Course curriculum

    1. Meet You Instructor and Introduce Yourself

    2. Course Access: May 28 - June 24, 2024

    3. What You'll Learn

    4. Learn To Use the Course Player

    5. Before we begin ...

    6. Contact Us

    1. Introduction

    2. Confessions of a Courthouse Newbie: Let’s Start by Laughing

    3. What is a County? The Obvious and the Not-So-Obvious

    4. Which County? Are Your Sure?

    5. Finding Your Ancestors’ County—or Counties

    6. Atlas of Historical County Boundaries Tutorial

    7. Keys to Success and Skill-Building Exercise

    8. Ask a Questions

    1. Introduction

    2. Marriage Records

    3. Types of Marriage Documents

    4. Birth and Death Records

    5. Keys to Success and Skill-Building Exercise

    6. Ask a Question

    1. Introduction

    2. Land and Other Property Records

    3. Deeds

    4. Taxes: Not as Boring as They Sound

    5. Estate Records

    6. Probate Document Examples

    7. Court Records

    8. Using Criminal Court Records

    9. Other County Records

    10. Courthouse Records: 6 Genealogy Finds You Can Make in Person

    11. Keys to Success and Skill-Building Exercise

    12. Ask a Question

    1. Introduction

    2. Get Organized and Get Set

    3. Use Published Guides

    4. Start Your Search Online

    5. Where to Search Online: County Offices

    6. Where to Search: FamilySearch Catalog

    7. Where to Search: FamilySearch Wiki

    8. Where to Search: Ancestry

    9. More Places to Search Online

    10. Ordering Records

    11. Going to the Courthouse: Advantages to Visiting in Person

    12. Prepare Ahead of Time

    13. Plan for Success

    14. Document Your Visit

    15. Are You Researching in a Burned County?

    16. Keys to Success and Skill-Building Exercise

    17. Ask a Question

    1. Formulate a Research Plan

    2. Consider the Source

    3. Fully Document Your Sources

    4. Extract and Organize the Data

    5. Evaluate Your Findings

    6. Keys to Success and Skill-Building Exercise

    7. Ask a Question

About this course

  • $99.99
  • 59 lessons
  • 3 hours of video content

How Family Tree University Courses Work

  • Courses

    Our courses consist of four or more written lessons that may also contain videos, slide shows, and other elements. There are self-directed quizzes and/or exercises to help you apply your knowledge. In addition, you'll have access to discussion boards where you can ask your instructor, questions about the materials during the course dates.

  • Instructor

    Instructor access for the duration of the four weeks, so you can ask questions about what you've learned.

  • Access

    Our courses are designed to be easily accessible! Once you've registered for the course, you'll be able to log in on the start date to see all the lessons. Each lesson is available within your browser. You can work at your own pace.

  • Materals

    All the materials will be available for download, and you'll have access to the course materials online for about a year after the start date. After the course end date, it will go into read-only mode, so you'll still be able to reach the materials, but you'll no longer have access to the instructor or message boards.

  • What You'll Need

    Please ensure that you have internet access and that your browsers and computer system are fairly up-to-date. The course materials are designed to be compatible with most devices.


Sunny Jane Morton is an award-winning writer who has advanced training in genealogy, history, and memoir-writing. She is a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine and Your DNA Guide; author of Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy and How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records; and a writing coach and course developer for Family Tree University.

Sunny Jane Morton