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 head with lots of knowledge floating out of it

Family History Skills Stage 1 - evening classes

  • 4 May 2017 6-8pm
  • 11 May 2017 6-8pm
  • 18 May 2017 6-8pm
  • 25 May 2017 6-8pm
  • 1 June 2017 6-8pm
  • 8 June 2017 6-8pm
  • 15 June 2017 6-8pm
  • 22 June 2017 6-8pm
  • 29 June 2017 6-8pm
  • 6 July 2017 6-8pm
  • 13 July 2017 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.

The Family History Skills course has two stages. Stage 1 covers many of the fundamental records, search techniques and standards. Stage 2 covers the records and techniques that professional genealogists use to take their research further.

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-6

Shows a cadet in the Royal Navy who actually came from Yorkshire

Family History: Tracing Your Yorkshire Relatives

  • 29 April 2017 10:30am-1pm *on now

Many of us have ancestors that lived and worked in Yorkshire. The county has played a significant role in Britain's history. Your ancestors may have been coal miners, workers in the steel or cutlery industry or drawn to the area because of the jobs available in the textile factories.

It isn't always straightforward to know where to look when you want to understand what their lives were like. John Hanson and Sue Gibbons aim to help you in this half-day course. John covers sources for Yorkshire records, including those that are now online. Sue covers the sources you can find in the Society of Genealogists' Library.

Admission

This half-day course costs £20.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £16.00 is available.

Website

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

Shows a family tree being drawn with small portraits in the background

Family History for Beginners - Births, Marriages, Deaths and Census Records

  • 29 April 2017 2-5pm *on now

Starting out on family history research? Find out where to start and what to do.

The records that relate to a person's birth, marriage and death are referred to as the civil registration records. They are the fundamental building blocks of your family tree. Civil registration began in England in 1837, in Scotland records began in 1855 and in Ireland in 1864 (Irish non-Catholic marriages were recorded from 1845). However, registering a birth only became compulsory in 1874 so before then, children may not have been registered.
Census returns from the 19th and early 20th centuries give us a snapshot of a family living together in a household on the night of the census. It's true that the records are online now, but just entering your ancestors' names in a search program may not give you any results or you may find people with similar names that aren't actually part of your direct family tree.

In this half-day course, Louise Taylor covers:
- how to correctly trace certificates of birth, marriage and death (civil registration);
- why it's important to find evidence of these milestones in your ancestors' lives;
- how to find your ancestors in census records.

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 to introduce beginners to the range of documents used in family research. 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.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This is 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/family-history-for-beginners-finding-births-marriages-and-deaths-t

Shows German migrants boarding a ship to USA 1874

Migration to North America 1820 to 1930

  • 6 May 2017 10:30am-1pm

Between 1820 and 1930, large numbers of people left Britain and Europe for North America. Many of us have branches of our family trees that lead us to looking for migration records and searching out North American sources.

In this half-day course, Jane Ferentzi-Shepard covers:
- Who were the people that went?
- Why did they go?
- Where did they go?
- Were there family ties in North America already?
- What were the social and economic conditions at home that were deciding factors in the migration?

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This half-day workshop costs is £20.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £16.00 is available.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/immigration-to-north-america-1820-1930

Shows white officer and slaves on a 19th century sugar cane plantation

The Sugar Barons: Early Settlers in the West Indies and America

  • 6 May 2017 2-5pm

In this half-day course, Jane Ferentzi-Shepard explores the story of indentured servants. Jane covers:
- Who were these indentured servants?
- How the sugar and slavery trades developed;
- The fortunes that were amassed and the houses that were built in Britain.
- Who received the compensation that the Government paid out in the 1830s.

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.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/the-sugar-barons-early-settlers-in-the-west-indies-and-america

Shows the image from the home page for the TNG program

Introducing The Next Generation (TNG) Genealogy Program

  • 10 May 2017 2-3pm

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding© (TNG) is in many ways similar to RootsMagic or Family Historian. The difference is that you manage and display your family tree on your own website, without needing to generate any static HTML.

You can store your information in a database and then give access rights to other people, limiting what they can see and update. TNG creates pages from your database on demand.

No surprise, then, that it is very popular with one-name studies.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

One-hour talk: £8.00; discounted price for SoG Members: £6.40

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/introducing-the-next-generation-tng-genealogy-program

A member of the Salvation Army talks to a person sitting on the street looking upset

Tracing Family who were in, or cared for, by the Salvation Army

  • 13 May 2017 10:30am-1pm

An opportunity to find out how to trace ancestors that were cared for by the Salvation Army or those who joined and worked for the Army.

Steven Spencer, Archivist of the Salvation Army, tells us about the Salvation Army's history and the archives held by the Heritage Centre. He covers:
- Looking at the records for Salvation Army officers (ministers), soldiers (members) and employees;
- How to access the archives.

Major Kevin Pooley, Social Historian, focuses on the history and archives of The Salvation Army’s social work. He covers:
- Records relating to residents in Salvation Army homes, including children’s homes, maternity homes and industrial homes;
- The adoption records held.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Half-day course: £20.00 Members of the Society of Genealogists: £16.00.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/courses/tracing-family-who-were-in-the-salvation-army

Shows an actual parish record and the words 'Parish records and my family tree?'

