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 2 - evening classes

  • 26 October 2017 6-8pm
  • 2 November 2017 6-8pm
  • 16 November 2017 6-8pm
  • 23 November 2017 6-8pm
  • 30 November 2017 6-8pm

Join us at the Society of Genealogists' popular evening course to develop your family history skills. This is our 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.

Deadline to enrol: 30 August

Who is this course 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).

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-2-evening-skills-course-4

Shows a family group that have migrated

Understanding Rural Migration in Late 19th Century England

  • 25 October 2017 2-3pm

Migration within England during the 19th century was not only higher than one might imagine, but also very complex and varied. Many factors could affect the decision to migrate.

To explore the varied nature of this migration process, historian Mathew Homewood took 36 carefully-selected villages from 6 different regions of England, and traced the migratory habits of the children noted on the 1851 census. The results from this unique dataset revealed that migration patterns differed across counties, and between districts and villages within each county. For example, the research revealed the pull of the small cotton mills on young men and women around Clitheroe in Lancashire, the effect of the high rates of women’s domestic industry in Bedfordshire, and the significant effect of the local fishing industry in the Northumberland village of Craster.

Additionally, this in-depth research technique allowed a greater insight into regular patterns of migration from one specific place to another, known as the ‘friends and relatives’ effect.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

One-hour talk: £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/understanding-rural-migration-in-late-nineteenth-century-england-taki

Shows an image taken from our Middle Library

For Family Historians: Free Library Tours

  • 28 October 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-28-october

Shows the door of the church that Luther pinned his theses to 500 years ago.

500 Years of Reformation: Tracing Nonconformist Ancestors

  • 28 October 2017 10:30am-5pm

Nonconformity to 1850 – Michael Gandy
An overview of when and why and how various Protestant groups disagreed with the Church of England - and each other, what they did when they were in power and what happened when they lost it. The talk relates primarily to England.

Records of Nonconformity: Hatched, Matched and Despatched outside the Church of England - Alec Tritton
By 1851 it was estimated that some 50% of church attendance was outside the established Church of England. So what are the signs that your ancestor may not have conformed? How were they treated? Where else can you look if they aren't in the parish registers?

Worship, Weird and Wonderful: Religious Sects from the 17th to 20th Century – Alec Tritton
A look at some of the stranger & more colourful religious sects that have flourished in the English speaking world including Shakers, Peculiar People, Walworth Jumpers, Jezreelites, Millerites, Southcottians, Cokelers, John Wroe and the Christian Israelites etc.

Nonconformist records held at the Society of Genealogists – Else Churchill
The Society’s collections include many copies and transcripts of nonconformist records and unique indexes and databases within the collections. My talk will highlight recent developments with the Society’s digital records and new accessions along with many items of interest in the library relating to various denominations and sects.

Questions and Answers

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Full-day course: £35.00
If you are a Member of the Society of Genealogists: £28.00.
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/500-years-of-reformation-tracing-nonconformist-ancestors

Winston Churchill reviews Polish troops in 1943

Family History: Tracing your Polish Ancestors

  • 1 November 2017 2-3pm

Many people in the UK have Polish ancestors here or in Poland. Migration has being taking place over several centuries. The largest movement was after World War 2, when 250,000 Poles were permitted to settle. Of course, returning to Poland at that time was virtually impossible. Many immigrants had come from the Kresy, now the west of Ukraine, but that had been handed over to the Soviet bloc. For Polish descendants in the UK genealogy is a challenge. 

In this one-hour talk Dr Ian MacDonald covers:
- What is possible;
- What the sources are;
- How to approach the sources.

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/tracing-your-polish-ancestors

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Family History: Essex in London 

  • 8 November 2017 2-3pm

Eric Probert looks at Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest. He examines the former boundaries of the historic county of Essex and considers the areas which are now part of London Boroughs. For each of these areas, Eric explores the family history resources available in record repositories, archives, local study centres, museums, family history societies, libraries, local and specialised history societies and on the web.

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/essex-in-london

Shows a family group from Victorian times with old records in the background

Counting the People: Census Returns Online

  • 15 November 2017 2-3pm

A census of England and Wales has been taken every 10 years since 1801. The surviving records now form one of family history’s key resources. It's easy to look up the schedules for the years 1841 to 1911. But it's not always easy to find our ancestors.

Based on his 30 years experience of working with census returns, Dave Annal gives us the essential techniques we need to search online databases. Dave also offers some vital clues to help us track down our more elusive ancestors.

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/counting-the-people-census-returns-online

Shows the cabinets at the SoG that hold all the films

Using the (LDS) FamilySearch Films at the Society of Genealogists

  • 22 November 2017 2-3:30pm

In June this year, the Society of Genealogists received 57,000 microfilms from FamilySearch (the genealogical arm of the Church of Latter Day Saints or Mormons). These films were formerly available at the London Family History Centre which is temporarily housed at the National Archives in Kew. They are now available for viewing at SOG.

There is a significant amount of material for Ireland and Scotland, and for Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands. There are also a lot of Jewish records. Nearly 3,000 of the films are copies of all the wills probated between 1858 and 1925 in the Principal Probate Registry and Local District Registries in England and Wales.

Else Churchill explains how to identify the films you want, how to order them, use supplementary finding aids and how to view them.

Admission

Free but please book your place.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/using-the-lds-familysearch-films-at-the-society-of-genealog

Shows an iPad and a phone

Googling for Family History and Photos

  • 29 November 2017 2-3pm

John Hanson wants to help you use Google more effectively for your family history research. He explores some Google search features that you don't know about. And he also explains how to try and get the best from Google as a search engine.

Admission

This one-hour talk starts at 2.00 pm and 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/getting-the-best-from-the-national-archives-and-its-website

Shows a family and the Family Historian logo

Family Historian Software for Beginners and Refreshers

  • 2 December 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. John covers in the morning session 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; discounted price for SoG Members: £28.00

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/family-historian-software-for-beginners-refreshers-5

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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