Foundations in Family History 103: Framing in the Family

Course Overview - Enrollment for Foundations 103 Begins 23 February

Foundations 103: Framing in the Family is the third section in the Foundations course. It covers more advanced records and teaches techniques necessary to solve genealogical mysteries and make a more complete family tree. You will learn methods of family history investigation by broadening your use of a wide variety of genealogical sources. As you work through these modules, you will dive into important record sets such as probate and religious records, research repositories, DNA basics, and ways to share your research.

Prerequisites: Foundations 101 & Foundations 102
Course: Online, cloud based
Foundations 103 Price: NGS Members $165 Non-members $190
Foundations Package Price: NGS Members $335 Non-Members $400
(101, 102 & 103)
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Course Description

Foundations 103: Framing in the Family will teach students how to determine the value of information when examining a broad range of records. You will learn the meaning and importance of various probate and religious records. Diverse types of records and materials that support family history research in and out of research repositories will be covered. A basic introduction to DNA will be given, as well as various ways to share your research with others. The final module will introduce you to other records sets that can help to fill out your ancestor’s story.

The course is divided into modules with multiple sections, which include reading and reference lists, web links, self-correcting quizzes, and a glossary. The course modules are as follows.

  • Module 12—Probate Records
  • Module 13—Religious Records
  • Module 14—Published Sources and Manuscripts
  • Module 15—Research Repositories
  • Module 16—DNA Basics
  • Module 17—Sharing Research
  • Module 18—Expanding Research

Enrollment in the Foundations in Family History course requires students to start with Foundations 101, which is a prerequisite to enrollment in Foundations 102, which is a prerequisite to Foundations 103.

The Foundations in Family History course has been developed in three sections so students can progress through more challenging topics in succession to help them build knowledge and skills one step at a time. The Foundations 101, 102, and 103 format also allows students the convenience of paying for one section at a time. NGS offers members a discount when they register for each course section, and an even greater discount is available for all students if they utilize the package pricing for the full course. See pricing details on the following course pages for Foundations 101, 102, and 103 or in the NGS Store.


Since the online courses in the Foundations in Family History series are cloud-based, you can take the course anywhere, at any time. You need either a computer or tablet with an internet connection to access the lessons, examples, exercises, and quizzes. While the course may be completed on a mobile device, be aware that the app for Canvas (our learning management system) is not yet fully responsive and you may have a better experience on a computer. No software or material is loaded onto your computer or tablet.

To optimize your online learning experience, see more about the Canvas system:

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.


Foundations in Family History is a course divided into three sections—Foundations 101, 102, and 103–intended to be taken in succession. The course was developed by a team of experienced educators, certified genealogists, and professional genealogists, along with a senior editor and e-learning systems specialist. These specialized genealogical educators have created an exciting new course that teaches all the essential concepts to develop excellent genealogical research skills. Students will gain confidence along with knowledge allowing them to optimize the growth of their family history. Students must begin with Foundations 101, followed by Foundations 102, and then Foundations 103.


As a matter of convenience, NGS allows students to purchase each section of the course as they go at the discounted NGS member price or a non-member price; and they also have the option to purchase the entire course as a package which will offer an additional discount. Visit the NGS Store to register and see pricing for all the options.

How Long Does it Take to Complete an Online Course?

The Foundations in Family History courses have no set time or date for weekly attendance. These online courses are geared toward individuals who have varied schedules that may include their work, volunteer pursuits, and/or family obligations. You prioritize your time management and your learning, so your course work can be scheduled at your own pace.

Upon registration, you have access to each section of 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.

When Can I Start the Course?

Within three business days, you receive two separate emails, one that confirms your registration and one that provides login instructions.


Here is a link to the Foundations in Family History: FAQs  If you have further questions, please contact the NGS Course Administrator.