Ancestry Academy


Contributing Writer
Janet Wahlberg

Ancestry has a new feature titled Ancestry Academy. It is an educational resource of high quality videos covering a wide range of topics pertinent to doing genealogical research. Whether you are a novice or and expert there are offerings for you. The initial release on April 23, 2015 listed 15 topics with Ancestry adding new topics each month. As of this week there are 27 titles listed.
Each course is 45 to 90 minutes long. You are able to stop at any point in the class and it will be bookmarked for you. The next time you are ready to work, simply open Ancestry Academy, click on My Courses at the top of the page and it will open directly to where you left off. When you have completed your course, you have the option of taking a test to help you evaluate how well you retained the information.
Many of the courses are offered free while others are listed as “Premium”, these have a cost associated with them. Information on this is available at the Ancestry Academy website.
I elected to start with the course titled “Getting the Most Out of Family Tree Maker. While I have used Family Tree Maker for many years, I was amazed at all of the features that I was not taking full advantage of. The section on source citations was of particular interest to me as I am not particularly adept at sourcing. I plan to go back through much of my documentation of sources and upgrade them to a professional level. In addition to the section on sourcing, I was impressed with the section on Syncing with Ancestry. I have been doing this for the last couple of years and it really saves me a ton of time when I return from a research trip. I no longer have to retype all of the information that I have obtained and placed in my laptop to my desktop. I simply work in Ancestry while I am away and sync it. It takes about a minute of my time.
Ancestry Academy is just one example of the many opportunities available on the Internet to expand your expertise and skills in doing family research. Current topic categories are Ancestry Products, Records, Methodology & Skills, and Localities & Ethnic Research. Of course they listed 10 “Coming Soon” topics just to tease us. I recommend that you take a look at this as well as other educational opportunities available on the internet.
Next month I will be announcing new educational and support programs at the Hall House.
To read Janet Walberg’s previous genealogy columns or to delve deeper into her writings and insights for searching out and recording your own family’s genealogy, please go to and visit Janet’s own web page.