31 May 2019 marked the end of a huge chunk of my life over the past few years. I was at the Society of Genealogists in London for the award of my joint Pharos Tutors and Society of Genealogists Family History Skills and Strategies (Advanced) course certificate.
A bittersweet moment, it was the culmination of a couple of year’s hard work undertaking the various modules, the end of year one exam and a year two project. And even before that I had spent three years completing the Intermediate course.
Yes, submitting my final assignment last autumn and receiving my marks (a Distinction) just before Christmas were phases of the end. But the award ceremony was the moment which finally put a full stop on this period of formal learning
It was also wonderful meeting those who also undertook this learning journey, be it my fellow students or the ever-patient tutors who taught us along the way. I’ve learned so much through these courses and become a better genealogist as a result. They’ve also laid the foundations for my future continuing professional development.
But at the same time it was also a sad moment. Saying goodbye to everyone. Finally recognising that this phase of life was over and that the regular routine of formal learning had ended.
But has it?
Whilst the formal assessed courses are at an end, as part of keeping up-to-date with genealogical developments I will forge on with my personal programme of learning in order to continue to offer the best possible service to those who put their trust in me to research their precious family history.
In my post Education, Education, Education I said I would be embarking on an online course, “Searching for Wills and Administrations in England and Wales”. This was my final module in the Pharos Tutors and the Society of Genealogists Family History Skills & Strategies (FHSS) (Intermediate) with Certificate programme.
I completed the module at the end of February and I’ve now received the result. I’m pleased, and relieved, to say it was a distinction. Relieved because, having achieved that level in all the other modules, I didn’t want to slip up at the final hurdle. And it means that overall I’ve passed the FHSS Certificate with distinction.
I can definitely recommend the Certificate. I’d been researching my family tree for about seven years prior to undertaking the courses, but I discovered there was so much I hadn’t considered.
Apart from having a lot of fun in a wonderfully supportive environment, I’ve learned so much about a broad range of records across many aspects of family history research. But beyond these sources, the certificate courses helped me focus on the importance of research planning as well as critically analysing and interpreting the records, putting them into their historical context.
As a direct result of implementing the knowledge and skills I’ve gained through the Certificate, I’ve made many breakthroughs in my own family history research. The “Wills” module was no exception. I hope to write about this latest brick wall demolition in the coming weeks.
So now I’ve completed the FHSS Certificate I’ve to decide on my next steps. Do I want to push on with my genealogy education? Do I want to take on more research for others than I do currently? If so what are the options? The Pharos Tutors/Society of Genealogists Advanced Certificate? IHGS? Or a University of Strathclyde or Dundee course? Can I even commit the time to further structured learning, given I have a “day job“, albeit part-time? Or do I take a step back and concentrate on my own research? I’ll decide in the coming weeks. Possibly after “Who Do You Think You Are? Live“
My blogging output may decrease over the next few weeks as I’ve scheduled some time for learning.
On 23 January I started my latest Pharos Tutors online genealogy course, “Searching for Wills and Administrations in England and Wales”. I’ve completed several Pharos courses and find this online learning method works well for me, fitting around work and family commitments. This will be my final module in their Family History Skills & Strategies (Intermediate) with Certificate programme. The explanation about how these certificate courses work is here.
I’ve also booked three (free) National Archives webinars scheduled for March. These are:
I participated in their 1939 Register webinar at the end of 2015. It was really informative and the technology was easy to grasp worked well, prompting me to book more. So I’m converted to this form of learning. This, and previous webinars, can be found online. Their programme of events is here.
And to complete my latest foray into the world of family history education I’ve enrolled on a FutureLearn course, “Genealogy: Researching your Family Tree”. This again is an online course, running for six weeks with a time commitment of around four hours per week. The course is a University of Strathclyde one, so I have high hopes.
The course description is to:
“……. help you develop an understanding of the basic genealogy techniques and how to communicate your family history. We will consider how to effectively find and analyse sources and explore the potential of DNA testing as applied to genealogy. We’ll help you add historical context to your family history and discuss how to record and communicate research findings in a clear fashion”.
I’m particularly interested in the DNA angle. Hopefully it will stimulate me to return to my stalled genetic genealogy journey, referred to in three blog posts from last year:
This will be my first FutureLearn course, so I’m quite interested to find out how it works and if the learning style suits me as they have a number of other courses I’d be very interested in.
So the “keeping informed” element of my genealogy New Year’s Resolutions is progressing nicely.
Posted in Ancestry, Continuing Professional Development, Family History, Family History Courses, Genealogy, Genetic Genealogy, New Year Resolutions, The National Archives
Tagged Ancestry, family history, Family History Courses, Future Learn, genealogy, The National Archives