Society of Genealogists

Shows the SoG building, standing outside and looking up to Clerkenwell Road
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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 beginning to open our Library and Archives. We're taking it slowly, making sure that our visitors and our staff stay safe at all times.

But our family history experts have been working really hard to develop new ways of delivering our talks and workshops. Our online courses and talks on Zoom continue for the rest of the year, open to everyone whether you're a Member or not. If you're interested in family history, you're very welcome. They are very popular with people from all over the world joining in.

As the National Family History Centre, we store and index family stories and documents from all over the UK, aiming to keep them safe and make them as available as possible to everyone.

You will find links on our home page to take you to all our online records and to our Library. Our News and Courses webpages will show whenever there's a new course available. Plus there's help pages to get you started, if you need them, and Advice Lines if you want one of our experts to help you. We frequently offer free Zoom talks to show what's available.

If you are already a Member of the Society, our website also holds a large Members section with lots of tutorials and advice.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive, Association or society

Opening hours

We are beginning to open our Library and Archives. We're taking it slowly, making sure that our visitors and our staff stay safe at all times. At the moment, we are open to Members on Tuesday's and one Saturday a month. We have limited the number of Members to a maximum of 20 persons per day. You must book a place before you visit, using the Events page on our website.

Admission charges

One-hour talks on Zoom: £10.00
Half-day courses on Zoom: £20.00

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.
A sketch of a coffee cup batting its eyes

Family History Skills - Stage 1 - Evening Classes

  • 10 September 2020 6-8pm
  • 17 September 2020 6-8pm
  • 24 September 2020 6-8pm
  • 1 October 2020 6-8pm
  • 8 October 2020 6-8pm
  • 15 October 2020 6-8pm
  • 22 October 2020 6-8pm
  • 29 October 2020 6-8pm
  • 5 November 2020 6-8pm
  • 12 November 2020 6-8pm
  • 19 November 2020 6-8pm
  • 26 November 2020 6-8pm
  • 3 December 2020 6-8pm

A chance to attend our popular 13-week evening classes without travelling anywhere. This year we're delivering our classes on Zoom. So if you found getting into London in the evenings difficult, this is a wonderful opportunity to dial in and settle down for 2 hours of new skills and understanding from our experts.

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.

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.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Total price for all 13 weeks: £225.00. That's about £17.00 per 2-hour tutorial. Members have a discounted price: £180.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/stage-1-evening-skills-course-4

Shows part of a passenger list from the 1950s

Evidence of Migration in the 1800s using Local Records

  • 15 August 2020 10:30am-1:15pm

In this half-day Zoom course, Jane Ferentzi-Sheppard asks: ‘Who was going where and why?’

Jane covers finding details of migration to the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand using parish records, vestry minutes, poor law, quarter session records, newspapers, and letters.

She will use examples from Dorset and the West Country as a case study.

Admission

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

On 14 August an email invitation will be sent to all who have booked which includes a password and link to the talk - remember to check your spam folder! Please ensure your Zoom name is similar to the name that you used to book the talk.

Zoom is a free application. If you have not used it before, you can find out more and download the application ahead of time at www.zoom.us

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/evidence-of-migration-in-the-1800s-using-local-records

Shows the SS Asturias which carried many migrants across the world

Records for Migrants on Arrival in United States and Canada

  • 15 August 2020 2:30-3:45pm

Live online Zoom talk
Sometimes we find that there are more records in the countries that receive migrants than there are in the countries they left. Most countries kept shipping records showing arrivals at the main ports. This talk will look at what records they activated North America, and how to find and access them.

Jane Ferentzi-Sheppard explains where to look for records and how to use them. Jane uses examples from Dorset and the West Country as a case study.

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

Live Zoom talk: £10. Members of Society of Genealogists: £5. On 14 August an email invitation will be sent to all who have booked which includes a password and link to the talk - remember to check your spam folder! Please ensure you use the same user name that you used at booking, to login to the talk on the day.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/migrants-what-records-did-they-activate-when-they-arrived-in-the-unit

Shows part of Brompton Cemetery

Dead and Buried, Not Forgotten: Churchyards, Cemeteries and their Records

  • 22 August 2020 4-5pm

Learn where to find records, locate monumental inscriptions and graves and how to use them in family history, local history, and house history research. Gill Blanchard explains the historical, architectural and environmental importance of churchyards, cemeteries and cemetery chapels.

You can join Gill for a Questions session at the end of the talk.

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 interested in social history and/or the history of London. Expect a friendly atmosphere, an expert tutor and lots of detail.

