Fleshing out your Family Tree - A Full-day Course on 11 June

In this course we will investigate some of the sources that will help you see behind the scenes in your ancestors' lives, learning about incidents that happened to them and gaining an understanding of what everyday life was like for them.

We cover a range of centuries and will look at records produced in connection with nearly every stage of a person's life from infant to adult and the grave. Topics covered include school and workhouse records (in particular those relating to workhouse staff), trade directories, apprenticeships and guilds, Ordnance Survey maps, churches and gravestones and finally – court records where nearly all of our ancestors would have featured at some point in their lives either for civil or criminal misdemeanours or as witnesses. These records can be the most revealing and show you what your ancestors were really like!

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The Old Kent Road - A One-hour Lecture on 1 June

This talk will cover the general history of the Old Kent Road: the Roman origins of the route, its mediaeval use by pilgrims to Canterbury, and its first full development from the late 18th century onwards. Among the modern subjects will be the pubs, the railway goods’ yard, the gas works, the Surrey Canal, the shops and the cinemas.

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Divorced, Bigamist, Bereaved - Marriage Law for Genealogists - A Half-day Course on 28 May

It’s very likely that some of your ancestors married more than once over their lifetime. But why precisely? and what can their remarriages tell us? How likely was remarriage after a bereavement, and what social and legal factors affected that decision? Was divorce an easy way out of marriage? If people committed bigamy, what were the likely consequences for all concerned? Drawing on thousands of cases, from the Old Bailey to magistrates’ courts, this talk provides new research findings on the nature and extent of remarriage in past centuries and decades to help family historians interpret their ancestors’ lives

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