Genealogy Courses

I teach two Scottish courses twice a year through Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Limited (, which aims to provide online genealogical courses at an affordable rate. Each course last five weeks and each week there is a dedicated one hour interactive chat student with my students and throughout a dedicated forum where questions and issues can be further examined.

The following are the details of both courses (please check the Pharos website for relevant commencement dates).

Scottish Research Online

Scotland was first to have major records digitised and offer indexes and images online. It has also been a leader in placing resource information on the World Wide Web. This course describes the major sites, the types of information and data that they offer, the forms in which databases are presented and how to analyze results. You will learn to lay the foundations for searching a family, how to select best resources and what to do next either online or in libraries and archives.

Instructor: Chris Paton

• Scotlands People, Family Search, Ancestry, FreeCen: content, comparison, assessment
• Essential Maps and Gazetteers
• Civil Registration and Census Research Online
• Searching in Church of Scotland Registers Online
• Scottish Wills and Inventories Online
• Take It From Here

Note: it is recommended but not required that students in this course sign up for the basic search option, 30 units/seven days, at ScotlandsPeople (cost is six pounds)

Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat s See How the Courses Work.

STUDENTS SAID: "I particularly liked the fact that the course didn't just focus on the well-known BMD resources available, but on a much wider range of websites, including many which give extremely useful background information on the geography and history of the localities where our ancestors lived."   "a very knowledgeable Instructor"

Scotland 1750 - 1850: Beyond the OPRs (#302)

This is an intermediate level course in Scottish family history for those who are going back beyond 1850. You should have some experience with research in the Old Parochial Registers of the Church of Scotland and in using major websites for Scottish research. This course discusses sources that fill the gap when the OPRs are uninformative or missing; for example, records of parish and town administration, occupations, land transfer and taxation. Using these records involves several different locations. You will learn how to check online finding aids and how to find the most effective way to obtain records that may be online, in print, on CD or microfilm. This is the second course on Scottish research. If you have not taken Scottish Reserach Online please check its description.

Instructor: Chris Paton

• Kirk Sessions records and parish poor
• Burgh records and town poor
• Occupations, taxation and early lists
• Land transfer and the value of sasines
• Land, inheritance and estates

STUDENTS SAID: "well structured chats with opportunities for questions as well"