Our essential skills courses

Stage 2 Family History Skills

Ready to delve deeper into the lives of your ancestors? Familiar with the basic genealogy records (e.g. General Registration, censuses, parish registers) and eager to learn more? Our Stage 2 Family History skills course is perfect for those wanting to tackle brick walls and get to grips with lesser known records.

Ready to level up your research skills?

Our Stage 2 Family History Skills Course covers the records and techniques that professional genealogists use. It's ideal for those that have already completed our Stage 1 course, or who are otherwise familiar with the basics and looking to progress their skills further. In this course you'll be learning techniques for tracking down elusive ancestors, pouring over educational and trade records of various types, learning about the British overseas, military, navy records and more. From finding criminal records to beginning your DNA journey.

If you're ready to take the next steps in understanding your ancestors, all from the comfort of your own home and alongside fellow genealogy enthusiasts, then join our range of expert tutors on Zoom each Saturday between 10:30am and 12:30pm for 12-weeks. Starting on 6th April. Each session will be recorded and available for two weeks, perfect if you can't make a live class one week.

1 Year's Associate Membership with the SoG!

Not a member yet? 1 Year's Associate Membership with the Society of Genealogists is now included in our Stage 1 Skills Course when purchased at the non-member rate of £240. That's a whole 12 months of access to our online collections, exclusive guides and special member-only pricing on publications, courses and talks. Plus enjoy being part of a thriving genealogy community and access to a weekly 'ask the expert' family history helpline! Perfect for queries arising as you flex all the skills you'll learn in the Stage One course. Existing members can purchase at special members rate of £192. £240 to non-members.

What will I learn?

Take your research beyond births, marriages, deaths and censuses. Learn about the many other records available and how to access them. Place sources of data into the context of their original purpose and start developing the research techniques required to break through brick walls. By the end of the 12-weeks you’ll be adding new stories to your existing family tree, applying problem solving techniques to your current mysteries, discovering fascinating sources and be ready to really understand the incredible historic documents available both on and offline.

Our 12-week course covers:

  • Techniques for localising the elusive ancestor 
  • Education, Trades and Professions 
  • Apprenticeship records and guilds 
  • Research in London 
  • The British Overseas 
  • Immigration to England 
  • Army and Navy records before 1914 
  • Crime and Punishment in the 19th century
  • Records of the 18th century 
  • Maps and estate plans 
  • Tithes and surveys 
  • Lloyd George's Domesday 
  • Using DNA in genealogy

Spaces are limited so book now to secure your spot on this popular course.

When is it?

Join us every Saturday morning, from 6 April to 22 June on Zoom for a 2-hour class. Don't forget you will have access to the recording of each session for two weeks, perfect if you can't make a live lesson!

Now available to book: Stage 2 Family History Skills 12 week course: £240 (or £192 to SoG Members). Not a member yet? 1 Year's Associate Membership is now included with this course. Find out more about membership benefits here.

What's Included?

  • 1 Year's Associate Membership (for those not already members)
  • A 12-week evening course delivered over Zoom by an array of expert genealogists
  • Access to recordings enabling you to catch up or re-watch for 2 weeks after each lesson
  • Access to Q&A sessions with our expert tutors
  • Downloadable and printable handouts containing vital lessons and tips from each of the sessions
  • Recommended further resources, such as reading lists
  • The chance to meet likeminded people and access to our members-only community, making it easy to keep in touch with fellow learners after the course
  • Access to Stage 1 to 3 Skills Course Alumni Facebook Group, a space specifically for both past and present learners
Spaces are limited so book now to secure your spot on this popular course.

Meet Your Tutors

Else Churchill. Our in-house expert, Else has over 30-years of experience as a genealogist. Formerly a professional genealogical librarian and researcher, Else has worked for the Society of Genealogists since 1994. She now leads on external liaison, representation, the Society's education and publishing programmes, as well as being the Society's subject specialist.

Alec Tritton has been a family historian for over 35 years, and lectures regularly on many topics related to genealogy and family history, and particularly on Nonconformity and burial grounds. He was formerly the Chairman of the Federation of Family History Societies, Chairman of the Guild of One-Name studies and Vice-Chairman of the Society of Genealogists. He is currently Chairman of the Halsted Trust and has been a tutor for our society for several years.

Debbie Kennett is an internationally recognised expert on genetic genealogy. She is an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London.  She is the author of two books, DNA and Social Networking and The Surnames Handbook. Debbie writes about DNA testing for all the UK family history magazines and writes the popular blog Cruwys News.  

Janet Few is an experienced family, social and community historian. She has written historical fiction, and several books of interest to genealogists. Janet spends time living in the seventeenth century as her alter ego, Mistress Agnes. You can read her blog, ‘the history interpreter’ online. Janet manages Swords and Spindles, a company providing living history presentations and is currently serving as  the president of the Family History Federation. She was awarded the Society of Genealogists' certificate of recognition in 2020. 

Simon Fowler is an experienced family history teacher, writer and researcher. He worked for The National Archives on and off for over thirty years. Today he is a professional researcher mainly on family history and military topics. He has written regularly for genealogy magazines and has authored over two dozen books. Simon teaches at Dundee University, Pharos Tutors and regularly lectures for the Society of Genealogists.

Dave Annal has worked as a professional researcher since 1984 and was formerly employed by The National Archives as the Principal Family History Specialist. He has written a number of family history books, and is a regular contributor to Family Tree magazine where he is currently running the Family Tree Academy. Dave is also a well-known speaker at Family History Society meetings with talks on a wide variety of topics, and also runs his research business, Lifelines Research. He was nominated a fellow of the Society of Genealogists in 2019.

Ian Waller is a retired professional genealogist with over thirty years’ experience in English research. He is the author of several books, a number published by our society. He is a qualified adult education tutor and lectures widely on family history topics at both the beginner and advanced levels. Ian is currently vice chairman of the Family History Federation, a Fellow of AGRA where he was a former Chairman/Council member,  and also a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists.

Spaces are limited so book now to secure your spot on this popular course.
Become a member

Join us

As a 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.

Keep up to date with news and events

Subscribe to The Genealogy Gazette

Sign up today to receive regular updates including The Genealogy Gazette, a monthly newsletter packed with family history news from around the community, hints, tips, and more. Receive information on upcoming events, talks and lectures, and special offers!

Thankyou! Please look out for an email from events@sog.org.uk to validate your email address, after which you'll be added to our Newsletter subscription.