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 our evening class icon and a list of what you learn

Evening Classes: Family History Skills - Stage 3

  • 15 September — 17 November 2016 *on now

Stage 3 is designed for those who already have experience of genealogical research and are familiar with the basic records. The classes include practical assignments and are suitable for students wishing to take the examinations of Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies.

What will the course cover?
- The British overseas;
- Intestacy, probate and tracing missing persons;
- Applying genetics and DNA testing for family history;
- Immigration to England;
- Chancery and other Equity Courts;
- Ecclesiastical Courts;
- Manorial records, customs and tenure;
- Land and estate documents;
- Researching before parish registers.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This class runs every Thursday evening for 10 weeks. Cost is £175.00 for all 10 classes.

Website

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

Shows the world map of Y-DNA Haplogroups

Genetics and DNA Testing for Family History

  • 29 September 2016 6-8pm *on now

Join us as we review many aspects of genetics that are applicable to the study of family history.

Geoff Swinfield covers the following:
- An introduction to the inheritance of genetic factors;
- How genetic factors produce physical features and hereditary diseases that we can trace through our pedigrees;
- How the inheritance of genetic material and its changes or mutations can provide tests for genealogists to identify the population, a family or even an individual descendant;
- How DNA tests are chosen and performed;
- Case studies to illustrate what DNA tests can, and can’t, tell us.?

Who should attend:
This class is suitable for anyone with a basic understanding of family history, even though they have no prior knowledge of genetics or DNA testing.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Evening class for 2 hours (6 to 8 pm) costs £20.00

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/evening-skills-class-genetics-dna-testing-for-family-history

Shows weavers operating a powerloom about 1835

Tracing your Textile Ancestors

  • 1 October 2016 2-5pm

If you have ancestors that worked in the textile trade, then this half-day course is a must.

Vivien Teasdale covers the following topics:
- An overview of how the textile industry developed in England and Wales;
- How the growing textile industry affected population movement;
- Possible places to find records on textile workers;
- Possible places to find records on ancestors that were managers and/or owners of textile mills.

Vivien Teasdale has written a number of books on textile mills and the Huddersfield area.

There are no special entry requirements for this course and you do not need to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists to attend. However, it is specifically for people who are beginning to search for ancestors that worked in, or owned, textile mills and are eager to understand the best ways of doing it. 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

This is a 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/tracing-your-textile-ancestors

Shows a Waterman offering his boat services to a gentleman and two ladies.

Tracing Thames Watermen: Family History and Research

  • 5 October 2016 2-5pm

Do you have ancestors that made their living on the Thames as watermen? They were an essential part of early London life. Watermen used small boats, called 'wherries' or 'skiffs' to ferry passengers along and across the Thames.

Pat Hilbert covers the following topics:
- How to research your Thames watermen ancestors;
- How to find out details of their families;
- River races, one claimed to be the oldest continually staged annual sporting event in the world;
- The watermen's links with royalty;
- The Jubilant Trust.

There are no special entry requirements for this course and you do not need to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists to attend. However, it is specifically for people who want to know more about the Thames watermen. 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

This is a 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/tracing-thames-watermen-research-family-details

Shows sailors and customs officers in an old London dock, in the 1820s

Family History: London’s Sailortown in the 19th Century

  • 8 October 2016 10:30am-1pm

By 1800 London had spawned along its riverside east of the Tower (Wapping, Shadwell, Ratcliff) one of the world's great industrial complexes. The area built and furnished ships. It equipped the men who sailed the ships to every known, and unknown, quarter of the earth.

The Thames' north bank was London's Sailortown. It was a straggling, bustling district very different from any other part of the capital. But seafaring men around the world knew the area.

Derek Morris covers the following topics:
- The changes in the area in the early part of the 19th century around the London Docks;
- How occupations changed;
- Housing and crime in Wapping, Shadwell and Ratcliff.

There are no special entry requirements for this course and you do not need to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists to attend. It is for anyone interested in the London Docks area, the history of London in the 1800s, or people who are beginning to search for their ancestors in the area and are eager to understand the best ways of doing it. 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

This is a 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/londons-sailortown-in-the-19th-century

Shows a part of our Library, with rows of books

For Family Historians: Getting the Most from the Society of Genealogists - free talk

  • 12 October 2016 12-1pm

Full of books, treasures and records, directories and databases, family papers and microfilm - what's not to like? It’s not just the collection - although it's remarkable and 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 3 floors full of fascinating records. It’s not even the welcoming atmosphere, offering a combination of research material, guidance and support for anyone interested in family history - well, it is a bit about that. If you're working on your family history, you probably won't know where to start.

That's why Else Churchill, the Society's Genealogist, is giving this free talk. She wants to tell you what's available, where to find it and make sure that you're gaining all the benefits the Society of Genealogists offers.

The Society of Genealogists is a charity whose objects are to promote, encourage and foster the study, science and knowledge of genealogy. Our Library is the foremost for family history in the British Isles with a large collection of books and other material. We also run an extensive range of courses and talks at beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This one-hour talk starts at 12 midday and is free of charge. 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 on 020 7553 3290.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/getting-the-most-from-the-society-of-genealogists-5

Shows an old document, held in our Library

For Family Historians: Getting the Most from our Online Library Catalogue - free talk

  • 12 October 2016 2-3pm

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.

