Image by Wynn Pointaux from Pixabay

I love watching webinars.  Before COVID, I thought webinars would not be the ideal medium for learning because I learn more through reading than with someone speaking.  I found out I was wrong.  I do retain many things from listening to a speaker, viewing the slides, perusing the syllabus, and joining in on the question-and-answer sessions at the end.

I discovered there were many, many free webinars available online through societies and genealogy websites.  I came across the BYU webinars early on during COVID.  I signed up to receive an email the day prior to each webinar so that I can watch it if I neglected to put it on the calendar.

On the BYU Family History Library homepage (, the schedule of webinars for the current month is displayed.  There is a link to all of the free webinars in the upper right corner, plus there are links under the calendar not only for the webinars but for other genealogical sites and information.

The webinars are very good.  Clicking on the box “Free Classes & Webinars”, brings up a page with a link for the live webinar schedule:

Once the “webinar schedule” is clicked, the link to join the webinar at the scheduled time is displayed.

If you are unable to watch the webinar at the scheduled time, you can view the recorded webinars with another link below the schedule.

The topics vary.  In this past month, there have been webinars on stepping up your family history game, German records, Irish records, and English records.  The list of recorded webinars is extensive and includes using,, Findmypast, DNA, legal records, military records, etc.

Back to the home page, there are links to the various state archives, historical societies, and libraries.  There are links to other sites such as newspapers, databases, and vital records.  Not all of these records are available for public access.  Some will have the notation “BYU Access” next to them which means you are required to have a BYU login to access those records.

Most of these sites that can be reached through the BYU website can be found independently on the Internet but this site can be useful as a checklist to see if you are overlooking something as you search for your ancestors.

The BYU library is generally open to the public but is closed right now for COVID.  You can contact the library for virtual assistance for family history.  Joining the email mailing list will alert you to future webinars in case you do not come back and check the website.

Check this site out, stay safe during these COVID times, and Search Smart.

Sara N. Martin

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