Society of Genealogists

society of genealogists
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The Society of Genealogists offers a unique combination of research material, guidance and support for those interested in family history. It is a charity whose objects are to promote, encourage and foster the study, science and knowledge of genealogy.
Our library is the foremost in the British Isles with large collections of family history material. We run an extensive range of lectures and courses throughout the year on beginners, intermediate and advanced topics.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive, Association or society

Opening hours

Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday: 10-6, Thursday: 10-8

Closed: Sunday, Monday, Friday

Admission charges

Lecture one hour: £6.00
Half-day course: £17.50
Full-day course: £30.00
Library research time: (price varies) booked separately

Getting there

Our cul de sac, Charterhouse Buildings, is located off the traffic intersection at Goswell Road/Old Street. The nearest tube stations: Barbican or Old Street
Bus: 4, 56, 55, 243

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Shows a head with lots of thoughts in it

Family History Skills - Stage 2 - Evening Classes

  • 5 May 2016 6-8pm
  • 12 May 2016 6-8pm
  • 19 May 2016 6-8pm
  • 26 May 2016 6-8pm
  • 2 June 2016 6-8pm
  • 9 June 2016 6-8pm
  • 16 June 2016 6-8pm
  • 23 June 2016 6-8pm

The Society of Genealogist's successful family history skills course continues with a second set of evening classes to develop your research and genealogy knowledge. Our team of professional genealogists present a carefully designed curriculum to develop your skills.

Who are these classes for?
Stage 2 is designed for those who already have some experience of genealogical research and are familiar with the basic records (General Registration, the censuses, directories, parish registers and bishops' transcripts and wills). This course is suitable for students wishing to take the IHGS exams.

What will the classes cover?
- I'm Stuck! Techniques for localising the elusive ancestor;
- Army records before 1914;
- Auxiliary services and state employees;
- Royal Navy and Merchant Navy records before 1914;
- Education, Trades and Professions;
- Apprenticeship records and guilds;
- Records of the poor;
- Criminal and court records;
- Marriage and death in the Church Courts;
- Records of the 17th century..

What you will learn
Become familiar with the records and application of research.
Know what records are available and where to find them.
Place sources of data into the context of their original purpose.
Understand the techniques required to assess evidence.
Learn the basic pedigree layout and understand research standards.
Expect an entertaining and enjoyable experience.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This 10-week course runs every Thursday evening between 6 pm and 8 pm. The course ends on Thursday 23 June.

The price for the full 10-week course is £175.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, there is a discounted price of £140.00.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/stage-2-evening-skills-course-3

Shows a collage of poor children and people

For Family Historians: Records of the Poor

  • 7 May 2016 2-5pm

It can sometimes be quite difficult to find out about ancestors that weren't wealthy or successful. In this workshop, Kirsty Gray aims to provide you with a detailed knowledge of how to locate and analyse records of poverty and the Poor Laws, mainly in England and Wales in the 19th century.

Topics covered:
- How to find the records;
- Looking through the records, how to use them in your ancestral research;
- Case studies to illustrate how you can draw the records together to develop 'the bigger picture', on an individual, a familial or a community level.

There are no special requirements for this workshop and you do not need to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists to attend. We are hosting this Family History workshop for anyone researching their family history. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and a wealth of detail. During the break for tea or coffee, you can chat to other people attending who share your interests.

The Society of Genealogists, the National Family History Centre, hosts this talk. Visit our website to explore our extensive programme of talks, workshops, walks, visits and special events. Founded in 1911, the Society of Genealogists (SoG) has amassed a truly magnificent library and archive. It contains Britain’s largest collection of parish register copies and many nonconformist registers.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Half-day workshop: £20.00. Members of the Society of Genealogists: £16.00. For us to hold a place for you, the talk must be booked and paid for in advance. You can do this by visiting our website or phoning us on 020 7553 3290.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/records-of-the-poor-2

Shows an entry in a ships register

Family History: Births, Marriages and Deaths at Sea

  • 11 May 2016 2-3pm

Ancestors who were born, married or died at sea can appear to be elusive and difficult to track down. This is not surprising considering the complexity of the legislation covering these events. But there are records available. Many remain as primary source material only. However, an increasing number are being digitised and indexed and so are more readily available for research.

