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


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 are open to Members and Non-Members

Help from a Member.

Help from a Member.


The 14 courses for Spring 2020 with their dates and times


Using the New Tree on Family Tree DNA – with Martin McDowell
Saturday 22 February 2020 (11am-1pm)

Proving a DNA link can be difficult sometimes but is made much easier if you add a tree to your DNA account. You can then use the family matching system to determine which of your matches are paternal or maternal. This course will explain the different process introduced recently when Family Tree DNA updated their tree software and enable you to make the best of your tree. You will also learn how to use the trees of your matches more effectively.  After the course you will be welcome to stay on for the DNA Interest Group at 2pm.
EXTRA
COURSE

Tracing Relatives from the Belfast Shipyards – with Maureen McKinney
Tuesday 25 February 2020 (7pm-9pm)

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.

Using the New Tree on Family Tree DNA – with Martin McDowell
Thursday 27 February 2020 (7pm-9pm)

Proving a DNA link can be difficult sometimes but is made much easier if you add a tree to your DNA account. You can then use the family matching system to determine which of your matches are paternal or maternal. This course will explain the different process introduced recently when Family Tree DNA updated their tree software and enable you to make the best of your tree. You will also learn how to use the trees of your matches more effectively.
FULLY
BOOKED

Family Tree Maker: Basics and Benefits – with Imelda McVeigh
Saturday 29 February 2020 (2pm-4pm)

A beginner’s 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.
FULLY
BOOKED

Family Finder 1 – with Martin McDowell
Tuesdays – 3, 10 and 17 March 2020 (7pm-9pm)

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.

Using Land Records – with Andrew Kane
Thursday 5 March 2020 (7pm-9pm)

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.

Family Finder 2 – with Martin McDowell
Mondays – 9, 16 and 23 March 2020 (7pm-9pm)

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.
FULLY
BOOKED

JSTOR – a free resource for NIFHS members – with Mike McKeag
Tuesday 24 March 2020 (12noon-1pm)

This free talk explains what you can find in the Irish collection on the JSTOR website which is provided free of charge to all paid up NIFHS branch, and associate, members who have provided 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.

The Advantages of MT-DNA – with Martin McDowell
Saturday 28 March 2020 (11am-1pm)

Mitochondrial DNA is the least used test within Northern Ireland. However it can give you useful information about your family lines going back many hundreds – and even thousands – of years. This course will explain how it works and how it can be used to further your family research. Attendees are welcome to stay on after the class to attend out DNA Interest Group at 2pm.

Emigration to Australia and New Zealand – with Mike McKeag
Tuesday 31 March 2020 (11am-1pm)

Organised British and Irish emigration to these countries began with the establishment of penal colonies in 1788 in New South Wales and was followed by the establishment of the free colonies of South Australia in 1836 and New Zealand in 1839. The gold rushes of the 1850s in Australia and 1860s in New Zealand boosted the populations considerably. Both countries offered assisted passage schemes to overcome labour shortages. The course covers pointers to many useful records and where they can be found.

Graveyards – with Ken Tait
Thursday 9 April 2020 (7pm-9pm)

Information on headstones and lists of burials are a source of great information for family historians. From websites and published books to transcriptions, this course will provide information on where to access information on gravestones, with an emphasis on what is available for consultation at the society’s research centre.

Using WikiTree – with Anne Johnston
Saturday 9 May 2020 (2pm-4pm)

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.

It’s All About Me – with Kathleen Morrison
Tuesday 12 May 2020 (11am-1pm)

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.

 

Making the Most of Your Autosomal DNA Results – with Anne Johnston
Saturday 16 May 2020 (11am-1pm & 2pm-4pm) Change of Date

This course is a follow up to the 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.