[APG Public List] Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies

Rev. David McDonald strude86 at charter.net
Sat Jan 2 12:08:21 MST 2010

I enrolled in the distance learning course IHGS, and learned a great deal.


In the end, I did not officially complete the course--the methods used are particularly suited to one *in* England, who has access to county record offices and the like. Similar to the NGS Home Study Course (which I highly recommend--full disclosure, I helped with its last revision, and serve on the NGS board), IHGS expects its participants to be able to access specific types of records and resources found in county record offices, libraries and archives in the UK. It was very impractical from my end, as it played out. I did not realize at the outset what I would need to be able to do, and so enrolled sight unseen.

The content is terrific; the course is *not* inexpensive, especially for Americans (now approaching US $4,000 based on current exchange rates). As international students, Americans pay "full freight" rather than what one would pay in the UK.

Perhaps one with direct access to the FHL could make all the practical lessons work; here in the middle of Wisconsin, such was just not the case. I think it's a great program, and the tutors with whom I worked were excellent. Be aware that the grading and expectations would be, to my mind, equivalent to those of advanced undergraduate courses. Recognize, going in, that British genealogy has methods and practices that are not standard to the American community, and so some learning and re-learning will be necessary.

With all those cautions, I certainly recommend the program to anyone who can make the time and access matters work. Just know that those hurdles may well be pretty high ones to pass.

Good luck!
Dave McDonald
Rev. Dr. David McDonald, CG(sm)*
Old Northwest Research, LLC

*"CG" & "Certified Genealogist" are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (R), and are used by authorized associates following periodic, peer-reviewed competency evaluations. Certificate  No. 452, renewed, expires 19 April 2014.

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