Talking Family History - A Half-day Course 18 May 2019

Are you comfortable giving a talk to a group about your family history or expertise?

Family History Societies, U3A groups and other organisations are always looking for interesting, knowledgeable and entertaining speakers – that could be you.

If you want to share your expertise and research with others, Antony Marr covers:

How to structure a talk, a presentation or a lesson – and the differences between each one
How to make your content relevant to your audience
How to be an entertaining and effective speaker
How to use technology and visual aids, such as PowerPoint, to their best effect...

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Scanning for Family Historians - Desktop and Mobile - A one-hour Lecture on 15 May 2019

Learn more about scanning so that your precious documents and photos are carefully preserved.

Scanning allows you to make a copy of something. You can scan your photos, any paper documents, old magazines or pages from a newspaper, even maps. The scanner creates a digital file that you can save, add to a document, or even print. Scanning photographs and paper-based documents is a great way to save space. It also allows you to organise your research more easily...

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Ideas for facing the challenges of researching ancestors that came from Europe

Ideas for facing the challenges of researching ancestors that came from Europe

Have you discovered that some of the people on your family tree came to Britain from the continent of Europe? Perhaps you’ve just found some old family papers, giving you some fresh clues. Or possibly a DNA test has shown links to other parts of Europe. The Library at the Society of Genealogists can be a great help, as you start to sort out a research strategy. Just like the Eurovision Song Contest, every country in Europe is represented on our shelves, as are some that aren’t in Europe but want to be, like Australia.

At first it seems exciting and a tiny bit glamourous to have ancestors from other parts of Europe. In my mind, my ancestors’ lives are part War and Peace (the ballroom scenes, not the battles), part Versailles, with maybe the Medici thrown in.

Then reality starts to hit. It can be quite difficult to figure out where exactly those ancestors came from and where to go to find any records or anything about their lives. For example, if our ancestors left Germany before 1871, were they German? Or should we refer to the place that they came from, such as Prussia or Bavaria? Does it matter?

A friend of mine always believed that her grandmother came to Britain from Germany round about 1901. Then she found some papers showing that her grandmother had travelled from Russia to an uncle who lived in Germany, then she came to Britain. What, my friend wonders, was ‘Russia’ in the very late 19th century? Was it a country? The area her grandmother came from seems to be part of modern Poland. Was Poland part of the Russian Empire? Or was it an independent state? Suddenly, sorting out the parish boundaries of London over the last 150 years seems like a walk in the park...

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