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

Sporting ancestors

This summer has proved bountiful for fans of all kinds of sports. From the Euros to the cricket test matches, Wimbledon, Royal Ascot, Tour de France, and, of course, the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo from 23 July to 8 August, there is plenty to enjoy. 

If the action on the pitch has piqued your interest, you may wish to investigate the lives of well-known sports players or your own sporting ancestors.

Percival Boyd

Each month, we’ll be using this space to highlight notable members of the Society of Genealogists. We begin the series with one of the most well-known names among the Society’s shelves.

Percival Boyd was born on 29 June 1868 in Clapton Square in north east London to Thomas Boyd, a draper, and his wife, Sarah. Boyd followed in his father’s footsteps to become a textile warehouseman.

Summer customs

As we move past Midsummer, genealogists’ thoughts may turn to the summer lives of our ancestors. We know where most of our British ancestors were on the night of 6 June 1841, thanks to the census of that date.

Those of us with ag lab ancestors may discover in whose fields they were working the harvest, and alongside which colleagues.

Upcoming talks and courses

Lunchtime Chat: Family History Ephemera
SoG Members Only 90 Minute Chat

Else Churchill is in our virtual SoG common room ready for a chat.

How do Transitory Objects Offer Insight into your Ancestor's Lives?

Take part in a discussion on finding and using these objects in genealogy and exchange ideas. Free of charge.

Was your Ancestor an Apprentice?
One-hour Talk

The learning of a trade through apprenticeship has roots that go back to medieval times and before.

In this talk with Professor Patrick Wallis, we will learn more about the lives of apprentices and how apprenticeship worked, and the different sources they can be traced through.

Ideas for Researching Nonconformist Ancestors
A half-day course

Many of our ancestors favoured a wide range of different religious denominations.

In this course with Else Churchill and Jackie Depelle, find out how to watch for signposts, discover where you might find their records, and see what they can tell us. We will explore the sources for tracing our Nonconformist ancestors at the SoG and elsewhere. 

Family History Skills - Evening Course - Stage 1
A thirteen-week intensive course

Take the next step in your family history journey. Actually, 13 steps. Treat yourself to some dedicated time each Thursday evening by joining us on our Family History Skills course.

Learn about essential records and find out how the important databases and archives work, to further your research.

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.


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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