In this one-hour free talk, Tim Lawrence, Head of Library Services, provides lots of information on how to use the Society Catalogue, SoGCAT. This is the Society of Genealogists' online library catalogue. It lists the details of everything in the library at our premises in London. SoGCAT is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This one-hour talk starts at 2 pm and is free of charge. 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 on 020 7553 3290.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/getting-the-most-from-sog-data-online-2

Shows an old will and a quill pen

Wills and Probate Inventories: An Invaluable Source for Family and Social Historians

  • 15 October 2016 10:30am-1pm

An inventory included with a will or probate material is a gem. Meryl Catty wants to encourage you to discover not only who your ancestors were but also something of the lives they led.

Meryl covers the following topics:
- How to research wills and probate inventories;
- Some highlighted examples to help you begin to understand the records.

There are no special entry requirements for this course and you do not need to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists to attend. However, it is specifically covering how to find and understand an inventory from a will or probate papers. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail. Tea and coffee are provided during a break in the morning.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This is a 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/wills-probate-inventories-an-invaluable-source-for-family-social

Shows a Scottish Highland family on a hill, about 1844

My Ancestor was Scottish

  • 22 October 2016 10:30am-1pm

Spend half a day with an expert on finding ancestors in Scotland.

Alan Stewart covers the following topics:
- Birth, marriage and death records in Scotland;
- How to find the records;
- Using church records;
- Using the census records;
- What is available on the web.

Alan is author of the Society’s popular book 'My Ancestor was Scottish', available in out Bookshop.

There are no special entry requirements for this course and you do not need to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists to attend. However, it is specifically for people who are search for people from Scotland in their family tree and are eager to understand the best ways of doing it. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail. Tea and coffee are provided during a break in the morning.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This is a 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/my-ancestor-was-scottish-3

Shows books, charts, diagrams, forms - all used by genealogists

Careers in Genealogy: The Road to AGRA and Running a Genealogical Practice

  • 22 October 2016 2-5pm

Are you thinking of doing genealogical research as a paid professional? If you read the classified ads in the many family history magazines, you will find there is no shortage of offers of research for a fee.

But if you advertised, how would someone know that they could trust you with their money and trust your research findings? How would they be sure that you are competent, running a quality business or just making a quick buck?

There are many issues around actually running a genealogical practice. Ian Marson covers:
- An insight into what is really involved in having a successful practice;
- How membership of AGRA (The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives) is an advantage to professional genealogists.

There are no special entry requirements for this course and you do not need to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists to attend. However, it is specifically for people who want to know about setting up their own practice. 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

This is a 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/careers-in-genealogy-the-road-to-agra-running-a-genealogical-practi-3

Shows soldiers, explorer, civil servants and civilians, in India

For Family Historians: The British Indian Civil Service

  • 26 October 2016 2pm

As the power and territories of the East India Company began to increase, it slowly realized that it had to assume responsibilities for the governance of its new citizens. These responsibilities included collecting tax, controlling expenditure, even maintaining law and order. 

Initially, governance was assumed by the military and trading authorities. But they were quite untrained in civil, municipal or legal management, and widespread corruption ensued. However, Clive (Lord Robert Clive of India) returned to India to reinstate order and, with input from Warren Hastings, he formulated a system of Civil Service which became the envy of the world and frequently copied in London.

Peter Bailey covers:
- The history of the Service from its inception in the late 18th century to its peak in the early 20th;
- The handover to India, Pakistan and other newly governed countries at their Independence;
- The sources of biographical and service records relating to your ancestors, frequently referred to as 'the Heaven Born'. They maintained and controlled the 'Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire'.

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 interested in the Indian civil service. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This one-hour 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/the-british-indian-civil-service

Shows generations of a family

Tracing Ancestors in Oxfordshire

  • 29 October 2016 10:30am-1pm

Join Sue Honore and Jessica Feinstein to find out about the amazing amount of information available for family historians with people from Oxfordshire on their family trees.

Sue and Jessica cover:
- An overview of how to research your Oxfordshire ancestors;
- The information and records available online;
- What's available in local archives, including new and more obscure sources;
- Some of the projects undertaken by local genealogists and family historians and how these might help you with your own research.

There are no special entry requirements for this course and you do not need to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists to attend. However, it is specifically for people who are searching for their ancestors in Oxfordshire and are eager to understand the best ways of doing it. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail. Tea and coffee are provided during a break in the morning.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This is a 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/tracing-ancestors-in-oxfordshire

Shows an old map of County Durham, dated at 1610

Tracing Family History in County Durham

  • 29 October 2016 2-5pm

The historic County Durham lies between the Rivers Tyne and Tees.

