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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: August 19, 2013 @ 10:55 am

    Where to study Genealogy

    John Grenham

    As other livelihoods vanish, more and more people in Ireland are trying to make a living from genealogy. The best way to train for it is, of course, to spend years researching your own family, but the growing demand to work in the area is at least partly responsible for the recent increase in the number of genealogy courses.

    The longest-established is the Certificate in Genealogy/ Family History, a modular series of evening courses that you can use just to get yourself started, or which can lead over three years to a level-seven diploma, the equivalent of an ordinary-level degree. The course is formidably thorough and is directed by the well- known genealogist and historian Seán Murphy through the University College Dublin Adult Education Centre (tinyurl.com/pvcdqwt).

    A newly established two- year part-time diploma course in University College Cork also promises a level-seven qualification. Although based in Cork, the course, called just Genealogy, is organised by the Irish Ancestry Research Centre, a University of Limerick campus company that also runs a Certificate in History of Family and Genealogical Methods at UL, as well as an MA in the History of Family (tinyurl.com/o86npms).

    The Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology offers a BA in Heritage that includes genealogy in a much wider context. It’s useful if your aim is a career in the area (tinyurl.com/k8ys6qf). NUI Maynooth has a part-time evening BA and a full-time MA in Local History – genealogy’s more reputable sibling (history.nuim.ie).

    There are also shorter courses that can be good jumping-off points. In Dún Laoghaire, John Hamrock of Ancestor Network runs regular weekend sessions (tinyurl. com/m576be7). In Dublin, a 12-week diploma course given in conjunction with the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland starts in early October at Independent Colleges (tinyurl.com/lqzzrpy).

    And, purely in the interests of thoroughness, I should add that I’m giving a 10-week course at City Colleges myself, also starting in October (tinyurl.com/m8vlbgr).