Teaching and Tutoring
grew out of a working relationship
and friendship of two genealogists living ten thousand miles apart.
Helen Osborn, an archivist, researcher and teacher lives in London,
England. Sherry Irvine, a genealogist, writer and teacher lives in
Courtenay, BC, Canada. They saw a need for a high-quality program
focused on the British Isles and decided to offer courses online,
teaching not only about records and methods, but about the rich experience
to be found in family history research.
Since its launch in March of 2006 Pharos has attracted several top instructors
and now offers a fascinating selection of courses designed to help you
find your British and Irish ancestors and learn more about how they lived.
When this Society went looking for an online course provider it was
attracted to Pharos because of its transatlantic reach and because of
the qualifications of its teachers.
Another factor in the choice was simplicity. Taking part in a Pharos
course does not require any special technical capabilities. Anyone who
sends email and browses the Web has the necessary online skills.
Pharos is a good fit for ISBGFH not only for these reasons, but because
Sherry Irvine taught at the British Institute five times in recent years.
The Society was eager to maintain a connection and continue to make her
courses available, particularly to those members who cannot travel to
Salt Lake City.
The ISBGFH, with the help of Pharos, is offering anyone interested in
research in the United Kingdom or Ireland courses, described below, which
are available exclusively through our society. Courses are open to all
interested genealogists but members of ISBGFH receive a discount on the
course fees. The ISBGFH-exclusive courses are British
Isles Research: Solving Problems and Creating Strategies
and English and Welsh Research:
Better Searching, More Results
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How the Courses WorkIt is easy to participate in an online course. There is no new software
to install and no new technical knowledge required. You can timetable
a course into a busy schedule because, for everything except the weekly
chat, you can work when you want.
All those who have enrolled for a course receive a welcome message from
the instructor 7 to 10 days before the course is scheduled to begin.
The message explains how to access the course forum and the chat room.
The forum is where all students and the instructor read and post messages
at their own convenience. The chat is where the entire group meets together,
reading and contributing text in real time in a discussion led by the
On the first day of the course the instructor will send out the first
lesson in PDF format. There will probably be some discussion in the forum
on the exercises in the lesson. Expect to spend 3 to 5 hours a week on
the course. This could be longer if you become absorbed in trying out
new research ideas on your own ancestors.
If you are new to forums and chat rooms, do not worry. There is help
available to get you into them and once there you will see that participation
is as easy as typing a few lines. Help is available should you have any
If you want
to know more about Pharos and how things work, consider joining the
free Open Forum. This is open to anyone whether or not you plan to
take a course. There is interesting and useful information in the text
of past messages and you can ask questions of fellow forum members.
To join visit the Pharos
Community page
and follow the instructions right
there on the page or read the PDF file which gives more details.

Register Now! [Return
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 Course DescriptionsBritish
Isles Research: Solving Problems and Creating Strategies

Solving a genealogical problem is helped by having a strategy, and that
comes from analysis of what genealogical facts you possess in the context
of information about history, geography and records.
How to analyze, strategize, and create good research plans is a skill
you learn and that is the concept behind this course. The emphasis here
is less on records contents and access and more on the use of history,
geography and records knowledge to create research strategies.
The emphasis is also on helping you work with your own research problem.
The instructor will ask for information about the problem you want to
work on during the course. Your course work will focus on creating a
plan to solve that problem. There is personal guidance from the instructor
and opportunities to discuss ideas with fellow students. Class size is
limited to 16 to ensure personal attention for all participants.
Participants should have research experience and it would be an advantage
to have read a book or some articles on research methods and history.
Your experience should include searching in libraries or archives or
family history centers as well as online.
You can be researching in any part of the United Kingdom or Ireland.Lesson One: Building Foundations, Helping Your Instincts
Lesson Two: Creating a Workable Research Plan
Lesson Three: Working with Resources I – Databases and Catalogs
Lesson Four: Working with Resources II – The Records
Lesson Five: Particular Problems – Hands-on Experience
Lesson Six: Your Problems and Your Plans
Lesson Seven: Lessons That Last
Sherry Irvine, CGSM
Course Length: 6 weeks, 22 September to 3 November 2009
Cost: $190 for ISBGFH members, $220 for non-members
More information on this course Register
and Welsh Family History Online: Better Searching, More Results

Ever wondered if your online searches find all the facts
about your ancestors? Do you sometime wonder what you may have missed?
This course will help you search the Web more effectively and achieve
better results. It will improve your skills, add to your record knowledge
and help you plan searches.
You will learn to identify and locate the resources you need, finding
the best ones for your family research problems. You will learn how to
make database search tools work for you and you will be shown the best
data websites and ways to find many more.
The Web also offers information to help you prepare to research on location
and to visit the ancestral homes of your ancestors. This course offers
advice on preparations.
Class size is limited to 16 to ensure personal attention for all participants.No new computer skills are required for this course. Instructions are
provided for the class website and for joining the class chats.
There are five lessons, two distributed in the first week and the remainder
at the rate of one each week. There will be at least one chat session
per week.
Lesson One: Top Ten – Essential Skills, Essential Websites
Lesson Two: Census Records: Use the Alternatives Effectively
Lesson Three: Vital Records Indexes: No Two Online Indexes Are Alike
Lesson Four: Parish Registers: From the Web to the Original Record
Lesson Five: More Online and More on Location
Instructor: Sherry
Course Length:
4 weeks, 14 April to 12 May 2009
Cost: $130 for ISBGFH members, $150 for non-members
information on this course

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Irvine, BA (History), MSc. CGSM, Courtenay, BC, Canada

Sherry has been teaching family history for over 20 years. In the classroom
she has taught for college adult education and credit programs, at the
Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), Samford University,
Birmingham, Alabama, and at the British Institute, Salt Lake City, a
program of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family
History. From 1996 to 2006 she led study tours to England and Scotland
for IGHR. She has several years experience teaching via the Internet.
Sherry’s genealogical
background includes establishing and managing her own business for
11 years, a bookstore and research service. She sold the business to
concentrate on writing and lecturing. She has presented talks and seminars
in Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand and the United States. Sherry
is the author of Your English Ancestry (2nd ed. 1998) and Scottish
Ancestry: Research Methods for Family Historians
(2003), and co-author
of Finding Your Canadian Ancestors (2007). From the start of her career
she has been involved in local and professional organizations. In 2005
the Association of Professional Genealogists presented her with the
Smallwood Award of Merit for services to the organization and to genealogy.
“CG” is
a service mark of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®,
Washington, DC, and is used under license.