Services Terms and Conditions



Version number: 1.1

Effective date: 7/8/2023


1.              Who we are

1.1           We are the Society of Genealogists. See our contact and other information at the end of this document.


2.              What this is all about

2.1           These are our terms and conditions which apply to our Services, as explained below. (Separate terms and conditions for sale of goods apply when you buy physical goods from us such as books or subscriptions to the hard copy version of Genealogists’ Magazine.)  We’ve tried to make these terms user-friendly. Please read them carefully and save a copy as we don’t file a copy specifically for the transaction with you. They’re available in English only.


3.              Some definitions

3.1           Here are some definitions which are used in this document (all capitalised):

·                “Consumer” - an individual acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside that person’s trade, business, craft or profession.

·                “Content” - all information of whatever kind (including posts, comments, blogs, chat, images, photos, audio, video, advertisements, messages etc.) displayed on or sent through our Online Services.

·                “Event” – any online or in person event or session organised by us including talks/lectures/courses and one-to-one sessions with expert genealogists.

·                “Library” – our library and other premises.

·                “Online Services” – the services we offer online including our website and access to the community Hub and to online materials such as SoGData Online, Learning Zone, Advanced Guides and Genealogists Magazine online.

·                “Services” – the services we offer including membership, Events, Library passes, search and copy service and Online Services.

·                “User” - people or organisations using our Services (whether or not members).


4.              How you enter a legal contract with us

4.1           Your order is an offer to enter a legal contract with us to use our Services.


4.2           You place your order by using the ordering process on our site. This involves sending your order to us by clicking on the “Pay Now” or equivalent button. You can check and amend any errors before making an order by using the change function and/or the internet browser back button.


4.3           We accept your offer and there is a binding legal contract when we send you a confirmation email.


4.4           We reserve the right in our discretion for any lawful reason to refuse any request to use our Services.


4.5           By browsing any part of our Services that does not require registration/payment, you are also bound by these terms to the extent they are relevant.


5.              Important – membership

5.1           If you are a member, you agree to be bound by our applicable rules and regulations. If there is any conflict with these terms, the rules and regulations take priority.


5.2           We remind you that our regulations require that no member shall use the fact of membership to imply competence or proficiency in genealogical or associated skills nor to derive professional or financial advantage. Membership does not entitle you to use the letters/title “M.S.G.” or any alternative thereto.


6.              Consumer right to cancel (“cooling off”)

6.1           If you are a Consumer, you may have the right to cancel this contract within 14 days of the start of the contract as further explained in the Annex at the end of this document.


6.2           However, you lose the right to cancel contracts for the supply of services which have been fully performed, i.e., completed.


6.3           You also lose the right to cancel where the supply of digital content began before the end of cancellation period with your specific agreement and you acknowledged that your right to cancel would be lost in such case. This applies, for example, to our membership services.


7.              Changing these terms and conditions

7.1           We may change these terms and conditions by giving you at least 14 days’ notice unless a more urgent change is needed to comply with laws or regulations or to deal with an unforeseen and imminent danger. We will notify you by posting the new version on our website and, if the changes are important, by email.


7.2           If you don’t agree to the new terms and the changes are important, you can email us (to the address below) to end this contract on the day before the new terms take effect.  Otherwise, the new terms will apply.


8.              Your right to use our Online Services

8.1           We grant you a limited personal non-transferable right to use our Online Services on any applicable device owned or controlled by you subject to these terms and conditions.


9.              Behaviour when using our Services

9.1           You agree not to do any of the following in connection with our Services:

·                break the law or infringe anyone else’s rights;

·                send, store, display or link to unlawful, infringing or otherwise inappropriate Content;

·                victimise or harass other people;

·                use offensive, obscene, abusive, discriminatory or other inappropriate language or images;

·                deceive or mislead anyone;

·                send, store, display or link to any Content that includes someone else’s personal information unless that person is 18 years or over and you have obtained their written consent;

·                make recordings or screenshots of audio/video interactions without the written consent of all other participants;

·                impersonate anyone;

·                use our Services with a view to competing with us or infringing our rights;

·                interfere with or damage our Services or gain unauthorised access to any part of our system, data, passwords or otherwise;

·                intercept or modify communications;

·                impose an unreasonable load on our Services;

·                get around any security or other features including those designed to stop copying of Content; or

·                attempt, encourage or assist any of the above.


9.2           You agree to:

·                comply with the guidance/requirements on our Services; and

·                ensure that any contact or other information that you supply to us is accurate and not misleading and you will tell us if there are any important changes.


