Getting started with research

There are fantastic resources available online that will help with doing your research: how to do research, how to use genealogical software, how to collect and organise your references. Some of them are listed below to get you started.


There are lots of free resources available on how to produce good academic-level writing. For instance, start off with these pages from the University of Leicester that provide good tips on writing, referencing and bibliographies, presentations, planning a project, etc.The Harvard College Writing Center is also a useful place to pick up tips and ideas on how to write to academic standard in various subject areas.

Beginning to research – the practical stuff

FutureLearn is a wonderful education portal: access 100s of FREE online courses from universities and cultural institutions all over the world – including history, literature and science amongst other subject areas.

Genealogy Family Tree tutorials, lesson and guidance: a very useful site with lots of links to useful things like printable family tree forms and more.

Starting your family tree, with particular emphasis on Ireland.
Just getting started? How to best use and similar genealogy sites

Family history for beginners: part of the FamilySearch wiki, with lots of links to very useful resources and how-tos.

Donna’s Irish Genealogy Resources: Donna Moughty’s website which isn’t complicated to browse around and has a short but useful selection of links to software, databases, and other tools.

For some good links to genealogical webpages with a US emphasis try out Andrea Davis’ page at ‘History at Home: A Guide to Genealogy’ (thanks to my contact at Apple Creek High School, OH!). Another page is Val Soh’s ‘Getting Started with Genealogy on the Web‘ suggested by Ava O. in North Dakota. See also Tracking your ancestry, suggested by Faith H. including some interesting GIS links for anyone thinking of using it in connection with keeping track of graves. That’s enough of these for now!

Read   Funding for Independent Scholars

Finding it hard to keep going with your genealogical research? Have a look at 21 Genealogy Research Brick Wall Breakthroughs by Mark S. (2015)

If you’re mystified by legal terminology and jargon, this site provides a short dictionary of terms: Genealogy and the Law: a layman’s guide to legalese


There are now a fantastic range of videos available on YouTube: read more here.

I’ve put together some posts about publishing your material here and here (including self-publishing) here.