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 screen from the software

Family Historian Software - Practical Workshop

  • 25 June 2016 10:30am-1pm *on now

Family Historian is a powerful, award-winning genealogy program, with comprehensive features designed to meet the needs of anyone new to family history research and the needs of experts. Version 6.2 of Family Historian was released in April 2016. It is a free update for version 6 users. It adds automatic record matching and ‘hints’ for Findmypast databases.

In this half-day workshop, John Hanson provides practical help in getting the most from Family Historian. The sessions during the day are designed specifically for UK users.

Please bring a laptop with you. And, of course, bring all your questions about using the software.

Important: This workshop covers using the Family Historian software. The workshop does not cover general family history 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/family-historian-software-practical-2016

Shows a manorial record from 1362

Family History: Manorial Records and Title Deeds

  • 25 June 2016 2-5pm *on now

Do you have ancestors that lived on a manor? They may have paid rent to the lord of the manor. They may have played a role in the local court of law. The manor was an important feature of the local community. Manorial documents include any documents created as part of the administration of the manor. They are often found in family and estate archives. Of course, owners needed to be able to establish proof that they owned the land or had rights and privileges. The content of title deeds may vary and are often legally complex. The half-day workshop aims to help you understand more about your ancestors' lives and suggest where you might find more information.

In the first session, Les Mitchinson looks at what life on the manor was like as well as the records.

In the second session, Les covers title deeds that establish family links and identify the ancestral home.

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/manorial-records-title-deeds

Prison ship at Deptford

Hell Upon Water: The Infamous Prison Ships of England 1793-1815

  • 29 June 2016 2-3pm

During the Napoleonic Wars, more than 200,000 prisoners of war, from many nations, were held at Dartmoor, Norman Cross and in prison ships or hulks. These prison ships had an ominous reputation. French prisoners dreaded being sent to one. But did you know that the British blamed Napoleon for the increasing use of prison hulks? Paul Chamberlain tells us about life in hell upon the water.

There are no special entry requirements and you do not need to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists. This talk is for anyone who is tracing their family ancestors. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail.

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/open-day-lecture-starting-your-family-history-research-2

Miners' training at Aberaman

Miners in Your Family? Discover More About Their Lives

  • 2 July 2016 2-5pm

Many of us have ancestors that were miners - maybe recently in the 1900s or maybe in earlier times in Cornwall or Devon. They lived hard lives although they were close-knit communities. Join Eirwen Palmer to find out about the resources available that will enable you to look closely at their lives. Eirwen also talks about coal mining deaths and where to find more information on them.

There are no special entry requirements and you do not need to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists to attend. This talk is for anyone who is tracing their family ancestors. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail.

About the Society of Genealogists, the National Family History Centre: 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 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/births-marriages-and-deaths-at-sea

Shows a brickwall with faces coming through

Breaking Down Brick Walls: What’s Been Done Before?

  • 7 July 2016 6-8pm

This workshop gives you an opportunity to tackle genealogical brick walls and conundrums in a group environment. Else Churchill, the Society's Genealogist, presents a step by step guide for identifying manuscript and printed genealogical research material in the Society's Library.

This is one in a series of workshops aimed at breaking down brick walls. In each one, the tutor introduces a common topic or problem - one that often comes up during the Society’s regular consultations or advice sessions. The tutor's aim is to make sure that you know what you need to know so that you can tackle the problem.

Then, acting as a facilitator, the tutor opens up the session to the group, allowing questions and discussions about your genealogical queries that may (but not exclusively) be related to the topic under discussion.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This two-hour talk starts at 6.00 pm. The cost is £20.00. 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.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/breaking-down-brickwalls-workshop-whats-been-done-before

Shows a phone and a small device

Using Handheld Technologies for Family Historians

  • 9 July 2016 10:30am-1pm

They fit easily into your bag. They're not that heavy. You can take photos, surf websites, read documents, watch tutorial videos. What's not to like about the latest phones and tablets?

This workshop helps you get even better at using your tablet and smartphone to record and manage your family history research. Graham Walter helps you explore and learn more about specific family history apps for smartphones and tablet computing devices. He also covers some non-family history tools that can enhance your workflows.

The mobile technologies covered include: iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets, and Windows phones and tablets.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This half-day course costs is £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.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/using-handheld-technologies-for-the-family-historian

Shows images from old breweries

Researching Your Brewery and Publican Ancestors

  • 13 July 2016 2-3pm

The public house used to be a centre of the community and innkeepers were often respected local figures. In addition, most towns and villages had a brewery or two providing beer to slake everyone's thirst - from princes to paupers.

Simon Fowler covers the main sources to use if you have a publican or a brewer in your family tree. He also looks at the changing nature of the public house, from a simple beer house to a gaudy gin palace. Unfortunately, there are no free samples!

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 ancestors involved in breweries and public houses and are eager to understand the best ways of doing it. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This is a 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/upstairs-downstairs-my-ancestor-was-in-domestic-service

Shows the main websites for genealogy

Breaking Down Family History Brick Walls: Getting the Best from Commercial Websites

  • 14 July 2016 2-3pm

This workshop gives you an opportunity to tackle genealogical brick walls and conundrums in a group environment. After all two heads (or more) are usually better than one! John Hanson presents guided search techniques for exploriing online databases.

