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 AMENDMENT


If a course you are interested in is marked FULLY BOOKED,
email Education@NIFHS.org
for a place on the waiting list;
if demand is sufficient the course may be repeated. 


The courses for Spring 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.


“Family Finder 1”

Course Tutor
Martin McDowell
3 sessions – Wednesday 6 February and Tuesdays – 12 and 19 February 2019 (7 pm – 9 pm)
When
£18 – payable at the first session.
Cost
Subject
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.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and starting date.

“Starting Your Genealogy – Beginner’s Course”

Course Tutor
Rosemary Sibbett
1 day session – Saturday, 9th February – 10 am – 12.30 pm & 1.30 – 4 pm  Note new date
When
£18 – payable at the session.
Cost
Subject
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.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and starting date.

“Family Finder 2”

Course Tutor
Martin McDowell
3 sessions – Thursdays – 7, 14 and 21 February 2019 (7 pm – 9 pm)
When
£18 – payable at the first session.
Cost
Subject
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.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and starting date.

“Using Newspapers for Family History Research”

Course Tutor
Michael McKeag
When
1 session – Tuesday 19 February 2019 (11 am – 1 pm)
Cost
£8 – payable at the session.
Subject
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.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and date.

“It’s All About Me”

Course Tutor
Kathleen Morrison
1 session – Tuesday 26 February 2019 (11 am – 1 pm)
When
£8 – payable at the session.
Cost
Subject
We are all used to researching our ancestors but what record should we leave for our descendants who may be curious about our own lives? This course will help you think differently and how to research yourself. You will learn how to decide how best to leave a legacy for future generations describing your life and the things that were important to you.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and date.

JSTOR – a free online resource for NIFHS members”

Course Tutor
Michael McKeag
1 session – Tuesday 5 March 2019 (12 noon – 1 pm)
When
FREE EVENT
Cost
Subject
This free talk explains what you can find in the Ireland Collection on the JSTOR website which is provided free of charge to all paid up NIFHS branch and associate members with an email address. The talk will explain what is there, how to find it and how to conduct searches on the site, concentrating on how JSTOR can help you research your family history and find out more about your ancestor’s lives.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and date.

“Family Tree Maker: Basics and Benefits”

Course Tutor
Kathleen Morrison
1 session – Tuesday 12th March 2019 (11 am – 1 pm)
When
£8 – payable at the session.
Cost
Subject
A beginners’ class on the basics and benefits of using Family Tree Maker software. Some of the points that will be looked at are installing photographs, how to create a timeline, preparation of reports. We will also look at the different ways to print out charts and family tree layouts.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and date.

“The 1718 Migration”

Course Tutor
Andrew Kane
1 session – Tuesday 12th March 2019 (7 pm – 9 pm)
When
£8 – payable at the session.
Cost
Subject
In 1718 the first group migration from Ireland took place to the new world.  This course will give an overview and deal with the records available for the period which can be used by everyone whose family lived in the Derry/Antrim area at that time.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and date.

“Using Maps”

Course Tutor
Ann Robinson
1 session – Thursday 21st March 2019 (7 pm – 9 pm)
When
£8 – payable at the session.
Cost
Subject
Come along and find out how maps can be used in your family history research. You will hear the history of Irish maps and find out what is available at the NIFHS Research centre. You will also learn where to find useful maps online, with specific attention paid to how best to use PRONI’s historical map resource.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and date.

“DNA Day”

1 session – Saturday 23 March 2019 (11 am – 5 pm)
When
FREE EVENT
Cost
Subject
In the run-up to National DNA Day, the NIFHS is providing a day of help and advice on DNA testing. Call in at any time to see what is going on. If you are a total novice, then come along and learn what it is all about. If you are more experienced, then individual help and advice will be available. Light refreshments will be provided and there may be a surprise or two throughout the day!
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and date.

“School Records”

Course Tutor
Sandra Ardis
1 session – Saturday – 30 March 2019 (2 pm – 4 pm) 
When
£8 – payable at the session.
Cost
Subject
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.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and starting date.

