Just finished my latest family history course. The learners were very enthusiastic and managed to trace their family heritage back to the 1841 census. This was the goal for the Stage 1 course.
Some found that family stories helped to validate the records they discovered. While some discovered that the records only disproved what they had been told! This is often the case. Over time family memories and stories are re-told and often vital facts are forgotten, names forgotten, or dates are simply made up. It is only by sourcing the records accurately, which can be very time consuming, can we prove, or disprove our family history.
This takes great discipline, concentration and good record keeping. The learners found the time and space in their weekly class, and afterwards felt they had a better understanding of the process. I hope they all felt they had made really good progress and will continue with their research.