This is one in a series of workshops aimed at breaking down brick walls. In each one, the tutor introduces a common topic or problem - one that often comes up during the Society’s regular consultations or advice sessions. The tutor's aim is to make sure that you know what you need to know so that you can tackle the problem.

Then, acting as a facilitator, the tutor opens up the session to the group, allowing questions and discussions about your genealogical queries that may (but not exclusively) be related to the topic under discussion.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This one-hour talk costs £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 on 020 7553 3290.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/breaking-down-brickwalls-workshop-how-to-get-the-best-from-commercial

Shows a map of cultural London

Lost in London: Solving Your London Family History Problems

  • 16 July 2016 10:30am-1pm

Tracing your ancestors back to the period before civil registration and the Victorian census returns can present a genuine challenge to most family historians. But if your family came from London, the problems that you're likely to face can be even harder to overcome.

The population of London doubled between 1801 and 1841 making it the most populated city in the world. Outlying villages were swallowed up as London spread ever outwards - the boundaries of what constituted London were constantly being redrawn. The administration of the area was enormously complicated - the City of London alone comprised over 100 parishes. The records of the various authorities responsible for running London are now spread across different record offices.

In this talk, Dave Annal covers:
- how to access the capital's diverse collection of records;
- how to effectively use them;
- useful tips on tracking down your elusive London ancestors.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This half-day workshop 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/lost-in-london-solving-your-london-family-history-problems

Shows a ferry at Fowey

My Ancestor Came from Cornwall

  • 16 July 2016 2-5pm

West Country expert Kirsty Gray highlights the fascinating details that you can uncover about where your Cornish ancestors lived and worked. Kirsty offers practical help and specific reference to research sources,

Topics covered:
- the distinctive features, identity and character of Cornwall;
- the occupations your ancestors might have had;
- some of the notable characters of the region;
- individuals that hit the headlines for a variety of Cornish reasons.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This half-day course starts at 2.00 pm. The cost is £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.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/tracing-your-european-ancestors

Shows a web page from the catalogue

Getting the Most from the Society Catalogue (SoGCAT) - free talk

  • 20 July 2016 12-1pm

There's nothing more exciting for a family historian than to find a document belonging or relating to one of their ancestors. With our extensive and ever growing collections, many more people are making these discoveries. The Society of Genealogists was founded in 1911. Ever since then we've been collecting family history documents, long before the arrival of local record offices - even typewriters were new. The Society became the National Family History Centre and is the UK-wide repository for family history documents and records. So, we have documents and items that you might not expect to find.

The Society Catalogue, SoGCAT, is the Society of Genealogists' online library catalogue. It lists the details of everything in the library at our premises in London. Members can view some of our databases using SoG Data Online. To search other items listed in the SoGCAT, you must either visit the Library or use the Society's Search and Copy Service. SoGCAT is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. In this one-hour free talk, Tim Lawrence, Head of Library Services, provides lots of information on how to use SoGCAT.

About Tim Lawrence: Tim has worked at the Society since 1998, during which time he has gained a wide ranging knowledge of its unique family history library and archive. A member of the Society in the early 1980s, he has been researching his own family history for more than 30 years, tracing them back to 16th century Lancashire.

There are no special entry requirements and you do not need to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists. This talk is for anyone who is tracing their family ancestors. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This is a free talk starting at midday.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/getting-the-most-from-the-society-catalogue-sogcat-3

Shows a DNA map of the world

In Search of Our Ancient Ancestors - Surname Origins and DNA Tests

  • 20 July 2016 2-3pm

Find out more about your ancient ancestors, using records, surname origins and Deep Ancestry DNA testing. We all have a fundamental desire to understand who we are and where we came from. Anthony Adolph has plenty of ideas.

Find out about the records, oral history, study of surname origins, archaeology, fossil-hunting, genetic testing, ancient origin myths and even the science of the Big Bang. You can bring all these tools together for tracing your ancestry as far back as possible.

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 searching for their ancestors and are eager to understand the best ways of doing it. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This one-hour talk costs £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/fleshing-out-your-family-tree

Shows a quill and old documents

Breaking Down Family History Brick Walls: Advanced Probate Searching

  • 21 July 2016 6-8pm

This workshop gives you an opportunity to tackle genealogical brick walls and conundrums in a group environment. After all two heads (or more) are usually better than one! Dr Geoff Swinfield tackles finding all the possible probate material there is to find and understanding how it can be used to help genealogical research.

This is one in a series of workshops aimed at breaking down brick walls. In each one, the tutor introduces a common topic or problem - one that often comes up during the Society’s regular consultations or advice sessions. The tutor's aim is to make sure that you know what you need to know so that you can tackle the problem.

Then, acting as a facilitator, the tutor opens up the session to the group, allowing questions and discussions about your genealogical queries that may (but not exclusively) be related to the topic under discussion.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This two-hour workshop costs £20.00.