10.         Attending the Library and Events (online or in person)

10.1        All events bookings must be pre-paid. All listed prices quoted are in GBP (Pound Sterling). VAT and registration fees are included in the price. We accept all major debit and credit cards including Visa and Mastercard.


10.2        While we generally release Event marketing to members in advance, we do not guarantee that anyone will be able to attend any particular event. We allocate tickets for Events on a first come, first served basis.


10.3        We offer no refund if you are unable to attend a paid Event. There is no 14-day legal cancellation (“cooling off”) rights for Consumers because our Events involve leisure activities which take place on specified dates. We may agree to transfer your payment to another Event held within 12 months. Please contact us for more information.


10.4       Bookings for online events are refundable until 7 days in advance of the event beginning. No other compensation is available. 


10.5       We are entitled to cancel or reschedule any Event if there are exceptional circumstances, e.g., speaker illness. If so, we will give you as much notice as possible and we will offer you a full refund if you are unable to attend any rescheduled Event. 

10.6       If you attend an Event (whether online or in person) or otherwise visit the Library you agree:

  • to behave in a reasonable and non-disruptive manner;
  • to comply with rules and regulations that apply to the Library and with reasonable requests by us;
  • that access to Library computer terminals is subject to availability and may be time-limited; and
  • to leave the Library when any pass expires. 

10.7        You agree to take reasonable care of our property including items you borrow from the Library.

10.8       We are entitled to end an Event or require to you leave the Library at any time if you break this contract or we reasonably consider that it is necessary to do so for safety reasons.

10.9      You agree to take reasonable care of our property including items you borrow from the Library.

10.10      Those not members of the Society of Genealogists are welcome to attend SoG events at the surcharged price, where there is space and tickets have been offered.

10.11       Please be polite and tactful even if you have a difference of opinion and do not interrupt others whilst they are talking. We have zero tolerance towards disrespectful behaviour. Should your behaviour be deemed offensive or inappropriate we reserve the right to remove you from the event with immediate effect.  Each person is responsible for their own behaviour and we will not be held responsible for the behaviour or actions of any other attendees.  


11.         Search and copy service

11.1        If you use our search and copy service, we will take reasonable steps to provide you with the best quality copy we but we cannot guarantee that the copy will be fully legible or of any particular quality.


11.2        We will take reasonable steps to despatch the copy within any timescale stated on our website or, if none, a reasonable timeframe. It is your responsibility to contact us if you do not receive your copy within the expected timeframe.


12.           Your Content on our Online Services (e.g., the community Hub)

12.1        You are responsible for your Content.


12.2        You agree that you have (and will keep) all rights needed to enable us to use your Content as contemplated by the Service and these terms and conditions.


12.3        We reserve the right without notice or refund to reject, suspend, alter, remove or delete Content or to disclose to the police or other relevant authorities or to a complainant any Content or behaviour if it is the subject of complaint or where we have reason to believe that it breaches our terms and conditions, or that such steps are necessary to protect us or others, or that a criminal offence may have been committed, or where required by law or where requested by the police or other appropriate authorities, or if we consider that Content does not meet our quality standards.  If so, you must not attempt to re-publish or re-send the relevant Content.


12.4        We are not legally responsible if your Content is misused by others. You must take reasonable care when deciding which Content to display on or send via our Online Services.


12.5        We may place advertisements near or within your Content. If so, we retain all revenue from such advertisements.


12.6        It is your responsibility to make your own frequent backups of Content if you want protection if it is lost or damaged. We are not responsible for such loss or damage.


12.7        We are allowed to delete Content you display on our Service if your account has been inactive for at least twelve months or any alternative period we decide.


13.          Dealing with other Users on our Online Services

13.1        You accept that we have no obligation to vet or monitor Users or their Content. You rely on such information and/or deal with other Users at your own risk. We accept no legal responsibility for the accuracy of, or otherwise in relation to, any such Content or in connection with any dealings between Users. It is your responsibility to carry out careful and detailed investigations before dealing with other Users including use of or reliance on their Content. You should not assume that any Content from another User is accurate and be aware that people may not be who they claim to be.


13.2        You acknowledge that in using the Service you may encounter behaviour or Content which you consider inappropriate. If so, please email us to our email address shown below (including if you wish to give us notice of defamatory material). Please also use any available blocking mechanisms, seek relevant external help If appropriate (e.g., from law enforcement authorities) and/or stop using the Service.


14.         Other peoples’ advertising on our Online Services

14.1        We may display other peoples’ services, advertising and /or links to other websites. We do not recommend or endorse, nor are we legally responsible for, any of these.  You use them at your own risk.


