Join SoG Online for our 13-week Family History Evening Skills Course 10 Sep - 3 Dec 2020

Join SoG Online for our popular thirteen-week evening skills course to develop your family history

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 fundamental records, search techniques and standards 

• Stage 2 covers the records and techniques that professional genealogists use to take their research further.

Who should attend the Stage 1 series of classes?

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.

• No experience at all but want to get started? Stage 1 introduces all the basic records and teaches you how to use them.

• Some success in tracing your family but want to be better? These classes move you forward. Learn about a range of records that are available and, more importantly, learn the best ways to use them.

• Considering becoming a professional genealogist? These classes are an excellent way to build on your knowledge. Learn the standards required of genealogists and the essential techniques for searching and analysis.

Dates: 10 Sep - 3 Dec 2020

Our online classes will take place on Zoom, the application is free. If you have not used Zoom before, you can find out more and download the application ahead of time here:

What you will learn

• Know what records are available, from basic records to papers, probates, and the armed forces;

• Learn how to research records;

• Understand where to find records, online, in archives and at The National Archives;

• Learn about the context behind sources of information so that you understand their original purpose;

• Learn the techniques that genealogists use to properly assess evidence;

• Learn how to lay out a basic pedigree and understand the research standards expected.


The Stage 1 course will cover topics:

Getting Started

Family sources and assessing evidence

Civil Registration records of births, marriages and deaths

Victorian and Edwardian census returns

First steps at The National Archives Kew

Probate records

The Armed Forces and Merchant Navy in the 20th Century

Parish Registers

Newspapers, directories and voting records

Name-rich sources in the 18th century

Non-Anglican family History

The British Overseas

Records of the poor


A pdf copy of the programme can also be downloaded here

With course tutors Else Churchill, John Hanson, Simon Fowler, Antony Marr and Alec Tritton.

Thursday evenings for 13 weeks, classes start at 6pm and end 8-8:30pm, dependant on topic.

Cost £225.00/£180.00 SoG members. Places must be pre-booked, through our website. Do you have a question? email the events department.

You can also find more about our Online talks on our website

Note our follow up Stage 2 course will be held in early 2021 which covers the records and techniques that genealogists use to take their research further.

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