Website

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

Shows Irish genealogy books in our Library

Tracing Irish Ancestors - for Intermediate to Advanced Researchers

  • 23 July 2016 10:30am-5pm

A full day to help you find records about your Irish ancestors. Roz McCutcheon and Jill Williams have planned 8 sessions throughout the day, of about 25 minutes each, allowing time for your questions and their answers.

Who should attend
Anyone already tracing, or wanting to trace, their Irish family history. You should understand the basics of family research and the basics about Irish records. If you're not sure, please contact us and we'll help you decide.

Topics covered:
- An in-depth look at the Registry of Deeds for the 18th and 19th centuries;
- A detailed look at 19th century Land Records;
- Church records and other sources of births, marriages and deaths from the mid-1600s onward;
- Irish military records in the 20th century;
- An illustration of the 1600s, with its huge land ownership changes, using the story of one family – a married couple arriving in Ireland in the first decade, whose sons fight on opposing sides during the Cromwellian Campaign, and whose grandsons (two devoted brothers) fight on opposing sides in the Williamite Wars near the end of the century.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This full-day course costs £35.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £28.00 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/family-history-on-the-mac-2

Shows a class at SoG

Using the ScotlandsPeople® Website

  • 27 July 2016 2-3pm

Join us for a talk from Ian Williamson on how to use the ScotlandsPeople® website.

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 £8.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £6.40 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 the areas in the Bucks county

Family History: Your Buckinghamshire Ancestors

  • 30 July 2016 10:30am-1pm

Do you have ancestors from Bucks in your family tree? In this half-day course, Antony Marr aims to help you find out more about the historic county of Buckinghamshire and find your ancestors' records.

Topics covered:
- the history and geography of Bucks;
- where to find your ancestors' records in the county;
- other records available outside the county.

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 in Buckinghamshire. 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/your-buckinghamshire-ancestors

Shows some archived very old manuscript

Family History: What Can't be Done Online

  • 30 July 2016 2-5pm

What is genealogy for you? A pastime, a hobby, an obsession? Do you happily browse all the online family record providers, finding transcriptions, indexes and digitised records? We all do. But what about all the stuff that isn't online? There's hundreds of thousands of sources hidden away in our nation's archives, libraries and other repositories.

Kirst Gray wants you to get out of your office and 'get your hands dirty'! In this half-day workshop, Kirsty is covering:
- some of the sources that aren't available online;
- how to find these offline items;
- the fascinating information you'll find in them.

Just to make sure that you get what you need, please email Kirsty (kirsty@family-wise.co.uk) to tell her about the specific records that you'd like to find.

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, you would benefit most if you have already started your family tree and you've used online searches to find records and details. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail. Tea and coffee are provided during a break in the afternoon.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Half-day workshop: £20.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, there is a discounted price of £16.00 For usto hold a place for you, the talk must be booked 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/what-cannot-be-done-online

Shows a map of London burning

Fire and Pestilence: The Great Fire of London and Family History

  • 3 September 2016 10:30am-5pm

The Great Fire of London is one of the biggest disasters in London’s history – some believe it to be the biggest of all. Join us for a whole day, at the Society of Genealogists, to explore the story of the Great Fire and how it affected Londoners and London. Attend talks and workshops covering the parts of London that burnt, where to find records on Londoners who lived through it and what happened when the Fire stopped. Lunch is provided, giving you a full day with us.

The Great Fire began on 2 September 1666 and destroyed one-third of London. It had a devastating effect on the lives of Londoners, from all parts of society. The diarist Samuel Pepys recorded events each day and helps us to relive those five frightening days as London burned. “So near the fire as we could for smoke; and all over the Thames, with one’s faces in the wind, you were almost burned with a shower of fire-drops”, wrote Pepys about the evening of the 2nd.

Topics covered
Throughout the day, our speakers Gustav Milne, Vanessa Harding and Pete Smith aim to help you develop your understanding of how Londoners survived the Fire and what their lives were like during it and afterwards.

Learn more about the events of the five days that the Fire burned and what happened after it ended.

Find out about the records available relating to Londoners that lived in the city during the time of the Fire.

Understand the area of London the Fire covered and where to find the surviving geographic and land records.

Consider the effect that the Fire had on the Great Plague of 1665 in London.

Who should attend
Can you trace your family back to the 1600s? Expect a wealth of detail from the speakers that will expand your understanding of their lives and maybe uncover records you hadn’t thought about.

Do you want to know more about how London changed and evolved because of the Great Fire and the Great Plague? The speakers aim to cover where the Fire burnt and the changes that inevitably came afterwards.

Are you fascinated by the social history of London because it helps you to understand your own family stories? Expect to learn about 1660s London, giving you a basis for the London that your ancestors lived in.

As a genealogist or someone training to be a genealogist, this full day will enhance your understanding of this period of history.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

The cost covers: all talks and lunch.
If you are not a Member of the Society of Genealogists: £35.00.
If you are a Member: £28.00.
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/fire-pestilence-the-great-fire-of-london-family-history

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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