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.
Image shows a cartoon fire engine that is very red

My Ancestor was in the Fire Brigade

  • 17 February 2016 2-5pm

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

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

Topics covered:
The history of the Fire Brigade in the UK;
The record offices, repository archives and museums where there is Fire Brigade interest and records;
Volunteer, Industrial and Works Fire Brigades;
Fire insurance companies that, in the early 18th Century, ran and organised the Fire Brigades;
The Fire Brigade Union and the Salvage Corps;
Uniforms, equipment, medals and honours.

While you're with us, why not browse our bookshop? Ken Divall has recently published a book, as part of the Society of Genealogists' 'My Ancestor.....' series called 'My Ancestor was in the Fire Brigade'.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This one-hour talk costs £8.00. Members of the Society of Genealogists are offered a discount price of £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/my-ancestor-was-in-the-fire-brigade

Image shows a cartoon family tree using the parts of Great Britain

Family History: How to Lay Out Your Family Tree

  • 20 February 2016 10:30am-1pm

Do you use software to produce your family tree? Perhaps you're thinking of using one of the many programmes available but you haven't started yet. In fact, very few of those programmes 'do it right'.

In this workshop, Ian Waller explains the rules for creating a family tree so that you can make yours appear professional and be more useful to others who use it.

Topics covered
The protocols used to construct a family trees;
How to use a working pedigree to aid your research;
How to begin to design and construct your pedigree, including:
- the information to include
- abbreviations that can be used
- layout styles.

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. However, an interest in calligraphy would be beneficial. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail. Tea and coffee are provided during a break in the session.

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/laying-out-family-trees

Shows a message on a very old postcard

Conserving Your Family Archive

  • 24 February 2016 2-3pm

Do you have a collection of interesting items, handed down from your parents, grandparents or maybe even your great-grandparents? Would you like to know more about caring for these family treasures?

Many of us have old wedding dresses, christening robes or uniforms. Some of us have medals or toys, maps or books, or paintings. In this one-hour talk, Sue Gibbons looks at how to conserve these items, as part of your family history. Sue will cover a wide range, including:
- paper, such as original documents, maps, books, photographs, etchings and paintings
- textiles, such as samplers, christening robes and uniforms
- objects, such as furniture, medals, ceramics and toys.

As an increasingly important part of conservation, Sue will also discuss conserving items on digital media.

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/conserving-your-family-archive

Image shows two people rolling out a very long, old parchment document.

Family History: Tithe Records and Enclosure Maps

  • 27 February 2016 10:30am-1pm

Do you understand the difference between tithe records and enclosure maps? Would you like to know how to best use these two map-based surveys for your family history research? In this half-day workshop Liz Carter introduces you to both surveys.

Topics covered:
- The background to tithe records and enclosure maps;
- What the two surveys can tell you about your family;
- What they can't tell you, such as where they lived and what property they owned or occupied;
- Where to find the surveys and how to evaluate them;
- How to link the material in the surveys to other contemporary resources, making the most of these amazing records for your own research.

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/tithe-records-enclosure-maps-for-family-historians

Image shows some old documents.

Family History: The Parish Chest, Parish Officers and their Records

  • 27 February 2016 2-5pm

The term ‘parish records’ is frequently used, wrongly, as a synonym for parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials. In fact, parish chests contain lots of other records: the accounts of churchwardens and overseers; other poor law records such as pauper apprenticeship indentures and settlement examinations, tithe and enclosure maps and awards; a variety of miscellaneous documents such as glebe terriers, pew lists, and Easter books. All of these may contain useful information for tracing our ancestors’ lives.

Topics covered
- A close look at the parish, the officials holding office and their record-keeping activities.
- The nature and content of the various documents the officers created.
- How you can use the documents to deepen your understanding of your ancestors’ lives.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Half-day workshop: £20.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £16.00 is available. It's easy to become a Member. Find details on our website, www.sog.org.uk. 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/the-parish-chest-parish-officers-their-records

Shows an old document with a pedigree

What’s New at Findmypast? Free talk

  • 2 March 2016 2-3pm

Myko Clelland gives us an overview of the new databases recently added to the findmypast website. Myko also describes the best way to search this large, popular website.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This one-hour talk is free. However, for us to hold a place for you, the talk must be 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/whats-new-at-findmypast-2

Image shows two people looking at a large family tree.

Free talk: Surname Searching - Society of Genealogists Pedigrees Offline

  • 2 March 2016 12-12:30pm

Tracing our family history is such a popular activity now. Is it possible that other people have already worked on the family name that you are researching? Maybe a distant cousin has collected details.