Admission

£10.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £5.00. On 21 August an email invitation will be sent to all who have booked which includes a password and link to the talk - remember to check your spam folder! Please ensure that your Zoom user name is similar to the name that you used to book your place so that you can quickly be admitted to the talk on the day.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/dead-and-buried-not-forgotten-churchyards-cemeteries-and-their-reco

Shows a very young sailor, in 1920s

Medicine at Sea: Poxed and Scurvied

  • 22 August 2020 10:30-11:30am

Live Zoom talk for social historians:
Kevin Brown explains how the well-being of ships’ crews became increasingly important. When European sailors began to explore the world, it was difficult to keep them healthy. Malnourishment and crowded conditions bred disease. These diseases could decimate the indigenous populations in other parts of the world. Plus new diseases could be brought back to Europe.

The well-being of crews became a dominant factor in the success of naval operations. The Royal Navy led the way in shipboard medical provision. It sponsored many of the advances in diet and hygiene, giving them a significant advantage during the Napoleonic Wars. The improvements trickled down to the merchant service.

Eventually, the struggle to improve the fitness of seamen became a national concern. It resulted in a series of far-reaching, and sometimes bizarre, public health measures, generally directed against the effects of drunkenness and the pox.
In this way, as in many others, the attempts to address the specific needs of the seafarer developed into wider implications for society as a whole.

About Kevin Brown:
Kevin is an authority on the history of medicine. He is Trust Archivist to Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum Curator at St Mary’s Hospital, London.

You can join Kevin for a Questions session at the end of the talk.

Admission

Live 1-hour Zoom talk: £10.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £5.00. On 21 August an email invitation will be sent to all who have booked which includes a password and link to the talk - remember to check your spam folder!

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/medicine-at-sea-poxed-scurvied

Shows two women in 1920s sitting in a car. One woman is the driver.

Voting Records for Genealogists 1699-1969

  • 26 August 2020 2-3pm

A live online Zoom talk with Else Churchill
While universal suffrage wasn’t introduced into England until the early 20th Century, the Poll Books recorded who voted in Parliamentary elections from the 1690s and throughout the 18th century. They can be very useful name-rich lists.
Subsequently records of who was entitled to vote and voter’s lists have become extremely useful supplementary records, especially where no census is available. Increasingly these records are becoming more available online and are adding to our genealogical tool kit

You can join a Questions session with Else at the end of the talk.

Admission

£10.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £5.00. We will send you an email on 25 August with a link to the talk and a password.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/voting-records-for-genealogists-1699-1969-online-archive-sources-at

Shows a small boy sitting on a desk with a book laughing

Using Social Media for your Family History

  • 27 August 2020 2-3pm

In your family history you have probably stumbled upon social media or used it. Increasingly it is becoming a popular way to communicate.

In this live Zoom talk, Robert Parker answers the question 'How can I use social media safely for my research?'

You can join Robert for a Questions session after the talk.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£10.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £5.00. On 26 August, we will send an email invitation to the talk to all who have booked which includes a password and link to the talk.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/using-social-media-for-your-family-history

Shows a cart and horse

My Ancestor was an Agricultural Labourer

  • 29 August 2020 10:30-11:30am

Live on Zoom
Most of us have an Ag Lab or two in our family history. Join Ian Waller's Zoom talk to learn how you can find the records that tell their stories.

Ian looks at the many, varied records which enable us to piece together their lives. What they did and their conditions vary by region in Britain and are often differently recorded. However, the fact that your ancestor existed means that documentary evidence is available.

You can join Ian for a Questions session after the talk.

Admission

£10.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £5.00. On 28 August an email invitation will be sent to all who have booked which includes a password and link to the talk - remember to check your spam folder! Please ensure you use the same user name that you used at booking, to login to the talk on the day.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/my-ancestor-was-an-agricultural-labourer-4

Shows a husband and wife with a baby - about 1930s

Hatched, Matched and Dispatched Outside the Church of England FULLY BOOKED

  • 29 August 2020 4-5pm

A live online Zoom talk
By 1851 it was estimated that some 50% of church attendance was outside the established Church of England.

In this talk, Alec Tritton tells us about the non conformity records. He asks 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?

You can join Alec for a Questions session after the talk.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Online talk: £10.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £5.00. On 28 August we will send you an email invitation which includes a password and link to the talk - remember to check your spam folder! Please ensure you use the same user name that you used at booking, to login to the talk on the day.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/records-of-nonconformity-hatched-matched-dispatched-outside-the-ch

Shows the outside of a pub in Rotherhithe called the Mayflower

Social Historians: History of Rotherhithe Village

  • 2 September 2020 2-3pm

Live on Zoom
Rotherhithe’s history has always been associated with the sea. Seafaring, shipbuilding and repairing were all important even before the docks came. Even though the village is linked by two Victorian tunnels to the North Bank of the Thames, it has always maintained its unique atmosphere. At times it has actually been completely cut off.

In this one-hour online Zoom talk, Joe Studman marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, who began her epic voyage from Rotherhithe. There is no better time to investigate its history.

