Course Readings/Texts/Program/Videos


Text (required/purchase)

Matthew Helm and April Helm, Genealogy Online for Dummies.

Despite its un-academic title, this book is a fine introduction to the study of genealogy.  It has the added advantages of being easily available on the used book market and relatively inexpensive, even in the most recent edition.  (In deciding which version to purchase, you should find out if a new one comes with a demonstration copy of Family Tree Maker, thus getting two required items for the price of one.)

Genealogical Program (required/purchase)
Family Tree Maker

For over a decade, this has been the most popular genealogical software with individuals wishing to "grow" their family tree, though it is now facing increasing competition.  The current version is Family Tree Maker® 2009, though earlier versions are also available for sale on the web, in most cases at a lesser cost.. 
If you already possess or  a different genealogical software program wish to purchase one, you may substitute it for Family Tree Maker.  (Note:  Such a substitution will be a necessity for MacIntosh users, since Family Tree Maker does not manufacture a version supported by that platform.)
Most of the available genealogical software programs accomplish essentially the same functions.  Whatever you choose to buy, you will need some software in order to compose certain documents such as pedigree charts that will be acceptable in this class.  (Remember, all assignments must be typewritten; NO handwritten material will be acceptable.  (This is true even if your handwriting is fine enough to qualify you as a copyist in a medieval scriptorium!!)

Web Texts (required/free online)'s Guide To Tracing Family Trees  URL:

This simple, but excellent on-line introduction to genealogical research is provided by, one of the leading commercial genealogical sites.  Access is free.  If you wish to print out a hard copy of any part of it, you may want to select the "printer friendly" version to save your printer cartridge; otherwise, it will have to print out the cute, but unnecessary graphics.   I find the guide easiest to use by clicking on the Numerical Index to Guides.  In addition to the guide, you will want to check out the other RootsWeb links, many of which are (at least in part) free. Learning Center How-to   URL:


Genealogical Videos (shown in class)

Family Tree, A&E Television Networks, 2001.
Ancestors 2: Discovering Your Heritage,  Brigham Young University, BYU Broadcasting, 2005.

African American Lives
, Louis Gates.

 How to Trace your Native American Heritage, Rich-Heape Films, Circle of Life Series," 2000. 

How to Create Your Own Family History Video, Video 7 Production Co., Inc., 2006. 

For those students who would like to have a highly-organized, visual treatment of the genealogical process, I would recommend obtaining a video entitled  Ancestors: The Research Process, Brigham Young University, BYU Broadcasting, 2005.  Although it provides a very useful summary of the process, I have (with some regrets) removed it from the list that I regularly show in class since I am forced to agree with student critiques that characterize it as overly long and very repetitive. 


[Questions to answer concerning the videos.]

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