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

Horses’ Birthday
August

1 August is the official birthday of all thoroughbred horses across the Southern Hemisphere. Thoroughbreds in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate their birthdays on 1 January. The tradition of standard birthdates for racehorses began in early nineteenth century England. Horses in general were of huge importance to our ancestors. Almost every village had a blacksmith and signs of the equine world still dot our urban streets.

Edinburgh Festival
August

2022 is the 75th anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival. Since its launch in 1947, the event has showcased theatre, film, music, dance, visual arts, books and more from across the globe. The Fringe has become the world’s largest arts festival, renowned for its comedy and groundbreaking theatre. What is not always realised, though, is how much the festivals owe to a Jewish refugee, Rudolf Bing (9 Jan 1902- 2 Sep 1997), and his experiences of international artistic collaboration in the Weimar Republic.

International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend
August

International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend is celebrated between 20 and 21 August. The event aims to raise the profile of lighthouses, lightvessels and other navigational aids, and promote maritime heritage. At the Society of Genealogists, we are marking the weekend by exploring our collection of Trinity House Petitions. Our Library holds copies of around 8,000 calendared petitions. If you have an ancestor who worked as a lighthouse keeper, seaman, or river pilot, in the Calendar of Trinity House petitions (1787-1854), you can use these details to order a digital copy.

Upcoming talks and events

My Ancestor Was A Pirate: Pirates of the Caribbean - the Sequel
8 September

Do you have an ancestor who has simply disappeared? Perhaps he became a pirate. A swashbuckling hero, seeking his fortune, would certainly enliven your ancestral history. But how would you find out? Join Sue Paul to learn more.   

Pirates were most likely to be Europeans or early European-Americans due to their close connections with America. However, the maritime world, at the time, was more mobile than family historians realise.

Lost in London: A Ten Week Course
From 6 September

One-sixth of the population of England and Wales live in the London area, and a high proportion of the population has always lived in London. Most genealogists, therefore, will have, sooner or later, to tackle the tracing of London ancestry. 

This online course covers how to use London archives and repositories to learn more about your Londoner ancestors as well as how the geography of London affected the lives of our ancestors. All sessions are recorded, bookings taken until 19 September.

New to the Society of Genealogists?
3 September

New to SoG and want to know how to get the best from your membership? This event includes an orientation talk on the SoG - it's website, using SoG Data, SoG Library Catalogue and how to visit our temporary offices at Holloway Road while we await a move to the new building.   

Following a presentation by staff genealogist Else Churchill, members can participate in a discussion. You will have an opportunity to have any questions answered.

Walk: Huguenots of Westminster
13 August

The Huguenots of Spitalfields are extremely well known, the Huguenots of Soho less so.  But their story is just as fascinating. The art they produced was exquisite, and had a huge influence on the arts in eighteenth-century England. 

Join Paul Baker to learn about Huguenot clockmakers, gunsmiths, cabinet-makers, goldsmiths and silversmiths, and about how they eventually became integrated into English society.  Many Londoners today have Huguenot blood! 

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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