Society of Genealogists

Shows the SoG building, standing outside and looking up to Clerkenwell Road
Guided tours icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

The Society of Genealogists offers a wonderful combination of research material, expert guidance and practical support for anyone interested in family history or social history.

We are a charity whose objects are to promote, encourage and foster the study, science and knowledge of genealogy. We were founded in 1911 and ever since then we've been collecting family history documents - long before local record offices opened.

We are the National Family History Centre and families have always deposited their family history documents and records with us for safe keeping. So, we have documents and items that you might not expect to find.

We are committed to an education and skills programme, delivering a wide range of talks, walks and and courses for people new to family history, social and family historians, and genealogists. Our family history Free Access Area in the Lower Library offers free access to most of the pay-per-view genealogy websites.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive, Association or society

Opening hours

Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday: 10-6
Thursday: 10-8
Closed: Sunday, Monday, Friday

Admission charges

Regular free talks on Wednesdays
Free Library Tours every second Saturday
One-hour talk: £8.00
Half-day course: £20.00
Full-day course: £35.00
Access to our Library and databases for research: small fee payable at Reception

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.
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Stage 1 Family History Skills - Evening Classes

  • 24 May 2018 6-8pm
  • 31 May 2018 6-8pm
  • 7 June 2018 6-8pm
  • 14 June 2018 6-8pm
  • 21 June 2018 6-8pm
  • 28 June 2018 6-8pm

Join us at the Society of Genealogists’ popular evening course to develop your family history skills. Wanting to know about our own family’s history is a very natural feeling. Understanding what shaped our ancestors’ lives makes history come alive and helps us see our place in it. Most of us enjoy meeting and learning from expert genealogists and we find others’ ancestry almost as fascinating as our own.

The Society of Genealogists offer Family History Skills for anyone that is interested in genealogy and wants to explore their family history. In a carefully, well rounded curriculum, our Tutors introduce the records that count and help you use them effectively.

Deadline to enrol: 27 March 2018

Who is this course for?
There are no specific requirements or special knowledge needed for you to attend Stage 1. The classes are ideal for people wanting to be better at building their family tree and for anyone thinking about becoming a genealogist. You can expect an entertaining and enjoyable experience.

Evening classes can be a great way to study genealogy. Away from all the other pressures of life for two hours, you can focus on how to find your ancestors and flesh out your family's history. You'll spend time with other people in the class that share your interests and are as keen as you are to learn new skills.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Total price for all 13 weeks: £225.00

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/stage-1-evening-skills-course-7

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For family historians: free one-to-one internet advice sessions

  • 26 May 2018 10:30am-2:45pm

If you are researching your family history, you've probably discovered a number of websites offering lots of genealogical information. It's a good idea to know how to use these websites, especially the best ways to search their vast databases. You might also feel that you're not really very expert at going online at all.

Why not book a free, one-to-one advice session with our tutor? For 45 minutes, our tutor can show you how to search some of the websites (such as Ancestry and Findmypast), help you understand a bit more about what is available online, and give advice on any other online issues you might have.

Come for the whole day and increase your chances of success at finding your ancestors and building your family tree. You can search our online Catalogue, look for books or records in our Library and Archives, and then, using the public PCs in the Lower Library, find out what the family history websites hold.

This tutorial is free to all. However, if you aren't a Member of the Society of Genealogists you will have to pay a small fee to use our Library and Archives.

Admission

Free, 45 minute session

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses

Shows a portrait of William Penn, a Quaker, painted in 1666.

My Ancestor was a Quaker

  • 23 May 2018 2-3pm

The Religious Society of Friends began as a movement in England in the mid-17th century in Lancashire. Members are informally known as Quakers, as they were said "to tremble in the way of the Lord". The Society of Friends has been influential in the history of reform, through the founding or reforming of various institutions, both in the UK and abroad. This includes the abolition of slavery, promoting equal rights for women, and the education and humane treatment of prisoners and the mentally ill.

In this talk, Michael Gandy looks at how one might trace Quakers in the family and how to learn more about the lives they led.

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

£8.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £6.40

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/my-ancestor-was-a-quaker

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A History of Soho through its Street Names

  • 24 May 2018 2-3pm

Soho tells its story through its street names: land ownership, historical events, architects and builders, residential and industrial glories. The names of the streets are part of this bohemian district’s history as it retains and displays its multicultural influences with pride.

Admission

£8.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £6.40

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/a-history-of-soho-through-its-street-names

Shows lots of papers relating to the surname Norris

Whats in a Name?  A Closer Look at Surnames and Forenames

  • 26 May 2018 10:30am-1pm

This half-day course has two sessions:
Session 1 –Surnames - A Guide To Family Name Research In The 21St Century – Debbie Kennett
Based on her book, ‘The Surnames Handbook: A Guide To Family Name Research In The 21St Century’ this talk will take you through all of the steps needed to trace the origins of your surname and shows how to follow your family history back as far as possible. It is thrilling to discover incidences of your own surname that can appear in the 1300 or 1400s.
Session 2 - In Pursuit of Lot’s! Using Forenames to Build the Family Tree – Sue Swalwell
All too often we accept given names without much thought about their choice. But a new or changed pattern of naming can be an important event to consider. In this session, the speaker demonstrates how paying more attention to the usual and unusual naming patterns within the family can:
- Provide a shortcut to tracking individual families within the ancestral family;
- Demonstrate migration patterns of the ancestral and the collateral family within the UK and globally;
- Provide evidence of a link to a significant family event that triggered the introduction of the unusual surname.

