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.
Shows a carter with his horse.

Family History: Tithes and Taxes

  • 31 January 2018 2-3pm

Paying tithes and taxes probably didn’t please our ancestors. But the records give us a valuable and under-used resource that helps us to find out so much more about their lives.

Michael Gandy explains how to access the records and how to use them.

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

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

Website

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

Photo showing a man and wife, in Victorian style clothing.

Family History: Tracing your Catholic Ancestors

  • 3 February 2018 10:30am-1pm

In this half-day course, find out how to use the large amount of historical records available to help you unlock your Catholic ancestors' past.

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/tracing-your-catholic-ancestors

Shows three young women from the 1920s

Tracing your Female Ancestors and Suffragettes

  • 3 February 2018 2-5pm

Family historians are often accused of interesting themselves only in the male lines of their ancestry, following the history of the surname. Older pedigree compilations often ignore the daughters of a family, leaving it difficult to establish the distaff line.
 
In the first session, find out about the sources that you can use to throw more light into the lives of your ancestresses and hear their voices.
 
In the second session, learn more about the story of the fight for the vote for women, concentrating on the militant fight by the Women's Social & Political Union (the Suffragettes). This includes finding out about the Suffragettes who went to prison, force-feeding and other government responses, and how the vote was won during the Great War.

Admission

This half-day course runs from 2.00 to 5.00 pm and 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, please book and pay 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-female-ancestors-suffragettes-2

Shows an image taken from our Middle Library

For Family Historians: Free Saturday Library Tours

  • 3 February 2018 11am-1pm
  • 17 February 2018 11am-1pm

At the Society of Genealogists, we're passionate about family history. Since we started in 1911, we've been collecting family history documents, long before the arrival of local record offices - even typewriters were new. As the National Family History Centre, we are the UK-wide repository for family history documents, images and records. So, we have items that you might not expect to find.

Join our free, guided tours to discover three floors of family history treasures and records, directories and databases - over 120,000 items. Your guide will explain how you can explore our books, CDs, databases and microfilm. You'll get a flavour of our collection of parish register copies and nonconformist registers. Our 'Special', 'Document' and 'Typographical' collections contain amazing items steeped in the UK's rich and diverse cultural heritage. Our collections relate to over 44,000 surnames - yours is probably included. Many documents are originals and some date back to the 15th century.

Our tours are free, only 1½ hours long, and they're every second Saturday.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This is a free tour.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/tour-of-the-society-library-3-feb-18

Shows the external walls of Charterhouse.

History of the London Charterhouse

  • 7 February 2018 2-3pm

The Charterhouse has been living the nation’s history since 1348.  Founded as a burial ground for victims of the Black Death, a Carthusian monastery was built on the site which prospered for 160 years until it was dissolved by agents of King Henry VIII.  A grand mansion was built from monastic ruin inhabited by some of the most notable Tudor figures of the day.  But it was in 1611 that Thomas Sutton purchased the site and established the country’s most significant charity which still bears his name.  In January 2017 the Charterhouse opened to the public for the first time in its 669 year history with a museum and tour offer.

The Society of Genealogists is hosting this one-hour talk with Walter Bamford at the Society's Library and Archives in London.

Admission

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

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/history-of-the-london-charterhouse

A painting of men arriving at the Court of Chancery

Records of the Great Courts: Chancery and Exchequer

  • 10 February 2018 10:30am-1pm

Our ancestors used the Great Courts to sue each other. The records can be full of details of families and relationships and information on how people lived.

You don't need wealthy ancestors for the records to be interesting. Aristocrats came to court about marriage settlements, business people came about debts and contracts, yeomen about leases - and our poor ancestors came to give evidence. Something for everyone!

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

Admission

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

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/records-of-the-great-courts-chancery-exchequer-etc

Shows Varenna, on Lake Como

Reading and Understanding Italian Genealogical Records

  • 10 February 2018 2-5pm

In this half-day workshop with Lynn Serafinn, learn how to interpret and translate information found in Italian genealogical records. In this practical, hands-on workshop, work from print-outs of a variety of records spanning nearly four centuries, from the mid-1500s to the early 20th century.
 