There are no special entry requirements for this talk and you do not need to be a
Member of the Society of Genealogists to attend. However, this course is specifically for people who are beginning to search for their ancestors and believe they might have been at sea when key dates happened. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert
tutor and lots of detail.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

One-hour talk: £8.00. Members of the Society of Genealogists: £6.40. For us to hold a place for you, the talk must be booked and paid for in advance. You can do this by visiting our website or phoning us on 020 7553 3290.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/births-marriages-and-deaths-at-sea

Shows a laptop and some old archival books

Family History: Understanding Civil Registration - A  Registrars View

  • 12 May 2016 2-3pm

As family history researchers we look at certificates of birth, marriage and death every day – but do we always interpret them correctly?

Antony Marr, a former registrar, looks at the complex rules surrounding the registration of these vital events, including declarations, corrections and re-registrations. Using examples, Antony aims to dispel some myths and misunderstandings and show how understanding the process can help decipher complex families and find those elusive missing ancestors.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This one-hour talk starts at 2.00 pm. The cost is £8.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £6.40 is available. For us to hold a place for you, the talk must be booked and paid for in advance. You can do this by visiting our website or phoning us.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/understanding-civil-registration-a-registrars-view

Shows the cover of Jane Robinson's book

In the Family Way: Illegitimacy from Early Records to the Great War and the Sixties

  • 14 May 2016 2-5pm

Only a generation or two ago, illegitimacy was one of the most shameful things that could happen in a family. Unmarried mothers were considered immoral, single fathers feckless, and the children inherently defective. They were hidden away from friends and relations as guilty secrets, punished by society and denied their place in the family tree.

In the first session of this workshop, Michael Gandy covers:
- Marriage and illegitimacy before the First World War;
- How you can better understand the stigma of having an unmarried mother in the family;
- Avenues of family history research.

In the second session, Jane Robinson covers:
- Unmarried mothers;
- Absent fathers;
- Orphaned children.
This session is based on Jane's gripping book, ‘In the Family Way: Illegitimacy Between the Great War and the Swinging Sixties’ about long-buried secrets, family bonds and unlikely heroes.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This half-day course costs £20.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £16.00 is available. For us to hold a place for you, the talk must be booked and paid for in advance. You can do this by visiting our website or phoning us on 020 7553 3290.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/in-the-family-way-illegitimacy

Shows a big mind map

For Family Historians: Mind Mapping for Genealogical Problem Solving

  • 14 May 2016 10:30am-1pm

Tony Buzan coined the term 'mind mapping' in the 1970s. Mind Mapping has continued to grow in popularity, especially in education and business. Recently, genealogists have started to use mind mapping as a technique, thanks to the efforts of Ron Arons.

Join Geoff Young for a workshop on mind mapping:
- How it works;
- The growing market for mind mapping software;
- How to use mind mapping to help you solve tricky genealogical problems.

The Society of Genealogists, the National Family History Centre, hosts this talk. Visit our website to explore our extensive programme of talks, workshops, walks, visits and special events. Founded in 1911, the Society of Genealogists (SoG) has amassed a truly magnificent library and archive. It contains Britain’s largest collection of parish register copies and many nonconformist registers.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

The cost is £20.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £16.00 is available. It's easy to become a Member, visit our website www.sog.org.uk. For us to hold a place for you, the talk must be booked and paid for in advance. You can do this by visiting our website or phoning us.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/using-mind-mapping-for-genealogical-problem-solving

Shows a zeppelin crashed into the sea

Family History: The First Blitz (World War I)

  • 18 May 2016 2-3pm

From the beginning of World War I, the German military worked on plans to destroy the heart of the British Empire in a firestorm delivered from the air.

Join us as Charlie Mead describes these attacks, from the first Zeppelin airship raids of 1915 to the Gotha and Giant bombers that followed. Charlie explores the effect they had ?on London and on the civilian population, and the legacy that remains visible to the present day.