At the end, Joe offers a Question and Answer session.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Half-day workshop live on Zoom. Price: £10.00. Members of the Society of Genealogists: £5.00. The day before the course we will email you with a link and a password.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/history-of-rotherhithe-village

Shows the entrance to the Heath with the notice board

Healthy Hilltop Hampstead - A Local History Talk

  • 3 September 2020 2-3:15pm

Live online Zoom talk.
One of London’s most picturesque and historic spots is explored on this virtual tour with London Blue Badge Tour Guide Diane Burstein. After coming to take the waters for their health people stayed and made this former farmland area into an elegant village just over 4 miles from central London. Many who came to improve their health were creative and we’ll see homes of the famous including artists and writers.

We visit an 18th century church with some notable burials, the highest point in London, a house which inspired the author of a well loved children’s story, some lesser known small museums, a former work house and the famous Hampstead Heath.

There will be a Question and Answer session.

Admission

£10.00; for Members of the Society of Genealogists: £5.00. On 2 September an email invitation will be sent to all who have booked which includes a password and link to the talk - remember to check your spam folder! Please ensure that your Zoom user name is similar to the name that you used to book your place so that you can quickly be admitted to the talk on the day.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/healthy-hilltop-hampstead-a-local-history-talk

Shows a portrait of Robert Burns, Scottish poet

My Ancestor was Scottish

  • 5 September 2020 10:30-11:30am

Live on Zoom
Dave Annal helps us to find records of our Scottish ancestors. Most of the sources we need seem to be the same or very similar to their English and Welsh equivalents. However, Dave points out some important differences.

The key sources are familiar: birth, marriage and death records, census returns, church registers, and wills and testaments. You can visit Edinburgh to search for records at the National Records for Scotland. However, most of these records are now online, so you can find them and print them at home or in a library, a record office, or a family history society’s research centre.

This talk is geared toward Beginners. There will be a question and answer session after the talk.

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

Live Zoom talk £10.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £5.00. On 4 September an email invitation will be sent to all who have booked which includes a password and link to the talk - remember to check your spam folder! Please ensure you use the same user name that you used at booking, to login to the talk on the day.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/my-ancestor-was-scottish-3

Shows a poster from WW2 with a rural scene and 'Britain fight for it now' at the bottom

Historians: The National Farm Survey during WW2

  • 5 September 2020 4-5pm

Live on Zoom
Gill Blanchard wants to help you discover where to find records and how to use the National Farm Survey as a resource for house history, family history, and local history research.

You can join a Questions session with Gill after the talk.

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

Live Zoom talk for 1 hour: £10.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £5.00

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/the-national-farm-survey-during-the-second-world-war

Shows a family group of about 10 people of all ages.

Family History Getaway: DNA through Case Studies

  • 8 — 10 September 2020

Spend 3 full days, at home on Zoom, learning more about how DNA can help confirm and expand your family tree. Starting with talks that describe the types of DNA tests, we then focus on autosomal DNA tests, such as those from Ancestry and My Heritage, and talk about how to get started analysing your results, and how to use the tests and associated tools to progress your family history search.

Most of the important scientific discoveries in the last 100 years are only understood and managed by scientists, academics or industry. Using DNA tests really is different. Every one of us can take part in a very popular way to understand more about ourselves and where we came from but how do you interpret the results?

During this 3-day programme, with lots of case histories to illustrate, learn about:
- The different types of DNA;
- What you need to think about before taking the various tests available;
- How a little DNA knowledge can transform your interpretation of your results;
- Working with matches;
- More advanced techniques, including third-party tools.

You will also have the opportunity to take part in group discussions each day to help you better work with your results.

Who should attend?
To get the most from this course, you should have already taken an autosomal DNA test but want to learn more about how to use your results for research.

Admission

For all sessions on all 3 days: £220.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £180.00

An email invitation will be sent to all who have booked which includes a password and link to the talk - remember to check your spam folder!

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/family-history-getaway-dna-through-case-studies

Shows a photo of women and children, sitting and standing outside an entrance to flats, about 1940.

Cousins: The Key to Unlock Your Genealogy

  • 16 September 2020 12-1pm

Live Zoom talk
A common mistake in genealogy is to concentrate only on direct ancestors and ignore their siblings. This approach excludes one of the most useful resources for family historians - the descendants of your ancestor's siblings - your cousins. It has been calculated that the average British person has tens of second cousins and hundreds of third cousins. Most families have lost touch with these relatives.

In this one-hour Zoom talk Caroline Gurney explains:
- How to find your cousins;
- How their information can enrich your family history;
- How their DNA can break down your brick walls.

You can join Caroline for a Questions session after the talk.

