The National Institute for Genealogical Studies

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies - LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

Finishing Up: The US Census Course

By Shannon Bennett, Student

What a wonderful course!  Really, once again I am surprised by exactly how much I didn’t know about a simple, basic topic. The U.S. Federal Census is a staple for researchers in the states, but it is also complicated and at times detailed. Unless the family history researcher takes the time to dig deeper it will never give up all of its secrets to them. I would almost say it could be a trial in patience and perseverance.

Woman taking census of another woman at door of house. Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002695609/resource/

Woman taking census of another woman at door of house. Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002695609/resource/

Some people might not understand why this course could be of use to anyone who is already an intermediate or more advanced genealogist. Simply put, I would say anyone with that outlook is wrong.  (Well, unless they are a true expert in the U.S. Census.) So, unless you have written a book on the subject, or this is your niche, I bet you can take away quite a bit from the course.

I thought I knew quite a lot about this basic subject but I was very appreciative of how in-depth the course is. There were obvious holes in my knowledge, and I enjoyed learning about aspects of the census that I didn’t know as much about. I really liked that there were a large number of charts and tips to aid the student in their classwork. Which, I will admit, I have already tabbed so that I can use them again for future reference.

Speaking of classwork, I was excited to have a few case studies to do. These type of problems really help to hone your skills and ingrain the lessons the instructors were trying to teach.  Working on “real” problems to me is a lot of fun. I mean really, genealogists are detectives to begin with so we should all love questions where we get to go out and do research to put to the test what we have learned.

If you have US ancestors, consider taking this course. It provides a good foundation for solid research techniques using these records.

See you online!

 

Category: Courses

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