There are no special entry requirements for this talk and you do not need to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists to attend. However, this course is specifically for anyone interested in understanding more about the First World War blitz. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

This one-hour talk starts at 2.00 pm. The cost is £8.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £6.40 is available. For us to hold a place for you, the talk must be booked and paid for in advance. You can do this by visiting our website or phoning us.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/the-first-blitz-world-war-i

Shows our building

Family History Treasures at the Society of Genealogists - free talk

  • 21 May 2016 2-3pm

The Society of Genealogists has the largest genealogical library in the UK. We are the national repository for family history documents and records and we've been collecting records since 1911. Our collections relate to over 44,000 surnames. Many documents are originals and date as far back as the 15th century. Records that might otherwise have been destroyed are now safely housed within the Society’s archives.

An example of the typical documents you might find within our collections are marriage settlements, deeds, certificates, wills, photographs, newspaper clippings, probates, family coat of arms, letters and many other unusual one off documents. Not only are these documents and photographs often beautiful to look at, they also provide us with invaluable information that gives us tremendous insight as to what life must have been like for our ancestors.

You can search our treasures coming into the Society and using our catalogues. Many items are now online for you to view. Join Else Churchill, as part of our free Open Day, to find out more.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/open-day-lecture-treasures-of-the-society-of-genealogists-2

Shows someone in the Library looking at a book

An Open Day to Peek Inside - free Library Tour

  • 21 May 2016 3-4pm

Find out what's in the Society of Genealogists' Library. Our experienced staff show you what we hold on each of our 4 floors. They explain sources that you may not have used before and the demonstrate how to find material in the Catalogue and in the Library.

Tours are aimed at people new to family history and at people wanting to learn about our new resources. As part of the Open Day, you might want to sit in on a free talk or ask an expert for advice on your family tree.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk

Shows a girl exhausted and using her laptop

Starting your Family History Research - free talk

  • 21 May 2016 11am-12pm

Are you finding that the more you uncover about your family tree, the less you seem to be moving forwards? It happens all the time when you're looking for your ancestors. You've looked at the websites and read their advice, hints, tips. You're on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. You've got bits from the family - photos and certificates. But what should you do first? So that you feel you've really got somewhere.

Join Else Churchill as she offers really good advice about getting started in a practical way. As part of our Open Day at the Society of Genealogists, you could also take a tour of the library, book some advice with a genealogist or attend some of our other talks.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This one-hour talk is part of our Open Day and is free. For us to hold a place for you, the talk must be booked in advance. You can do this by visiting our website or phoning us.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/open-day-lecture-starting-your-family-history-research-2

Shows the Society of Genealogists' building

For Family Historians: Free Open Day at Society of Genealogists

  • 21 May 2016 10:30am-6pm

Join us for talks and a library tour, introducing you to the Society of Genealogists. It’s not just the collection of books, CDs, databases and microfilm - although our remarkable collection holds over 120,000 items. It’s not just the wealth of sources for the armed forces, professional directories, wills and school records - although there are 4 floors full of fascinating records. It’s not even the welcoming atmosphere from staff and volunteers - well, it is a bit about that.

Things to do during the open day
Starting your Family History Research - get advice and tips from Else Churchill, the Genealogist at the Society of Genealogy. A one-hour talk starting at 11.00 am.
Treasures of the Society of Genealogists - find out from Else Churchill about the remarkable collection held by the Society. A one-hour talk starting at 2.00 pm.
Join a Library tour, starting at 3.00 pm, lasting approximately 1.5 hours.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This Open Day is completely free. We would like you to book a place by visiting our website or phoning us on 020 7553 3290.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk

Shows a librarian opening one of the special collections

Family History Special Collections: What's Been Done Before?

  • 25 May 2016 2-3pm

Find out what the Society of Genealogists hold in their Special Collections. They could relate to your family tree and help you find out more about your ancestors.

The Society of Genealogists holds more than 350 Special Collections. Usually, a Special Collection is the work of one researcher and they can be very large. For example, one Special Collection contains the work of a retired professional genealogist, in over 100 boxes. Each Special Collection has a common theme, giving it an integrity but making it difficult to divide into separate collections of surnames. For example, the ‘Campling’ Collection contains information, records and notes on East Anglian families while the ‘Rodgers’ Collection holds manuscript pedigrees of Cornish families.