In a packed half-day course, Dr Douglas Burdon covers:
- Where the archives and other resources are, including those outside the boundaries of the current County;
- Where to find records online;
- What you can find in parish registers, nonconformist registers, monumental inscription copies and newspapers and where to look;
- Where to find other records and how to use them: poll books, guild records, occupational records, probate records, land tax, tithe maps, Halmote Court records, Dean and Chapter leases and Durham Chancery Court records.

There are no special entry requirements for this course and you do not need to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists to attend. However, it is specifically for people who are searching for their ancestors in County Durham and are eager to understand the best ways of doing it. 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

This is a 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/tracing-family-history-in-county-durham

Shows stickmen playing with PowerPoint icons

PowerPoint for Professional Genealogists and Family Historians

  • 2 November 2016 2-3pm

MS PowerPoint is traditionally used by lecturers and teachers to help people learn. In this talk, John Hanson shows how family historians and genealogists can use this flexible software for their own family stories and trees.

John covers:
- What to think about in terms of design;
- How to add photos;
- How to insert or link to an external file;
- How to automate a presentation.

Admission

One-hour talk: £8.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogist: £6.40

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/powerpoint-for-professional-genealogists-family-historians

Shows a post it note with the words 'Writing your family history'.

Writing Family History

  • 5 November 2016 10:30am-5pm
  • 26 November 2016 10:30am-5pm
  • 3 December 2016 10:30am-5pm

A series of three practical, creative writing workshops that will enable you to bring the story of your ancestors to life.

Objective
To guide participants through the different phases of writing and editing. You will engage in writing and producing your family history. At the end of the three workshops, you will be well on the way to having a body of work ready for publication or display.

Part 1 aims to help you to start writing your family history. Gill covers:
- Choosing a writing style and format;
- Deciding what to include;
- Understanding how to add social, geographical and local history contexts;
- How to expand your family history biography.

At the end of the day, there will be an analysis and review of progress. Please bring a small family history related object with you to this first workshop.

Part 2 aims to develop your writing further. Gill covers:
- How to use secondary materials that relate to an area, the people, their trades, the historical period, and your ancestors' experiences. This might include biographies, autobiographies, memoirs and oral histories;
- How to build background material;
- How to handle family stories, missing pieces and anomalies.

Part 3 aims to develop your skills in layout and final production. Gill covers:
- How to review your own work, including editing;
- How to present your work, including layout and images;
- How to approach printing and publishing.

Due to the intensive nature of this workshop, spaces are limited. You can choose to just attend Part 1. But a requirement for Part 2 is that you have already attended Part 1. In the same way. a requirement for Part 3 is that you have attended Parts 1 and 2.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Cost for each one-day course: £35. Members of the Society of Genealogists receive a discounted price: £28.00 for each one-day course.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/writing-family-history-part-1-4

Shows a huge question mark

Copyright for Family History

  • 9 November 2016 2-3pm

Copyright can be a complicated issue and many family historians are unsure about its application. It can apply to photographs, diaries, paintings, film clips and many other works. In this talk, staff from the Intellectual Property Office, talk about some of the issues you might face in your family history. They cover: how long copyright lasts; when you might need permission to use the works; what to do if you cannot find the copyright holder.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official government body responsible for intellectual property rights including patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.

This talk will be especially useful for anyone considering publication of their family history.

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/copyright-for-family-history-2

Stick men working on a large WWW

Creating a Website for Your Family History

  • 12 November 2016 10:30am-1pm

Putting your family history online is a great idea. It allows you to share your story with family members. It also enables you to connect with others researching the same surnames.

This half-day course is aimed at beginners to web design, who are interested in setting up a website and publishing their family history to it.

Paul Carter covers:
- Basic terminology;
- How to obtain and set up web space;
- How to create a web page and then link your web pages together to form a website;
- How to set up and publish to the Internet, using Wordpress, including output from family history software;
- Blogging;
- Other useful techniques for making your research available globally;
- Time for a question and answer session.

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/creating-a-website-for-family-history

Shows a rate book for parish of Kings Norton

Under-used Sources for Family Historians: Rate Books

  • 23 November 2016 2-3pm

Have you ever thought of exploring rate books to find people on your family tree? It can be a really good idea, although many family historians just don't think of it. For a start, rate books name the property's owners and the occupiers for specific dates. So you could pinpoint the name of the head of a household between censuses, or even use it as a kind of substitute when census entries are missing.

Sophie Pigott covers:
- The different types of rates that were recorded;
- Where to find these big books. when they survive;
- How to use rate books efficiently.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

One-hour talk: £8.00
If you are a Member of the Society of Genealogists: £6.40.
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/under-used-sources-for-family-historians-rate-books

An example of a record from the 1939 Register

Family History: 20th Century Perspectives

  • 30 November 2016 2-3pm

It feels like it should be easier to find ancestors living in the 20th century than those living in the 19th, but sometimes, it can be harder to research after 1911. Many records are still closed while others offer challenges when we try to search for our family names particularly as there will be no census for English and Welsh genealogy in 1931 or 1941.

In this talk Else Churchill looks at distinct features of 20th Century life and the sources and techniques genealogists might use to supplement this gap such as divorce, the 1939 Register, local directories, electoral records, social media and the internet.

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/20th-century-perspectives

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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