Let Lynn guide you through the many idiosyncrasies of Italian records, including Latinisations, spelling variations, abbreviations/shorthand and unusual dating conventions. Lynn explains how to recognise clues about marriages, deaths, church dispensations and alternate surnames (‘soprannomi’), so you can extract as much information as possible from a single document. She also shows you how to recognise honourifics, how to find clues about your ancestors’ origins or profession, and how to interpret causes of death.
 
During the session, you will get a lot of practice making sense of challenging, hand-written documents, which should bolster your confidence when doing your own research. Time-permitting, you may also have a chance to work with a partner to analyse one of your own Italian documents. If you want to bring something for analysis, please make sure it is a clearly legible copy if you don’t have the original document.
 
This workshop is a follow-up to Lynn’s workshop ‘Tracing Your Italian Ancestry – Fundamentals and Fun Stuff’. However, don’t worry, if you missed that one, you are still very welcome to attend this new workshop. It’s not essential that you either Italian or Latin, although some basic familiarity with either language could be helpful.

Admission

Half-day course running from 2.00 to 5.00 pm. Cost is £20.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists: £16.00.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/reading-and-understanding-italian-genealogical-records

Shows a lot of maps and other documents

Genealogical Proof Standard: Standards and Good Practice in Genealogy

  • 14 February 2018 2-3pm

What is the Genealogical Proof Standard? How can it help in researching and recording a family history?

In this one-hour talk Charlie Mead looks at what the standard requires, how it can be implemented in your own research and some resources available to help you.

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/genealogical-proof-standard-standards-and-good-practice-in-genealogy

Shows inside the Law Society Library

For family historians: Records of the Law Society Library

  • 15 February 2018 2-3pm

The Law Society Library was established in 1825 and holds data on solicitors going as far back as approximately 1200.

Most of their genealogy resources are unique, containing historical data on not just solicitors and articled clerks (trainees), but law firms as well. One such unique collection was discovered in a blocked up cupboard just a few years ago; a small metal document box was found to contain over 40,000 microfiche records on individual solicitors who had died prior to 1971. The Law Society is a members only Library, but as custodian of the records they ensure they are made accessible to all.

The Society of Genealogists is hosting this one-hour talk with Emma Harris.

Admission

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

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/records-of-the-law-society-library

Shows a German girl with some text in German

Tracing your German Ancestors

  • 17 February 2018 10:30am-1pm

In this half-day course, find out more about using British records to identify immigrants, including when and why they came, and where they came from.

The course also covers:
- the records that are available and helpful in Europe;
- what you can access online;
- what to do about the records that are not online.

Admission

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

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/tracing-your-german-ancestors-2

Shows the high street in Whitechapel in 1905.

The History of Wapping, Whitechapel and Mile End in the 18th Century

  • 21 February 2018 2-3pm

This talk covers the strong and enterprising maritime parish of St John’s Wapping, Whitechapel, with its sugar refineries and gun makers, as well as the hamlet of Mile End Old Town.

Derek Morris looks at records covering land tax, parish registers and licensed victuallers, and more.

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 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

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

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/the-history-of-wapping-whitechapel-and-mile-end-in-the-18th-century

Shows a young woman with a pencil between her teeth and a load of papers.

Family Historians: Getting Organised

  • 24 February 2018 10:30am-1pm

Family History has a nasty habit of taking over our lives and before very long there is paper everywhere and nowhere to put anything.

Les Mitchinson offers tips and demonstrates methods that will help you organise your research, your visits, your computer and your life!

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-organised-organise-your-work-your-computer-your-desk-and-y

Shows a row of WW2 planes and some personnel

How to Search for your Royal Air Force Ancestors

  • 24 February 2018 2-5pm

The Royal Air Force will be 100 years old on the 1st April, 2018.

This half-day module, presented by Les Mitchinson, will cover the service records of RAF personnel and also the records of soldiers and sailors who transferred into it.

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. 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/how-to-search-for-your-royal-air-force-ancestors

Shows typical Bank of England workers in earlier times.

For family historians: Adventures in Business Archives

  • 28 February 2018 2-3pm

Founded in 1934, the Business Archives Council highlights the diversity of material contained in business archives.

In this fascinating talk, Dr Mike Anson describes his experiences and the work of the Business Archives Council, as well as the Archive at the Bank of England.

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/adventures-in-business-archives

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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