Family History for Beginners: Parish Registers

  • 13 May 2017 2-5pm

Learn how to search for records of baptism, marriage and burial in parish registers. The tutor will introduce both online and offline sources and methods. Before the national registration of vital events started in 1837, the main records made of baptisms, marriages and burials were the parish registers or a similar record kept by nonconformist denominations. So parish registers are extremely important for researching your family history from 1836 back to the 16th century.

Louise Taylor covers:

- where to find parish register records;
- the best way to search online on websites;
- the best way to search records not yet online;
- the most effective way to approach these records.

You can, of course, find copies of parish register transcripts libraries, in the Record Office, or within the collections of genealogical organisations. The Society of Genealogists holds the largest collection, having transcripts for some part of the records of about 10,000 of the approximately 12,500 ancient parishes.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Half-day course: £20.00 For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £16.00 is available.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/family-history-for-beginners-parish-registers-5

Shows Winchmore Hill Station at about 1870

History of Winchmore Hill

  • 17 May 2017 2-3pm

Join us for this talk by Joe Studman, looking at a selection of early prints and contemporary photos that illustrate how Winchmore Hill in North London developed, from a Victorian village to the 21st century.

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/history-of-winchmore-hill

Shows an image taken from our Middle Library

For Family Historians: Free Library Tours

  • 20 May 2017 11am-1pm

Full of family history treasures and records, directories and databases, 3 floors and over 120,000 items - what's not to like?

If you're working on your family's history, the Society of Genealogists' Library is a great place to explore. You can come in and browse, just asking the staff and volunteers for help when you need it. But, seriously, with so much to see, the Society recommends that you take a library tour.

They're free, they're 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-library-6-may

Shows the image from the Family Historian home page

Family Historian Software for Beginners and Refreshers

  • 20 May 2017 10:30am-5pm

Family Historian is a powerful, award-winning genealogy program, with comprehensive features designed to meet the needs of anyone new to family history research as well as the needs of experts.

In this full-day workshop, John Hanson provides an overview of Family Historian version 6. The sessions during the day are designed specifically for UK users, both beginners and people wanting to refresh their understanding.

In the morning, John covers how to add information to the database including:
- Adding family members;
- Editing people's details;
- Adding people that aren't related;
- Sorting or changing the order of children;
- Recording your sources - includes using Ancestral Sources;
- Adding extra facts about a person;

The afternoon session looks at how to get the information that you entered out and covers:
- Drawing tree and saving them
- Creating reports
- writing queries

You do not need to bring a laptop for the day. But DO 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

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/family-historian-software-for-beginners-refreshers-4

Shows a lady with two small children

Film and Sound Archives for Family Historians

  • 24 May 2017 2-3pm

Recorded moving images have been around since the end of 1890s and recorded sound a bit longer.  Radio arrived in the 1920s and TV in the 1930s.  Literally millions of people, some professional performers but most ordinary folk, have been preserved in film and sound archives.  Kathy Chater wants to help you find out if your ancestors - walking, talking or acting – are in them.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

One-hour talk: £8.00; discount for SoG Members: £6.40

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/film-sound-archives-for-family-historians

Shows a dejected man sitting in front of a PC.

Problems, Pitfalls and Fraud in Genealogy Research

  • 27 May 2017 10:30am-1pm

In this half-day course, Michael Gandy looks at the errors that exist in primary and secondary sources. Accepting these errors as facts can send your family history research down the wrong paths.  Michael also discusses:
- The fine art of concealment and self-deception used by past researchers when creating a family tree;
- The limitations of the researcher, both professional and non-professional.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

This half-day course costs £16.00. 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/problems-pitfalls-fraud-in-genealogy-research

Shows a tree falling over in a forest

Barking up the Wrong Family Tree: A Cautionary Tale

  • 27 May 2017 2-5pm

As family historians, we are quite good at giving birth to our ancestors, but it's also vital to marry them off if we can, and especially to kill them off. John Titford starts this half-day course with some cautionary tales for family historians. Each tale illustrates how easy it is to make the wrong assumptions or to draw inaccurate conclusions.

During this half-day course, John focuses on British genealogical sources, but his examples are based on his experience as a professional genealogist working for clients on both sides of the Atlantic. In the process of telling an ancestral story, he covers:
- What records are available for research within London from 17th to 19th centuries;
- Parish registers, census returns, wills, marriage bonds and records of freedom of the City of London;
- Apprenticeship indentures, Fleet Marriage Registers, workhouse records and much else.

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.

Website

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

Shows varies images of Irish life and the cover of our programme

Family History: Irish Ancestors and Irish Lives - Getaway Week

  • 5 — 9 June 2017

Join us at the Society of Genealogists for an Irish 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 to trace your Irish ancestors, and the resources that are available, including new collections and developments. 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 talks, help using our Library and lunch are included in the cost.

Spread over the five days, we aim to help you to find your Irish ancestors and to develop your understanding of how they lived and how the history of Ireland affected their lives. The sessions will focus on some broad themes: basic church and civil records; 17th century records; 18th and 19th century life in Ireland; and lesser known and new sources.

Develop a greater knowledge of where to find records and the information they might hold to help you build up a picture of your Irish ancestors’ lives.

Learn more about the underlying social and local context of life in Ireland from the 17th to the 19th century. An appreciation of the issues your ancestors faced enables you to make more sense of what they did and what happened to them.

Find out about the lesser known sources of records and data that will help you to really put some flesh on your ancestors’ bones.

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. 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 Irish family tree.

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.

Website

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

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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