“From Family Tree to Family History”

Course Tutor
Michael McKeag
3 sessions – Tuesdays 2, 9 and 16 April 2019 (11 am – 1 pm)
When
£18 – payable at the first session.
Cost
Subject
You have a family tree and would like to develop that into a readable family history. But where do you begin? How do you organise your material? How are you going to find enough stories about those people? How are you going to find enough illustrations? These and other questions will be addressed and the course will be based on a real case study. Bring a family tree and discuss your next steps.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and starting date.

“Using Ancestry and Find My Past”

Course Tutor
Ann Robinson
1 session – Thursday 4 April (7 pm – 9 pm)
When
£8 – payable at the session
Cost
Subject
Have you come to a Brick Wall in your research?  More and more records are put on Ancestry and FindMyPast each month and these may help you with your family history research.  Examples of what can be found through personal research will be included. Access to FindMyPast is provided free of charge at our Research Centre.  Information will be given on how to access it and what can be found there, including their vast collection of historic newspapers.
To enrol for this event, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the event name and date.

“Using Google for Family History Research”

Course Tutor
Anne Johnston
2 sessions – Saturday 13 April (11 am -1 pm & 2pm – 4 pm)
When
£14 – payable at the session
Cost
Subject
When we think of searching the web, most of us think of Google’s search engine, but there’s a lot more to Google, especially when it comes to researching your family history. In this course, you’ll learn not only how to master the art of “Googling” to research your ancestors, but you’ll also discover the other Google tools and resources that are available to help you with your research.During the two sessions we’ll look at tricks and techniques for effective searching and getting targeted results. We’ll also look at other Google tools and resources useful to the family historian such as Google Maps, Google Alerts and Google Books. And we’ll look at tools which Google offers to help you organise your genealogy research and share it online. And don’t forget to bring your laptop and your family tree as there will be an opportunity to put what you have learnt into practice.
To enrol for this event, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the event name and date.

“Family Finder 3”  – FULLY BOOKED

Course Tutor
Martin McDowell
3 sessions – Tuesdays – 30 April, 7 and 14 May 2019 (7 pm – 9 pm) 
When
£18 – payable at the first session.
Cost
Subject
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.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and starting date.

“Making the Most of Your Autosomal DNA Results”

Course Tutor
Anne Johnston
2 sessions – Saturdays 4 and 11 May 2019 (2 pm – 4 pm) 
When
£14 – payable at the first session
Cost
Subject
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.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and starting date.

“Using WikiTree”

Course Tutor
Anne Johnston
1 session – Saturday 25 May 2019 (11 am – 1 pm)
When
£8 – payable at the session.
Cost
Subject
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.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and date.

Researching Military Ancestors

Course Tutor
Alan Rosborough
2 sessions – Dates and times to be confirmed
When
£14 – payable at the first session.
Cost
Subject
Between the years of 1914-1918, approximately 210,000 Irishmen served with the British Army in what was to become known as The Great War. Many more Irishmen from the provinces of Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught served with other armies such as the Canadians, or ANZACs from New Zealand and Australia. Many families living in rural farms and urban villages, towns and cities throughout Ireland had the dreaded visit from the telegram boy, delivering the news that their father, brother or son was dead or, at least, missing in action. Of those men who did return, their lives were affected for ever, as they lived with the nightmares of what they experienced while serving. There are very few families in Ireland who were not affected by the War and, as we commemorate the centenary years, more and more people want to research their ancestors, relatives, or even a group of men from a Church or village. These short workshops will suggest where to look for clues, to get your research started and where to turn to for assistance from some of the ever-growing sources of websites and books to aid you in your research. Come along and bring your family artefacts, War Medals and memorabilia from the Great War and you never know what you might discover.
To enrol for this course, email Education@NIFHS.org giving your name, membership number (if any) and the course name and starting date.

Book your place now

To book your place on a Course email Education@NIFHS.org.
Please give your

  • Full Name
  • Membership Number (if any)
  • Course Title
  • Course Date

The courses are open to members


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and non-members.