Join Else Churchill to find out more about the Society of Genealogists' Special Collections, where to find them in our Archives, and how to check whether work has been done already on your family's ancestors.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This one-hour talk starts at 2.00 pm. The cost is £8.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £6.40 is available. For us to hold a place for you, the talk must be booked and paid for in advance. You can do this by visiting our website or phoning us.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/sog-special-collections-what-has-been-done-before

Nurses at the front

Nursing through Shot and Shell: Medical Women at the Front

  • 25 May 2016 12-1pm

When War was declared in August 1914, many British women demanded the right to serve their nation. If Kitchener’s sister had only called for a million women, she would have found recruitment as easy as her brother did.

Many women assumed that Red Cross First Aid and other Proficiency certificates would provide an entrée into the charmed circle of military nursing. Others believed the War Office would welcome their professional skills as doctors and surgeons and send them on Active Service overseas. Still others imagined that their birth, breeding and total confidence in their own usefulness to the Allied cause would be as self-evident to the military authorities as to themselves. However, in 1914 the War Office believed that, apart from the small exclusive corps of professional military nurses, in wartime women should quite simply ‘go home and sit still’.

Using private and public sources of record, Dr Viv Newman brings to life some of the remarkable women who stood up to the War Office and demonstrated skill, compassion and ingenuity. Through their service on many Fronts they pushed back the boundaries of acceptable female behaviour.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This one-hour talk starts at 12.00 midday. The cost is £8.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £6.40 is available.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/nursing-through-shot-and-shell-medical-women-at-the-front

Shows an early fire engine

My Ancestor was in the Fire Brigade

  • 26 May 2016 2-3pm

Does your family have links to the Fire Brigade? Would you like to find out more about what they did and what life as a fireman was like?

In this talk, Ken Divall covers the history of the Fire Brigade in the UK, including service during WW1 and WW2. Ken will use case histories of firemen and personal papers to bring the story alive.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This one-hour talk starts at 2.00 pm. The cost is £8.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £6.40 is available. For us to hold a place for you, the talk must be booked and paid for in advance. You can do this by visiting our website or phoning us.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/my-ancestor-was-in-the-fire-brigade-2

Shows a parlour maid carrying a cup of chocolate

Upstairs, Downstairs: My Ancestor was in Domestic Service

  • 28 May 2016 10:30am-1pm

Do you have ancestors that worked as domestic servants? Did they work in places like Downton Abbey - employed in the 'Big House'? Maybe they were glorified housekeepers working for local artisans and tradesmen.

There are no specific sets of records for domestic servants. However, in this talk, Ian Waller explains that it is possible to piece together evidence from various records.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Half-day course: £20.00. Members of the Society of Genealogists: £16.00. For us to hold a place for you, the talk must be booked and paid for in advance. You can do this by visiting our website or phoning us on 020 7553 3290.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/upstairs-downstairs-my-ancestor-was-in-domestic-service

Shows a courting couple

Divorced, Bigamist, Bereaved - Marriage Law for Genealogists

  • 28 May 2016 2-5pm

It’s very likely that some of your ancestors married more than once. But why precisely? What can their remarriages tell us? How likely were they to remarry after a bereavement? What social and legal factors affected their decision? Was divorce an easy way out of marriage? If people committed bigamy, what were the likely consequences for all concerned?

Drawing on thousands of cases, from the Old Bailey to magistrates’ courts, Professor Rebecca Probert aims to give us some answers.

In the first session, Professor Probert provides new research findings on the nature and extent of remarriage in the past to help family historians interpret their ancestors’ lives.

In the second session, Professor Probert covers:
- How, when and where people married;
- The mistaken assumptions and folklore that lie beneath most accounts of pre-20th Century marriage practices;
- Describes the results of many years of painstaking primary research.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This half-day course costs £20.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £16.00 is available. For us to hold a place for you, the talk must be booked and paid for in advance. You can do this by visiting our website or phoning us on 020 7553 3290.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/divorced-bigamist-bereaved-marriage-law-for-genealogists

Shows a head full of ideas

Family History Getaway Week - London Ancestors and London Lives

  • 6 — 10 June 2016

Spend a whole week on your family history with the Society of Genealogists. The Society is hosting a five-day genealogy programme in its Library in London. Attend workshops and talks that focus on finding your London ancestors and understanding how they lived. Then, as part of the programme, explore the books, documents and records in our Library and Catalogue and have personal consultations with our Help and Advice Team looking at your family tree. Fourteen workshops and talks, help using our Library and lunch included in the cost.

