The National Institute for Genealogical Studies


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

DNA Virtual Meeting

This is a reminder we have the DNA virtual meetings scheduled for Thursday. We hope you can join us!


You can enhance your learning experience by joining a virtual meeting regarding your studies and asking questions. Even if you don’t have questions you are welcome to just listen, lurk and learn! We don’t mind in the least.

Remember, these Virtual Meetings are NOT mandatory. They are a fun and interactive way to ask questions about the courses and/or research at a relevant session.

NOTE: Times given are Eastern Standard Time. To check the current time and date, Log In to your Student Briefcase and click on “Time at Home Office” near the top right of the page.

Thursday, January 16th – DNA courses with Shannon Combs Bennett   
Time zones:
Thursday, January 16th – 8:00 PM Eastern; 7:00 PM Central; 5:00 PM Pacific; Friday, January 17th – 1:00 AM in London, England; Noon in Sydney, Australia MEETING LOCATION:

20th Anniversary Celebration Extended

We’ve decided to continue celebrating our 20th Anniversary!  So yes we are bringing back those 1999 registration fees of only $50.00 per course.

You can register for as many courses as you wish.  That’s right, there is NO limit.  Heck, you could even register for a 40-course package and save $850. (We will make a final adjustment if the package is not calculated correctly.)

This is a limited time offer starting TODAY and ending at 6AM EST on Monday, December 30th, 2019.

***We have extended this offer! It will end at Midnight on December 31st, 2019.

Simply enter the following coupon code to take advantage of this limited offer:  Single Courses – 2019Dec27                                                                                                Packages – 2019DecPack

So, join us in continuing our 20th Anniversary Celebration!

As always, if you have any questions call us at 1-800-580-0165 ext. 3 or email us at


How are Credits Assigned? 

Many students taking courses from The National Institute for Genealogical Studies will do so for personal enjoyment or to enhance their genealogical knowledge. For these students, earning course credits may not be important.  

For students earning a Certificate in Genealogical Studies, course credits are required.  


Each course is worth a specific number of credits, typically one credit per course. To receive a credit for a course you must meet the following requirements:  

  • Be enrolled in the course. 
  • Submit assignments and exams posted in the course materials. 
  • Submit the final exam and assignments by the due date.  
  • Receive a grade of no less than a D on the final exam and assignments.  
  • Within six weeks of the class end date, your grade and credits will appear in your student Briefcase. Click My Briefcase to access your grades and credits for all the course you have taken.  
  • If you would like a paper confirmation of your grades and credits, please request this after the course end date. A $5.00 fee is charged for all hard copy transcripts. Payment may be made by cheque, PayPal or credit card. 

Newspapers and Your Local News

Local News 

Over the years, local news found in hometown newspapers has run the gambit, from the very serious to news that isn’t necessarily hard-core journalism.


Some of the articles you might find relevant to your genealogy includes: 

  • Family News – Newspapers of the 1800s feature more family news in them than what we find today, with the exception of smaller city newspapers. These articles provide insight into the character and sometimes even interactions between family members.
  • Voter Lists and Tax Lists – Voting and taxation happened more frequently than census enumerations and they can help you determine when your ancestors arrived or moved out of an area. In the case of tax lists, they may help you determine if your ancestor owned land.
  • Jury Lists – Jury lists are not always posted for every trial or group of trials in a given community. In some counties, the jury for the given term was published in the newspaper. The town from which the jurors came from might also be listed.
  • Social News and Events – One thing that appears to be common in most newspapers is the comings and goings of the residents of the town. Learning who is gone to visit family or who is returning from vacation adds to your ancestral timeline.
  • Fraternal Organization News and Events – Our ancestors often joined fraternal organizations. They may have joined one because of their religious beliefs or as a result of their occupation. If you know that your ancestor was involved with the temperance movement in Pennsylvania, then it is possible that he was a member of either the International Order of Good Templars or the Sons of  Temperance, which were both temperance societies.

With our “US: Newspaper Records” course, you will learn more about including newspapers in your research.

Your Grades

 How do I get my grades? 

Within six weeks of the course end date, your grade will appear in your student Briefcase. Click My Briefcase to access your grades for all the courses you have taken.  


The National Institute for Genealogical Studies instructors use a standard scale to grade exams and assignments: 










If you would like a paper confirmation of your grade and credits, please request this after your course completion date. A $5.00 fee is required for all hard copy transcripts. Payment by Cheque, PayPal or credit card is accepted.   

Course Registration

How do I register for a course?  

Simply click Subscribe and complete the form. Make sure all information is complete and accurate then click the Submit button. You will receive a message confirming receipt of your registration.  


When your course registration fee is received, your student Briefcase will be activated.  You will receive an email confirming your course registration and the start date for your courses.  

You may register for as many courses as your wish. Your Student Login (email address and password) will allow you to access your Briefcase which contains your course information. You can access your student Briefcase by selecting Briefcase at the top menu toolbar and then My Briefcase. 

Newspapers Offer Insight

Valuable New Stories 

Newspapers give us insight into life as it was during our ancestor’s time. While still driven by advertising, the newspapers of old often held more personal information than we find in today’s equivalent.  


In addition to vital statistic type data you will find that historical newspapers also contain other genealogical relevant information including:  

  • Local News – Depending on the size of the newspaper or the number of towns it covered, you may find that there are separate sections for townships or unincorporated towns near the larger city in which the newspaper is published.  
  • Biographical Sketches and Historical Items – May times you will find biographical sketches of those who have been in a community for a long time. In some instances, the sketch comes as a result of the death of the individual, and as such it is important to remember that such information is sometimes flawed or not completely accurate.  
  • Legal Notices – The courts have long used the newspaper to disperse information. Even today the newspaper is used to publish information from courts about pending cases, unpaid taxed, or attempts to notify heirs in a probate case.  
  • Public Announcements – You will see announcements from individuals who are in essence declaring bankruptcy, by applying to the court for the “benefit of the Insolvent laws.” 
  • Shipping and Business News – The newspapers in port towns would mention arrivals and other shipping news. This may prove useful in your research as you learn which ships arrived at the town or what they brought with them. 

With our “US: Newspaper Records” course, you will learn more about all of the information you can include in your research.

How do I get a Certificate in Genealogical Studies?

So you want a Certificate in Genealogical Studies

Upon successful completion of  40 courses in your Certificate Program and achieving a minimum grade of D, you will receive a Certificate in Genealogical Studies. 


 Students who complete a 40 course Certificate are awarded the postnomials PLCGS (Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies). Students must complete a 40 course certificate program to receive these postnomials. 

Summer Surprise!!





We have a Summer Surprise! Watch this space for the reveal on July 11th.

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