There's a way of finding out whether anyone else has researched your family name. The Society holds pedigrees for a large number of surnames - 44,384 surnames in fact. The details are held as part of our SoG online sources and can be searched. On paper, the larger ones (roll pedigrees) are rolled up and stored in archive boxes; the smaller ones are stored flat (sheet pedigrees). The pedigrees are kept under closed access but you can apply to view them.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

This 30-minute talk starts at 12 midday. It 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, www.sog.org.uk, or phoning us on 020 7553 3290.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/lunchtime-lecture-surname-searching-society-of-genealogists-pedigre

Shows a mother with two small children all smiling

Family History: Tracing Living Relatives

  • 5 March 2016 10:30am-1pm

Do you want to find living relatives? Why would this be important in your research? Not know how to set about it? This workshop gives you many answers to your key questions and lots of ideas to help you to track living family down.

In this workshop, Dr Geoff Swinfield covers:
- what sources of information are available;
- which websites might help you find family;
- what research techniques do you need to know.

Plus, Geoff illustrates all this information with a case study, making it a very practical workshop. This talk will give you lots of ideas and many of the answers.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

The cost of this module is £20.00. For us to hold a place for you, the course 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-living-relatives

Image shows different kinds of hats

My Ancestor Made Hats

  • 9 March 2016 2-3pm

"Where did you get that hat? Where did you get that tile? Isn't it a nobby one, and just the proper style?" The song words and melody by Harold Gray and arranged by Porter Grainger, in 1924 says so much about life before we all started driving cars! No one was considered to be properly dressed unless they wore a hat.

What sort of hats did your ancestors wear - perhaps a topper, maybe a flat cap, or was it a wideawake or a bowler? Do you have an ancestor that actually made hats?

Adele Emm helps us to explore the history of hats. She looks at felt caps, silk top hats and straw hats. She tells us about manufacture in Luton and Bedfordshire and Stockport, the hatting town. And, of course, she talks about those wonderful fashionable confections produced by milliners.

The Society of Genealogists, the National Family History Centre, hosts this talk. Visit our website (www.sog.org.uk) 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

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/calendar-day/2016/03/09/

Image shows a very old school record

Education Records for Family Historians

  • 12 March 2016 10:30am-1pm

Would you like to know more about the kinds of schools that your ancestors attended? Perhaps you're hoping they will offer hard-to-find details. In this half-day workshop, Dr Colin Chapman aims to help you understand what is available and where you can find it.

Your ancestors may have attended any of the schools and colleges provided by the State, by charities or endowments, by religious bodies or even by individuals. They may have just gone to school while they were children or they may have progressed to university or an adult academy. They may have been placed in a reformatory. The surviving records are valuable sources for genealogists covering student admissions and attendances, honours, awards and punishments, teachers’ log books, and managers’ and governors’ meetings.

Topics covered
Dr Chapman aims to help you:
- Understand the background to a variety of educational establishments in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland from the 16th century to the 20th century.
- Explore where you can find the surviving records.

Who should attend
There are no special entry requirements. However, this course is specifically for people who are interested in finding out about education records. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail. Tea and coffee are provided during a break in the workshop. You can take the opportunity to talk to others who share your interests.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This is a half-day workshop. Cost is £20.00. Members of the Society of Genealogists: discounted price of £16.40. For us to hold a place for you, the course 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/education-records-for-family-historians

Shows a chancery record book

Family History: Records of the Great Courts of Chancery and Exchequer

  • 16 March 2016 12-1pm

Have you ever thought of looking for information on your ancestors in the Chancery or Exchequer records? Would you like to know more about these records, which started after the Civil War, replacing minor courts that closed in 1641.

In this talk, Michael Gandy discusses the records and explains how best to use them as a family history source.

There are no special entry requirements for this talk and you do not have to be a Member of the Society of Genealogists. However, it is specifically for people who are interested in understanding what is available within the Chancery or Exchequer records. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

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

A family group

The Letter of the Law: Legislation for Family Historians

  • 16 March 2016 2-3pm

The records that we use to research our family history are largely the result of Acts of Parliament. So, it's very useful to have a good understanding of the legislation behind records such as the census returns, parish registers and civil registration. Knowing something about these records can make an enormous difference when it comes to interpreting the information left behind by our ancestors.

In this talk, Dave Annal looks at some major pieces of legislation to investigate how the legislation impacts our research, including:
- Thomas Cromwell’s ‘order’, which established the parish register system in 1538;
- the various Census Acts;
- the ground-breaking 1836 Act for registering births, deaths and marriages in England.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

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

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/the-letter-of-the-law-legislation-for-family-historians

Shows a head with lots of thoughts in it

Family History Skills - Stage 2 - Evening Classes

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

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

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

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

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

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

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

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

Website

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

Shows a head full of ideas

Family History Getaway Week - London Ancestors and London Lives

  • 6 — 10 June 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

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

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

Website

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

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

Family History Getaway Week: Victorian London Family & Social History

  • 5 — 9 September 2016

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

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

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

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

Website

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

Getting there

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

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

Website

Website

www.sog.org.uk

E-mail

Events

events@sog.org.uk

Telephone

Events bookings

020 7553 3290

General Information

020 7251 8799

Library queries

020 7702 5485

Fax

020 7250 1800

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