Cluster and Collateral Research - July 2024

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Looking for new ways to expand your family tree?

July 29, 2024 - August 25, 2024

Course Summary:

Hit a snag in your family history research? This course is here to help! You'll learn powerful techniques to break through research roadblocks and uncover hidden family connections.

Ancestors often leave behind a tapestry of relationships, not just with blood relatives. This course explores two key strategies to leverage this network: cluster and collateral research.

Cluster research focuses on the "clusters" surrounding your ancestors – neighbors, friends, coworkers, and others who shared their community. Collateral research delves into the lives of indirect relatives like siblings of great-grandparents or distant cousins.

Through engaging lessons and downloadable resources, you'll learn how to identify and research these valuable connections. We'll cover which records are most effective for cluster and collateral research, including census data, vital records, church documents, historical newspapers, land transfers, and wills. You'll gain the skills to extract crucial information from these sources, determine relationships between individuals, and organize your findings for maximum impact.


Course Workload:

  • Approx. 8 hours to complete
  • 100% Online using our eLearning Platform
  • 4 lessons complete with skill-building exercises and quizzes

What you’ll learn:

  • How to get started with cluster and collateral research: who to look for, what constitutes a cluster or collateral relation
  • When to use cluster and collateral approaches
  • Which records are best for cluster and collateral research, including census, vital, church, newspapers, land transfers, wills. etc.
  • How to determine the names and relationships between relatives
  • How to organize and employ the information you extract from cluster and collateral research
  • How to find clusters beyond neighbors and coworkers that hold info about your ancestor

What’s Included:

  • Self-Paced Learning
  • Expert Support from Course Instructor
  • Video Presentations
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Student Discussion Board
  • Downloadable Course Materials

How FTU courses work:

  • Register for the course on this page
  • On the start date, log into our eLearning platform
  • Access to the course instructor runs until the course end date
  • After the course ends, you can read course materials for one yearInstructor and discussion board access will also end when the course concludes, so make sure you reach out and ask questions!

Instructor Bio:

Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A. is a professional writer, instructor, and internationally-recognized lecturer. She is the author of nine books and hundreds of magazine articles. She is the author of 11 books, including The Family Tree Polish, Czech and Slovak Genealogy Guide, and hundreds of magazine articles.


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