples it hopes to encourage you to join the WikiTree community with the overall aim of linking our shared heritage in the North of Ireland and beyond.

“School Records”

Course Tutor
Sandra Ardis
1 session – Saturday 30 November 2019 (2 pm – 4 pm) 
When
£8 – payable at the session.
Cost
Subject
.
image - book now
School records are an under-utilised resource in genealogical research. They can be a rich source of information, containing details of the father and sometimes point to other schools that the child has attended. Come along and find out what records are available for both primary and secondary education and where you can access them.

“Finding Family History Stories”

Course Tutor
Michael McKeag
1 session – Tuesday 3 December 2019 (11 am – 1 pm)
When
£8 – payable at the session.
Cost
Subject
.
image - book now
You have a family tree and would like to find out more about the people in it. Family stories are usually forgotten within two or perhaps three generations unless they are written down.  Newspapers provide a daily record of life and people, not just in the town of publication but also in the wider world of the county, the country and the globe.  Until recently, scouring old newspapers page by page was hardly practical but now that so many are online and have been indexed, albeit in a hit or miss fashion, it is a simple matter to locate articles about people, places or incidents and to use these to flesh out the lives of our ancestors, not only by discovering forgotten stories but also by gaining a better understanding of the context in which they lived their lives.  The course covers what can be found and where, with a range of examples from a real case study.  As well as newspapers, books, journals and gazettes can shed light on our relatives’ lives.

“Tracing Relatives of the Belfast Shipyards”

Course Tutor
Maureen McKinney
1 session – Thursday 5 December 2019 (7.00pm – 9.00pm)
When
£8 – payable at the session
Cost
Subject
.

image - book now
Maureen McKinney, NIFHS member and Vice-Chair of Belfast Titanic Society will bring her knowledge of maritime research, in particular, relating to sources available to those researching relatives of the Belfast Shipyards of Harland & Wolff and Workman Clark.