London has been a major world city for centuries. Your ancestors may have come to London to do business, to learn or follow a trade, to sell goods, to work in service or as a labourer working on new buildings or the new roads and railways. Immigrants to Britain often started their new lives in London. Even if your family comes from somewhere else in England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland, it’s highly possible that some members lived in London at some time. Picking up the threads of your ancestors’ lives and joining them up with the rest of the family can be challenging.

Aims and objectives
Spread over the five days, we aim to help you to develop your understanding of how to find your London ancestors and to use your new skills to move your research forward.
• Enhance your techniques to find your London ancestors in civil registration records, the censuses and parish registers, and documents, such as wills and probate.
• Become more familiar with the resources available in the Society of Genealogists’ Library, at the London Family History Centre, on the National Archives website, and in the Westminster City Archives.
• Develop your understanding about essential need-to-know topics, such as the cemeteries of London, apprentice records, information on non conformists, using maps of London, and crime, poverty and social policy in the city.

Time for your own research
We’ve built into the programme some time each day for you to do your own research. Of course, you will want to use the Society's remarkable Library collection of over 120,000 items - 4 floors full of fascinating records. Plus we have Britain’s largest collection of parish register copies and many nonconformist registers. And you can book personal consultations with the tutors and members of the Society’s expert Help and Advice Team to discuss the challenges in your family tree.

Who should attend
Everyone researching their family history in London and building a family tree is very welcome.
Have you made a good start but are baffled by gaps and missing people and you think the answers may lie in London records? This five-day Getaway programme is ideal for you.
Have you just started and want to know what records are available and where they are? You will find many answers and get a head start in our Library during the five days.
Expect a friendly atmosphere, expert tutors and lots of detail. There is, of course, a sandwich lunch break and tea and coffee breaks during the day. Take the opportunity to get to know other people who share your interests in family history.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

The cost covers: all talks and workshops, sandwich lunch, access to our Library and personal consultations.
If you are not a Member of the Society of Genealogists: £220.00 for the full five-day course.
If you are a Member: £176.00 for the full five days.
It’s easy to become a Member and there are loads of other benefits and discounts. Visit our website (www.sog.org.uk) to find out more.

How to book
Visit our website: www.sog.org.uk
Phone us on 020 7553 3290

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/family-history-getaway-london-ancestors-london-lives

Image shows a Victorian lady standing by the coast near a pier.

Family History Getaway Week: Victorian London Family & Social History

  • 5 — 9 September 2016

Join us at the Society of Genealogists for a Family History Getaway Week. The Society is hosting this five-day programme in its Library in London. You can attend talks and workshops to find out how London Victorian families lived and how London’s social issues and local history affected their lives. Then, as part of the programme, explore the books, documents and records in our Library and Catalogue and have personal consultations with our Help and Advice Team looking at your family tree. Sixteen workshops and talks, help using our Library and lunch included in the cost.

Have you found the basic records that show where your family lived in London? Do you have an idea of the jobs they did? Perhaps you have even found the streets they lived in. But life in Victorian London was extraordinary. It was already a major world city. The wealth it produced and expended was incredible. The poverty and appalling living conditions in some areas was shocking. Your Victorian ancestors were also living in an era of rapidly developing science, transport, politics and industry. So what was it like to live in Victorian London? This Getaway Week focuses on Victorian London families: how they lived, the issues they faced, their daily lives in the context of the social and local history of London.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

The cost covers: all talks and workshops, sandwich lunch, access to our Library and personal consultations.
If you are not a Member of the Society of Genealogists: £220.00 for the full five-day course.
If you are a Member: £176.00 for the full five days.
It’s easy to become a Member and there are loads of other benefits and discounts. Visit our website (www.sog.org.uk) to find out more.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/family-history-getaway-victorian-london-family-social-history

Getting there

Our cul de sac, Charterhouse Buildings, is located off the traffic intersection at Goswell Road/Old Street. The nearest tube stations: Barbican or Old Street
Bus: 4, 56, 55, 243

Society of Genealogists
14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road
London
Greater London
EC1M 7BA
England

Website

Website

www.sog.org.uk

E-mail

Events

events@sog.org.uk

Telephone

Events bookings

020 7553 3290

General Information

020 7251 8799

Library queries

020 7702 5485

Fax

020 7250 1800

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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