Admission

Live Zoom talk: £10.00; £5.00 discounted price for Members of the Society of Genealogists. On 15 September an email invitation will be sent to all who have booked which includes a password and link to the talk - remember to check your spam folder! Please ensure that your Zoom user name is similar to the name that you used to book your place so that you can quickly be admitted to the talk on the day.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/cousins-the-key-to-unlock-your-genealogy

Shows a row of young women looking at newspapers - probably in the 1950s

Read All About It: Newspapers and Magazines for Family History

  • 19 September 2020 2-3pm

Live Zoom talk
There is no doubt that the arrival of the British Newspaper Archive website and other collections of online newspapers has transformed family history. For the first time researchers have been to find out a little bit more about the lives of their ancestors through mentions in newspapers. Often it is only a tantalising glimpse, but one that can only be found in the papers.

In this talk Simon Fowler discusses the resources that are available and those which are to be found in archives and libraries across Britain, and show how they can be used in family and local history. He uses examples from his own researches from the man who said that there was ‘just cause to prevent a marriage’ at his daughter’s wedding, the dead men who returned from the First World War and evidence of Victorian time-travellers.

You can join Simon for a Questions session at the end of the talk

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

One hour talk on Zoom £10.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £5.00. On 18 September an email invitation will be sent to all who have booked which includes a password and link to the talk - remember to check your spam folder! Please ensure you use the same user name that you used at booking, to login to the talk on the day.

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/read-all-about-it-newspapers-and-magazines-for-family-history

Shows the front title page of a directory for Bedford published in 1913

Directories for Genealogists 1677-1977

  • 23 September 2020 2-3pm

Live Zoom talk
Published as lists of merchants and tradesmen from the 17th century, trade and other directories become increasingly useful for genealogists and local and house historians throughout the 18th and 19th century and become more comprehensive into the 20th century. As more are published online and become searchable by name these name rich lists can add colour to your family history and provide evidence of where your ancestors lived and what they did in their lives.

There will be a Question and Answer session.

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.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Live on Zoom £10.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £5.00

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/directories-for-genealogists-1677-1977-online-and-archive-sources-at

Shows a beautiful pedigree with a cloud on it saying, your new career - a genealogist

Careers in Genealogy: Report Writing for Clients

  • 26 September 2020 10:30am-1pm

Part of our series of workshops in Careers in Genealogy - live on Zoom

Writing a report of your professional research for your client is extremely important. It's just as important as the research. It's also your 'face' as far as your client is concerned.

In this half-day workshop, Ian Waller explains:
- What needs to be included;
- The acceptable standards you must meet;
- The presentation skills you require.

Tutor: Ian Waller is a retired professional genealogist with over 30 years experience in English research. He is the author or many books on family history research, is a qualified adult education tutor and lectures widely on family history topics. He is a Fellow of both AGRA and the Society of Genealogists.

The course is divided into two sessions, with a short break between them. At the end of each session you can join Ian for Questions.

Admission

This half-day workshop on Zoom costs £20.00. For Members of the Society of Genealogists, a discounted price of £16.00 is available. On 25 September an email invitation will be sent to all who have booked which includes a password and link to the talk - remember to check your spam folder!

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/careers-in-genealogy-report-writing-for-clients

Shows a young boy with a big grin and untidy hair

Medical Provision for the Poor before 1834

  • 30 September 2020 2-3pm

A must for social and family historians.

Live Zoom talk
Before 1834 there was no explicit legal requirement for parish overseers to provide medical relief but even by the 18th century most parishes were doing so. Sickness relief began to swallow up a sizeable chunk of Poor Law resources. So parishes considered medical relief to be cost effective. The sooner the poor could be cured and restored to independence the better.

In this one-hour talk Dr Judy Hill looks at the parishes that gave medical relief to the aged and the chronically sick, the help that was given and how doctors dealt with the parish poor.

It is evident that administrators of the old Poor Law tried to cope in a humane manner with the problems of unemployment, illness, old age and death. Judy examines the role of the unreformed workhouse which tended to be responsible for the elderly, sick, pregnant, young, impotent poor and ‘worn out’ people. In fact parishes were miniature welfare states and the system did offer some measure of protection against sickness and utter destitution. However after 1815 it became more difficult to accomplish as parish vestries faced increasing relief bills and a sharp rise in the number of poor relief recipients.

You can join Judy for a Questions session after the talk.

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.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Virtual talk on Zoom for 1-hour, starting at 14.00 UK time: £10.00; discounted for Members of Society of Genealogists £5.00

Website

http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/medical-provision-for-the-poor-pre-1834

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

Visit our website.

http://www.sog.org.uk

E-mail

To book a course or talk

events@sog.org.uk

Talk to a librarian

Librarian@sog.org.uk

Join us.

Membership@sog.org.uk

Become a volunteer

Volunteering@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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