Hints and Tips

6 Essentials for Kick Starting Your Family History Journey

These top tips are perfect for kick starting your family history journey, whether you're new to genealogy, seeking to re-start your family history investigations or simply re-energising yourself for another year of productive research.

1. Take a Genealogy Course

No matter how experienced you are, there's always more to learn and it's always worth refreshing your skills. Taking a course, especially one where you get to interact with fellow class mates, is an ideal way to kick start your family history journey.

Our Stage One Skills Course is the perfect way to begin your family history journey. The course runs for 12 weeks each Spring, over Zoom (with recordings available for a fortnight afterwards for those unable to attend live). Each class lasts two hours and is presented by our expert tutors (such as the Society's official genealogist Else Churchill, John Hanson, Simon Fowler, Caroline Adams, Janice Tullock, and Alec Tritton). Also included are Q&A sessions with our expert genealogists, handouts, recommended further resources, the chance to meet like-minded people, and access to Stage 1 to 3 Skills Course Alumni Facebook Group.

2. Create dedicated time for exploring your family history

During the hectic holiday season, it can be difficult to snatch moments for exploring your family’s past. Try setting aside a special time each week, away from work and chores, dedicated exclusively to genealogy. Commit yourself by marking the timeslot in your online or paper calendars and diaries. And remember to let your friends and family know that you’re not free!

3. Sign up for newsletters

Many good blogging sites, museums, archives, family history societies or local history organisations produce free newsletters. These might range from being news focused to contained stories and tips. Sign up to our monthly newsletter for regular updates from us about events, collections and tipshttps://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/v5y0b6

4. Plan your genealogy events with ConferenceKeeper

ConferenceKeeper is an amazing online compendium of genealogy events. This digital calendar helps you to find hundreds to thousands of genealogy webinars, workshops, seminars, conferences, podcasts and more, from genealogy societies, libraries, and other organizations all around the world.

5. Using tools to bookmark blogs you discover – getting more organised for 2023

See our latest feature for some useful tools including bookmarking blogs, such as Evernote and Microsoft Edge Collections. Or you may prefer to stick with the Bookmarks bar of your favourite browser. For those who prefer a more visual record, try Pinterest.

6. Broadening your knowledge 

There are lots of different ways to learn about family history, and the list of family history topics to chose from is endless! From blog sites to courses. It can be easy to overlook the humble book! But many experienced family historians will refer back to books on specialist topics. You can explore the Society’s own publications and check out our latest Book of the Month, plus a wide range of books and products from other publishers at our online bookshop

We’d love to hear about your genealogy New Year’s Resolutions. Do contact us to share any useful tips to keep us all motivated!

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