Quick Links

Course Materials

Course Materials

No texts are required for this course. This course itself may be used as a reference book, and may be supplemented with the material listed in the selected bibliography.

Although not required, the following texts are highly recommended, particularly for those desiring additional background in English and Latin grammar:

(Back to top)

Learning Outcomes

When you have successfully completed this course, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Read the basic Latin prose found in parish registers so that you can learn to become an independent researcher
  2. Further study parish registers (and other documents as well) using this manual as a reference guide and an introductory text
  3. Put your Latin to work by learning English words which have been derived from Latin (largely through French)


This course consists of fourteen lessons (each containing one assignment to be submitted) and a final examination. Each lesson includes grammar and translation exercises. Each assignment contains part or all of a Latin document to be translated. It is important for the family historian and genealogist to become familiar with primary, handwritten sources as rapidly as possible. In addition, each assignment, with the exception of assignment 11, also contains a section in which you are asked to list a Latin word (found in that lesson) from which an English word might be obtained. (For example, nocturnal from nox , noctis , f.: night.)

In every lesson, except lesson 14, which is a review chapter, there is a section devoted to Self Checks. These are designed to help you master the fundamentals of the lesson and to provide a way to measure your understanding of the material in each lesson.

Please do each of the Self Checks. By taking your time and working your way through these, you will learn a great deal more and be better prepared to read Latin parish register entries and other documents than if you skip over them and do only the required assignments.

You will submit your papers to Independent Study electronically through your course. To make sure that I can open and read your paper, please save it as an .RTF (rich text format) file. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Type your paper in a word-processing program (such as Microsoft Word).
  2. When you save the file, click the Save as type: drop-down list.
  3. Select Rich Text Format (*.rtf).
  4. Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, “[LATIN121]_[EricHuntsman]_[Lesson2].rtf.”
  5. Click Save.
  6. Submit the lesson’s .RTF file through the [Lesson/Assignment Title] assignment for grading.

Each lesson in this course lists specific objectives and outlines the steps to follow in order to learn the material for that lesson. There are, however, some general guidelines which will also help you to succeed in this course. They are as follows:

(Back to top)


The final exam will consist of three parts:

  1. Fifteen short-answer questions concerning Latin grammar, syntax, and translation taken from the thirty questions listed in lesson 14;
  2. Translation of two documents selected from the four provided in lesson 14 (all of which are taken from the documents used as examples in this course);
  3. The translation of a document: a parish register entry, not previously included in the lessons but similar in type and content to those utilized.

The final exam must be completed under the supervision of a proctor. If you have prepared your assignments properly, according to the instructions and procedures provided in each lesson, you should have no trouble passing the final exam.

(Back to top)


The final exam and each assignment you submit will receive a letter grade:

Grade Scale
A 90%–100%
B 80%–89%
C 70%–79%
D 60%–69%
E below 60%

The above is only a guideline. I do allow a certain flexibility with the grammar and translation exercises, depending upon the difficulty of the material involved. Consequently, while you should try to work hard and complete these lessons and the final exam within the time allotted, you need not be unduly concerned about grades. I am sure that if you complete your work and are prepared properly for the final exam, you will receive a good grade for this course. (So far, every student who has taken this course has received either an A or a B.)

Your grade will be calculated as follows:

Assignments Weight
14 assignments 70%
Final exam 30%

Note: There are no resubmissions for assignments or the exam.

(Back to top)

Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

(Back to top)

University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

(Back to top)

Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

(Back to top)

Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


14 written assignments, no resubmissions allowed.


1 proctored, computer-graded exam, no resubmissions allowed, must pass to earn credit for the course.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514