Postgraduate Certificate in Family and Local History

I have exciting news: I have received a Postgraduate Certificate in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee in Scotland. I started in September 2020. I actually met the requirements for the certificate a few months ago but thought I could not claim it yet because I did not receive any paperwork. The university just confirmed that I do indeed meet all the requirements. They don’t send you a certificate if you continue on to the diploma, like I did, but that does not make it any less valid.

I have successfully completed the following modules:

  • Skills and Sources for Family and Local History in England
  • Skills and Sources for Family and Local History in Scotland
  • Understanding and Reading Latin
  • House History
  • English Palaeography and Diplomatic

These last two were not necessary for the certificate and will count toward the diploma. I am now working on the final two modules for the diploma which I hope to finish by the end of the year. I intend to continue with the Master’s after that. The whole program is three years, part-time (180 European Credits), though you can take breaks like I did last summer. I took time off to do an institute at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research that normally is not offered remotely. The Family and Local History program is always offered remotely so it is no problem that I am in the Netherlands studying at a Scottish university. It sometimes leads to funny situations, like receiving coupons for free pizza during lockdowns. Those only work on campus, unfortunately!

The modules have all been interesting and taught me different skills. Before I started, I wondered if it would be worth it since I already am an experienced genealogist and am board-certified, but it definitely is. The focus in this program is more on academic writing and specific skills, like transcription and translation (depending on the modules you choose), while certification focuses more on evidence analysis so I think they complement each other well. The previous academic writing I practiced was while studying computer science, which had different standards than the humanities, and I am learning a lot. Several of my clients are from the UK and it helps to know more about genealogy there, to understand their frame of reference but also to research people who moved between the UK and the Netherlands. In terms of sources and history, the UK shares many similarities with the Netherlands and that has been helpful to teach me the correct English terms for historical concepts and sources.

My favorite module so far has been House History, for which I wrote my final report on a house in Bredevoort that is part of my one-place-study there. I have just started a heraldry module, where I hope to learn information that will help me with my 12th century research into my line back to Eleanor of Aquitaine. The Latin module has also been helpful for reading the original documents of that period.

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Matt Newbold says


    Congratulations on your diploma! I enjoy reading your posts!

    Matt Newbold
    Layton, Utah

  2. Antoine Keepers says

    Van harte gefeliciteerd!

  3. Donald Warren Blankman says

    Congratulations Yvette. Those additional skills add to your already well developed researching ability, and that makes you more valuable to anyone who seeks your services. I wish I had the stamina to undertake such advanced training, but at my age (90 in June) it is all I can do to keep up with the latest posts from all the projects I am involved with. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have discovered genealogy as a hobby in 1948, and while others my age now spend their abundantly free time playing cards, watching old movie reruns, and piecing together jigsaw puzzles, I prefer helping others to get started in their quests for their family history, while I enjoy the new challenges of genetic genealogy, without any ongoing need to earn a living. I have always enjoyed your posts. Keep up the good work. We all need your input and wisdom. Sincerely, Don Blankman

    • Wonderful to hear that you enjoy the posts. Genealogy is a wonderful pursuit no matter where we are in life. I started as a teenager and never dreamed it could be a career for me one day.

      • Donald Warren Blankman says

        We have several things in common, besides our love of genealogy. My Dutch ancestry has been especially intriguing for me since nobody in our family knew anything about it back when I began. One surprise always leads to another. My gg-grandfather Capt. Gerrit Gerritsz. Blankman, Junior married shortly after his arrival in Claverack, Columbia, New York, Christina, the daughter of Norman McLeod and Jane Smith, alias Jannetje Schmidt, who was the daughter of Conrad Schmidt, of German Palatine descent and Jannetje Hoogeboom, who was descended from a long line of Dutch immigrants leading me back to The Netherlands, once again. Gerrit graduated from the Amsterdam Kweekschool voor de Zeevaart in 1805, and his father was Captain of the Dutch Kapper “de Stuiver” and was captured by the British in June of 1798 and held prisoner in England until 1802. The beauty of being American is that one usually has ties to many European countries. Perhaps the most surprising for me was that my Dutch ancestors had ancestors who immigrated to NL in the 1500s, from Finland, of all places! Keep up your good work!

  4. Cathy Crandall says

    Congratulations! Good on you for all your hard work.

  5. Frede Humphreys says

    Congratulations Yvette, quite an accomplishment! Love reading your posts!

  6. Audrey v.d.Berg, says

    Yes – Congratulations from all in Australia who read your interesting posts. Don’t think I have the stamina to do more studies. Did most of my research while visiting some years back before it was ;om line’ and able to figure out who and what relationships worked together . Missed out on some because of lack of language but met up with those ones still living in the original village who informed me his ‘line’ had gone to Canada.
    Well Done.

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