Welcome to the Society of Genealogists

Discover your family history

Join us and explore the UK's premier collection of family history records.

Whether you're a beginner or already on your journey of discovery, we have something for everyone.

We all have a history and we exist to help you find yours.

Featured Stories

South Asian Heritage Month
July

South Asian Heritage Month was launched in 2020. This year the celebration runs from 18 July to 17 August 2022, with the theme being Journeys of Empire - a subject which resonates with many family historians. The reasons for our ancestors' journeys across empires are numerous. There are several genealogical resources we can use to further our research into South Asians who journeyed to Britain. Newspapers can be a good starting point, as the following example demonstrates.

We're all going on a summer holiday
July

This month we have a guest post by Paul Chiddicks, author of the ‘Dear Paul’ column for Family Tree magazine. Paul is also a regular blogger for the Family Tree magazine website, and a co-host of the regular Tuesday night family history Twitter chat, known by the hashtag #AncestryHour. 

As July is the time when UK schools and political institutions are on their summer recesses, Paul looks back on his memories of the summer holidays in his childhood.

Ice cream month
July

The UK has recently begun to adopt July as National Ice Cream Month, but in the USA the event has been celebrated since 1984. Amazingly, then-President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law specifying that July 1984 was National Ice Cream Month. While Ice Cream Month and Ice Cream Day have only been around for a few decades, the tasty dessert dates back thousands of years. However, it was only since the mid-19th century that ice cream has been popular in the UK.

Upcoming talks and events

Tracing Your Female Ancestors
5 weeks from 6 Aug


Family historians are often accused of interesting themselves only in the male lines of their ancestry, following the history of the surname. Older pedigree compilations often ignore the daughters of a family leaving it difficult to establish the distaff line.    

In this 5-week course you will find out about the sources that you can use to throw more light into the lives of your ancestresses and hear their voices.  Every Saturday afternoon 2-3pm from 6 August to 3 September 2022 on Zoom.

Authenticating your Family History Research
23 July


You want to be sure your family history research is of sound quality. The facts you include need to be seen as coming from reliable sources, providing a reference to where you found them.  

Ian Waller shows you how to use sources and citations effectively, and provides ideas on strategies and methodology to help solve those inevitable challenges to research. Discussion will be a large part of this half-day course so bring your questions along.


Little Italy: The Story of London's Italian Quarter
6 July


During the 19th century, there grew to be such a concentration of Italians in one part of London that the area became known as ‘Little Italy’.  Camden Borough archivist Tudor Allen tells us the fascinating story of this Italian quarter in Holborn.

Based on his book of the same name, Tudor covers the first Italian settlers in the area until the very last days of the community in the late 20th century.

Group Visit to Trinity House (London)
18 July


The Corporation of Trinity House was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1514 to regulate pilotage on the River Thames and provide for aged mariners. Join us for a guided tour of Trinity House, which is Grade I listed and originally built in 1796.  

It was gutted in 1940, when a German incendiary bomb and rebuilt in 1919, the interior reconstituted the almost exactly to its original form. This visit must be pre-booked.

Explore our collections

Court Records

Our ancestors appeared in many different types of courts – criminal, civil and equity – either as plaintiffs or defendants, criminals or victims.

Parish registers

First introduced in 1538 the Parish registers of the Church of England record baptisms, marriages and burials.

Poor Law Records

Many of our ancestors lived precarious lives and if they grew old and inform could not work or fell ill or bore illegitimate children they may have become a burden on the community.

Apprenticeships

Evidence of apprenticeship is more likely in 18th century than at any other time from town freemen records, London guilds, parish pauper apprenticeships and the tax levied on apprentice indentures.

Find out more

About us

We all want to know where we’re from; to solve the mysteries of our past; to connect with people whose lives lead to ours; to feel as they felt; to wonder what we would have done in their place.

Our mission and vision

Our vision is a world in which everyone has convenient, affordable access to records, finding aids, knowledge and skills necessary to conduct authoritative research into family history.

We are moving!

We have now officially given notice to our landlords here at Charterhouse Buildings and are very excited for our next chapter and a place which will better suit your needs and ours.

Get Involved

Join today and become a member

As member you can make the most of our resources, access our experts and find a welcoming community of people interested in family history and genealogy.

We all have roots. Let’s find them together.

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