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

May Day
May

May Day, or 1 May, has been celebrated as a traditional festival across Europe for hundreds of years. The day was significant as an ancient celebration (a Celtic cross-quarter day) of the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. May Day has also long been associated with the struggles for justice at work and the improvement of the lives of working people. For some activists and artists, this was emphasised in the form of eco-socialism and campaigns for land reform.

Local and Community History Month
May

May is Local and Community History Month. The month exists to increase awareness of local history, promote general history to local communities, and to encourage members of communities to be involved. Local history focuses on a specific geographical place, and often includes the study of the community in the location. Genealogists often find that studying local and community history complements our studies. As family historians, we need to explore the places and communities in which our ancestors resided, worked, and socialised.

National Share-a-Story Month
May

National Share-a-Story Month takes place every month to celebrate the power of storytelling. Share-a-Story Month is one of many initiatives of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups. However, it is not just children who relish stories. It is human nature to appreciate the drama, emotion, and narrative of personal and social events. This is certainly true of genealogists: family history is all about telling the stories of our ancestors. In a sense, every month is share-a story month for genealogists.

Upcoming talks and events

Record Depositories in Scotland for Family History
21 May


This talk will focus on the primary sources that anyone researching Scotland should know about. It will look at the National Records of Scotland, the ScotlandsPeople Centre and National Library of Scotland.

Lorna Kinnaird is a Scottish professional genealogist accredited by ASGRA who has been researching her family since she was 17 years old and for clients professionally since 2012.  She runs Dunedin Links Genealogy from her home in Edinburgh. 

What to do with your Family History
book until 25 May


Researching a family history generates a plethora of documents, photographs, stories and information. What should you do with it all? Learn How to organise, store, conserve and preserve your family tree sources.


This 7-week course on Wednesday evenings looks at how to store and share your family history, how to preserve the documents both physical and digital and how to write the stories which have been uncovered.


Are You Related to Royalty? with Caroline Gurney
28 May

Your documented ancestry may only include the humblest classes but you are almost certainly descended from royalty. This talk explains why, taking a light-hearted look at the evidence from genealogy and other disciplines, and introducing you to your cousins - royal, famous, and infamous.

About the speaker: Caroline Gurney is a Qualified Genealogist, house historian and historical researcher, based in Portishead, near Bristol. She is studying for a PhD at Bristol University.

Same Sex Love, 1700–1957: History & Research Sources
21 May

Family history is often seen predominantly as the stories of people who were part of a traditional family unit, married to someone of the opposite gender, raising children and living their lives as ‘normally’ as possible.


But what of the relatives who could not accept that this was the life for them, and were attracted to same sex partners? Gill Rossini is a pioneer of the study of same sex relationships within a family history context.

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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Sign up today to receive regular updates including our monthly newsletter full of hints, tips and special offers. You can also choose to receive information on upcoming events, talks and lectures to help you discover your roots.

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