National Genealogical Society

Educational Courses

Continuing Genealogical Studies: Effective Use of Deeds

Learn How Deeds Can Help You Find Your Ancestors

What is a warranty or quitclaim deed and what kinds of documents are often filed with these deeds? What is the differences between public land and state land deeds and what information can they reveal? What are the best sources for finding deeds? These are just a few of the questions that are answered in this online, cloud-based course.

Effective Use of Deeds is a self-paced, independent learning course designed to help family historians hone their skills as they increase their proficiency in reading, transcribing, deciphering, and citing various deeds. The course modules include:

  • Module 1.  What is a deed?
  • Module 2.  How do you locate deeds?
  • Module 3.  The information in deeds
  • Module 4.  Learning the skills of transcribing and abstracting a deed
  • Module 5.  How do you evaluate the evidence in deeds?
  • Glossary and Reading and Reference List

The modules also feature readings, web links, and self-correcting quizzes as well as a bibliography and glossary.


To learn more about Continuing Genealogical Studies: Effective Use of Deeds see the course syllabus here.


Since the courses under the Continuing Genealogical Studies category are cloud-based, you need either a computer or tablet with an Internet connection to access the lessons, examples, exercises, and quizzes. No software or material is loaded onto your computer or tablet.

To optimize your online learning experience, the Canvas system uses the current version of a number of different browsers. To check for your browser compatibility, please see for further information and details.

NGS grants a license to an individual to take the course shown above. This grants the individual a personal, nonexclusive, nontransferable right to the course materials for that student's personal educational use only. All students work independently.


Continuing Genealogical Studies


Non members

Effective Use of Deeds     



How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Course?

The Continuing Genealogical Studies series courses have no set time or date for attendance. These courses are geared toward individuals who have a variety of schedules.

Upon registration, you have access to the course for six months from the date of registration. If you need extra time, a one-time extension of three months is granted by contacting the NGS Course Administrator.

Certificate of Completion

Since the Continuing Genealogical Studies series are independent learning courses, the CGS courses do not have a certificate of completion.

Please note: The National Genealogical Society is not a licensing body, so no certification or accreditation is implied. For more information about certification or accreditation, please see Becoming a Professional Genealogist.

When Can I Start the Course?

Within three business days, you receive two separate e-mails, one that confirms your registration and one that provides log in instructions.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

All purchases of courses are final. No refunds or credits are available.


Here is a link to the Continuing Genealogical Studies: FAQs. If you have further questions, please contact the NGS Course Administrator at [email protected].


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Educational Courses

From a free online self-paced, self-graded course to cloud-based courses that will help you become a better genealogist, there's an NGS course to suit your needs. Learn more.