Admission

£20.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £16.00

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/whats-in-a-name-a-closer-look-at-surnames-forenames

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Lord Mayors and Liveries of London

  • 6 June 2018 2-3pm

In this talk, Joe Studman looks at the history of the guilds of the City of London. He describes their beginnings as craft mysteries, and continues through to their development as powerful merchants controlling trade in London.

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. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail.

Admission

£8.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £6.40

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/lord-mayors-and-liveries-of-london

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Evernote for Family Historians - Beyond Fundamentals

  • 9 June 2018 10:30am-1pm

Expand your knowledge of this useful tool as it pertains to family history research. Bring Evernote into your research workflows to assist you in the collection of the data that makes up your family history.

Learn how to:
- Make use of templates for commonly generated notes;
- Create individual research journals;
- Set up checklists;
- Use tags to more easily collate common information.
- Automatically sync across all of your devices.

The basic version of Evernote is free and very feature rich.

A laptop or iPad is not required, but you are welcome to bring one along if you wish.

Admission

£20.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £16.00

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/evernote-for-family-historians-beyond-fundamentals

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For Family Historians: Following the Money

  • 9 June 2018 2-5pm

Session 1: Financial Records for Family Historians – with Dr Gwyneth Wilkie
This talk follows the money in records other than Wills, looking at what can be learnt about our ancestors in areas as varied as churchwardens' accounts, bastardy bonds, household budgets and insurance documents. New forms of record-keeping prompted new forms of dishonesty. Two types of records lead us back towards Wills: disputes about inheritance often came before Chancery and other courts, revealing details of people's lives which would otherwise have remained hidden.  We will also see how the Death Duty Registers, although not easy to use, can simplify and supplement the information found in Wills.

Session 2: Wills and Probate Records for Family Historians – with  Else Churchill
This talk will look at wills and administrations. We will discover other related probate documents such as accounts, inventories, appeals and disputes which show the wishes of our ancestors and how their estates might be dispersed. It will also include a brief over view of unclaimed estates and bankruptcy with items on monetary records from the SoG library.

Admission

£20.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £16.00

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/following-the-money

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Careers in Genealogy: Want to be a Professional?

  • 13 June 2018 2-3pm

Many family historians would love to turn their rewarding hobby into an equally rewarding  business.  Antony Marr, chair of the AGRA Board of Assessors, talks about how to make that a reality.

The session covers establishing yourself as a business, possible qualifications to achieve, joining professional bodies and accreditation, costs, charges, business plans and the numerous other things to consider.

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. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail.

Admission

£8.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £6.40

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/careers-in-genealogy-want-to-be-a-professional

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Checking it Once or Twice: Comparing Genealogy Programs

  • 20 June 2018 2-3pm

Jan Gow compares the most used genealogy programs and suggests a list to help you compare them. This will help you to decide which special features are the ones you can't do without.

On Jan's list are: data entry, sources, resources, charts, reports, research and most important - enjoyment!

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.

Admission

£8.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £6.40

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/checking-it-once-or-twice-comparing-genealogy-programs

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Getting Started: Family History for Beginners

  • 23 June 2018 10:30am-1pm

Starting out on family history research? Find out where to start, the sources you can use and what you can do online. In this half-day course for beginners, Dave Annal introduces the key sources for family history research and some of the most important websites. He also looks at strategies and techniques to help you to get the best out of your research.

There are no special entry requirements for this workshop 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 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

£20.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £16.00

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/getting-started-family-history-for-beginners

Shows a family sitting outside a farmhouse.

My Ancestor...came from Northamptonshire

  • 23 June 2018 2-5pm

In this half-day course, Dr Colin Chapman introduces the sources available in Northamptonshire, the SoG Library and elsewhere, that you can use to discover more about the lives of ancestors who came from Northamptonshire. He includes examples of religious and civil organisations that have existed in the County, and the numerous records created that are full of data on ancestors.

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. Tea and coffee are provided during a break in the afternoon.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£20.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £16.00

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/my-ancestor-came-from-northamptonshire

Shows a very old will

For Family Historians: Further Palaeography

  • 30 June 2018 10:30am-5pm

A full-day, interactive workshop aimed at those who wish to improve their skills and fluency in reading 16th and 17th century handwriting. The documents used are in English - teaching Latin is not included.

Working in pairs on facsimiles, you have the opportunity to choose documents from a range of handwriting styles. David Smith gives individual attention to each pair, as you work. He also gives practical tips on how to tackle unfamiliar scripts.

If there is time, David offers to help you with your own difficult documents or advise you on problems in your research.

Please note: This course is not suitable for beginners.

This is a very intensive course and places are limited.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Full-day course: £35.00. Members of the Society of Genealogists: £28.00. 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/further-palaeography-2

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

Find out more on our 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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