Genealogy continues to be a University Specialty
Even though Heritage International University offers coursework in many fields, it was in the beginning a College that specialized in the study of Genealogical research, history and family studies.
The founding Mission of the School was to provide an opportunity for genealogists, family historians, archivists, librarians and teachers and other professionals to develop further and cultivate a higher level knowledge and skills in the foundational structures of genealogical research and underlying theoretical historical and anthropological kinship foundations in genealogy, history of heraldry, chivalry, ethnic culture, family, forensic and in anthropological studies.
"Genealogy is a curiosity for most, a hobby for many and an obsession for some.
" (Genealogy in Time Magazine, Why Genealogy is Important; 2017: http://www.genealogyintime.com/articles/why-genealogy-is-important.html
) It is also a profession for others. The demand for professional genealogist is increasing. Many people want the genealogical work done, but would rather pay someone to do it. Genealogy is being used more and more in forensics, hereditary claims, and important research studies. Some reasons why people want genealogical work done:
Validate Family Stories
– To determine if family stories about their ancestors are true.
– To find out if they are related to someone famous.
– To gain a better understanding of an ancestor’s involvement in a famous historical event.
Trace Medical Conditions
–To assess the risk of getting certain medical conditions that tend to run in families.
Trace a Family Inheritance
–To determine genealogical proof of a family connection for potential heirs.
Trace Land Ownership
-- To settle questions of land ownership by providing proof of descent.
Trace a Family Portrait
-- To see why someone bears a strong resemblance to an ancestor in an old family portrait.
Find Birth Parents
– To determine the birth parents of an adopted child. Alternatively, to find children given up for adoption.
Proof of Paternity
– To determine the biological father of a child.
–To satisfy the tenets or beliefs, such as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
– To document a community history by understanding the families that founded and influenced the community.
– To provide insight into history through the scholarly study of a famous family, such as a royal family.
–To provide proof of lineage to qualify for a heritage society.
Preserve a Close Relative's Legacy
-- To learn more about a parent, grandparent or sibling after their death.
Preserving Family Traditions
– To preserve knowledge of ancestors who contributed to family traditions, such as a family recipe book.
Preserve Family Culture
– To allow families that have migrated to another country the opportunity to preserve some of the culture of their old country.
Resolving Family Trees in Bibles
- To understand the names written into an old family bible. (Ibid.)
Genealogy (from Greek: genea, "family"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study and tracing of family lineages and history. Genealogical research is a complex process that is more than affixing a collection of names to a pedigree chart. Rather, genealogy involves identifying ancestral or descendant families by using historical records to establish biological, genetic, or familial kinship. Reliable conclusions are based on the quality of sources (ideally original records, rather than derivatives), the information within those sources (ideally primary or firsthand information, rather than secondary or secondhand information), and the evidence that can be drawn (directly or indirectly) from that information. In many instances, genealogists must skillfully assemble indirect or circumstantial evidence to build a case for identity and kinship. All evidence and conclusions, together with the documentation that supports them, is then assembled to create a cohesive "genealogy" or "family history."
Traditionalists may differentiate between these last two terms, using the former to describe skeletal accounts of kinship (aka family trees) and the latter as a "fleshing out" of lives and personal histories. However, historical, social, and family context is in any case essential to achieving correct identification of individuals and relationships.
We have taught courses for the following five undergraduate/graduate level courses:
Introduction to Heraldry
Theory in Genealogy
Taking Advantage of the Vast Information already Available on the Worldwide Web
The underlying commitment of this specialty is to provide an opportunity for the study of genealogy at a higher skill and knowledge level intended for increasing career opportunities in government, business, education and legal enterprises.
The following were taught as graduate courses and are available for credit:
Legal Issues and Ethics in Genealogy
How to Become an Expert Witness in Court
The History and Use of Personal Heraldry in Genealogy
Nobility, Royalty and Chivalric Claims Important Legal Principles for Genealogists and Heraldic Professionals
Genetics and Genealogy
British and American Family History
African American Genealogy and History
The Historical and Pedagogical Role of Certain Crusaders in Genealogy
Operating a Genealogy Business: Procedures and Processes
Quantitative and Qualitative Methodology in Genealogy
Genealogy is personal history about one's origins, because we are the product of many generations that came before us. These people are our roots. The roots of humanity. They lived their lives and had to overcome many personal hardships. If it were not for them, we would not be here today.
Student Appraisal of our Genealogical Major:
Among a number of special testimonies on the high quality of how we operate, the following is highly significant because this man holds a doctorate and, as such, is in a position to provide an accurate assessment of the course work. Robert B. Fong, Sr., Ph.D. wrote the following on his experience:
Clearly, distance learning is one of the only ways to bring expertise from so far a distance as the UK. However, while the delivery of the courses is important, of more importance is who is delivering the courses and the structure of the curriculum and syllabus.
I have found the delivery of the courses to be most satisfactory, especially for those at the graduate level of education. Further, the professorial staff are experts in their own right from both an academic and practitioner’s perspective.
The school has been responsive and most helpful in structuring a degree plan based upon my particular interest in Heraldry and its application to genealogy. As a Ph.D., I do of course; look at institutions with a more critical eye than the average student.
While the school meets the desire to gain additional knowledge of genealogy and heraldry, it also prepares one to pursue a career in those disciplines, and if one is so inclined, the school also prepares one to teach it also.
The value, both financially and academically is without compare, and I see a bright future for the school as it brings formal competent instruction to the United States.
You are welcome to major or minor in this special field.
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