Introduction to Genealogy Course

40 lessons
5 hours total
Beginner level
Online course from home

About this course

If you’re looking to learn more about your family history, you’re in the right place! In this free online course you’ll learn genealogy for beginners and gain a detailed understanding of how to kickstart your family history research. Each lesson will provide a step-by-step walkthrough of different topics in the world of genealogy. You’ll learn firsthand from top experts, and once you complete the course you’ll have all the tools you’ll need to grow your family tree and make exciting discoveries about your ancestors. The entire Intro to Genealogy course is completely free of charge.

What will you learn?

  • How to build your family tree online
  • Researching your ancestors using historical records
  • Leveraging different technologies to grow your tree
  • Advantages of DNA testing for genealogy research

Course syllabus

Genealogy Course Introduction
Welcome to the Intro to Genealogy course
1 Lesson 2min
Family Trees
Historical Records & Research
Saving historical records
1 Lesson 9min
DNA testing for family history research
2 Lessons 6min
Ethnicity Estimate and Genetic Groups
1 Lesson 7min
What's next?
1 Lesson 1min


The Intro to Genealogy course will take you step-by-step through the process of building your family tree and researching your ancestors. It will provide a strong foundation of research techniques and best practices, and will introduce you to an array of useful tools that will make your research easier and more effective. It will also help you avoid common pitfalls.

Registration is required so you can save and track your progress as you move through the course. Your information will only be used for this purpose and for relevant communication.

Yes, registration is required for all learners, even those who already have a MyHeritage account.

Not at all! You can start using MyHeritage and making amazing discoveries right now, without any expertise or special knowledge. This course is here to help you get off to a great start by familiarizing you with best practices and important tools for family history research.

Yes! The Introduction to Genealogy course is completely, 100% free.

There’s no need to complete the whole course in one sitting! You can move through the lessons as quickly or as slowly as you like. Take a lesson or two, move on with your day, and come back another time. Your place will be saved, so you can dive back in exactly where you left off.

To log out, just scroll to the bottom of this page and click the “Log out” link in the footer.

Simply sign back in, and we’ll take you directly back to the lesson you were watching.

To log in, visit the main course page, click “Go to course,” and then click the “Log in” link that appears under the “Sign up” button in the pop-up.

If you forgot your password, you can click the “Forgot password?” link on the sign-in form and enter your email address. We will email you a link that you can follow to reset your password.


Daniel Horowitz
Genealogy Expert

Daniel is the Genealogy Expert at MyHeritage. His key contributions include liaising with genealogy societies, bloggers, and media, as well as lecturing and attending conferences around the world. Dedicated to genealogy since 1986, he was the teacher and the study guide editor of the family history project “Searching for My Roots” in Venezuela for 15 years. Daniel is involved in several crowdsource digitization and transcription projects and holds a board-level position at the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA).

Additional speakers

Dana Drutman
Dana Drutman
Senior Product Manager

Dana is a Senior Product Manager at MyHeritage and is responsible for MyHeritage’s historical record search engine. She leads a dedicated and agile team of developers and QA engineers, and works closely with UX designers and data analysts to create the ultimate research experience.

David Allen Lambert
Chief Genealogist of the NEHGS

David is an internationally recognized speaker on genealogy and history, and has been on the staff of New England Historic Genealogy Society since 1993. He has published many articles and is an elected Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, MA, and a lifetime member of the New Hampshire Society of Cincinnati.

Ellen Kowitt
Jewish Family History Specialist

Ellen is National Vice Chair of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) Jewish Task Force and a member of the Lineage Committee Specialty Research Team. She serves as Director of JewishGen’s U.S. Research Division and is a former Director-at-Large of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

James M. Beidler
Author & Genealogy Columnist

James M. Beidler is the author of several books and writes “Roots & Branches,” an award-winning weekly newspaper column and blog ( on genealogy. He is also a columnist for German Life magazine and a research-reports editor for Legacy Tree Genealogists.

James Tanner
James Tanner
Professional Genealogist

James L. Tanner has dedicated over 37 years to genealogy research and spent 39 years as an Arizona trial attorney. Avid Blogger of Genealogy’s Star and Rejoice, and presently serves at the BYU Family History Library and on the Board of Directors of The Family History Guide Association.

Mike Mansfield
Director of Content Operations

Mike is the Director of Content Operations at MyHeritage, and has been active in the genealogy and family history domain for the last 20 years. Mike has presented at numerous genealogical conferences and symposia in the United States, England, Scandinavia, and Australia.

Ran Snir
Director of Product Management

Ran Snir is a Director of Product Management at MyHeritage and is responsible for MyHeritage DNA. He leads a talented team of developers, QA engineers, and designers to create and optimize DNA users’ entire journey — from ordering a DNA kit to using advanced tools for genetic genealogy.

Sharon Monson
Professional Genealogist & Author

Sharon D. Monson is a professional genealogist, author of the blog GenSearch and More, creator of the Genealogy Kit, and author of Shortcut to Genealogy Sources. Her extensive research experience in courthouses, repositories and the Family History Library spans 35+ years.

Shauna Hicks
Australian Family History Researcher

Shauna Hicks has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and worked in government libraries and archives for over 35 years. Since retiring, she has written numerous family history guides. Shauna now operates and is the author of the blog, Diary of an Australian Genealogist.

Thomas MacEntee
Professional Genealogist

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love of history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, who runs the popular Genealogy Bargains and DNA Bargains websites, and shares many of his articles and videos for free at Abundant Genealogy.