14.2        You agree that you are legally bound by the terms and conditions of any payment providers whose services you use on our Services. We aren’t responsible for what they do or don’t do.


15.         Our guidance

15.1        If we ourselves provide any guidance or other general information on or via our Services, we do not guarantee that it is accurate or up to date and we do not accept legal responsibility for it. Before acting on such information, you must make your own appropriate and careful enquiries including as to its accuracy and suitability for your purposes. You rely on such information at your own risk.


16.          Using our badge and linking to our website

16.1        You must not use our badge (including on any webpage) without our specific permission in writing. If we do give permission, you must comply with the following (unless the permission states otherwise):

·                it is not used on a commercial website to imply membership of the Society;

·                it is not used to imply any kind of endorsement or approval by the Society;

·                it links directly to the home page (only) of our website and the link does not bring up our website in way which makes it appear that our site is part of your site, e.g., by using a frame;

·                you use one of the versions of the image that we make available and the image is not modified in any way (apart from re-sizing using height and width but retaining the same dimensions);

·                the image filename is not altered;

·                the image is accessed from a copy on the linking server and not via a link to our server; and

·                you tell us immediately if you change the URL of your website.


16.2        You are allowed to link to our website provided that:

·                you regularly check the link to ensure that it still works; and

·                the link is not used to imply any kind of endorsement or approval by the Society or membership thereof.


17.           Your account

17.1        Unless otherwise specifically stated on our Services, your account is for your personal use only. You must not allow any other person to use your account unless we specifically say otherwise. You agree to take reasonable care to keep your login information confidential and to tell us immediately of any apparent breach of security such as loss or misuse of a password.   You are responsible for other people who use your account or identity (unless and to the extent that we are at fault).


18.           Paying us

18.1        Payment is in advance, either one-off or on subscription. Prices, subscription periods and payment methods are as explained on our Service. The prices shown include any applicable VAT or other sales tax unless we say otherwise.


18.2        Where stated on our Service when you subscribed, your subscription will continue to be auto-renewed for the same subscription period which you signed up to unless you end your subscription before the renewal date by following the instructions on our site.  Ending your subscription does not entitle you to a refund (unless Consumer cooling off rights apply). You authorise us and our payment provider to charge your payment card for the relevant amounts or otherwise take payment whenever payments are due in accordance with this agreement. It is your responsibility to update your payment card details as necessary.


18.3        We may at any time change our subscription prices. We will give you notice by email at least one month before any price change takes effect. If you do not accept the new price, you should end your subscription by following the instructions on our site. Otherwise the next payment of your subscription after the one month’s notice will be at the new price.


18.4        You must contact us immediately with full details if you dispute any payment.


19.           About discount codes

19.1        We may offer discount codes from time to time. Such codes may only be applied to purchases made through the account in respect of which the discount code was offered and registered and are not transferrable or redeemable for cash. Unless otherwise stated: codes (1) are only available for future new orders placed online; (2) cannot be used retrospectively; (3) can only be redeemed once per customer; and (4) expire after 12 months. You cannot use more than one discount code per transaction unless we state otherwise; if we do so, the order in which the codes are to be applied is in our sole discretion.


19.2        We reserve the right to reject any discount code if we consider that it is being used in breach of these terms. Discount codes are subject to any additional specific terms and conditions which are specified at the point of issue.  We reserve the right to discontinue or otherwise modify any discount codes at any time without prior notice.


20.           Support

20.1        The Service includes support only insofar as specifically provided for within the Service and, if so, by the specified contact methods. Any support service is only intended to address configuration and proper use of, or any errors or interruptions arising from, our Services.


20.2        Unless otherwise stated, we do not guarantee any particular response times or outcomes. Any response times given are English business hours/days unless we say otherwise.


20.3        In any event, we aren’t obliged to supply support if you owe us any money or have otherwise broken this contract.


21.           Ending or suspending this contract

21.1        If you are a member, you may at any time end this contract by cancelling your membership in accordance with the steps explained on our Services. (This doesn’t entitle you to a refund unless you have Consumer “cooling off” rights, explained above.)


21.2        We are entitled at any time to end this contract or suspend part or all of our Services or impose restrictions on our Services if:

·                you break this contract;

·                any fees payable by you are unpaid / unjustifiably charged back;

·                acting reasonably, we think that it is necessary to protect us or others;

·                we are required to do so by applicable law or regulation or to comply with an order, instruction or request from a competent authority; or

·                you or anyone on your behalf acts inappropriately towards our staff.


21.3        We are entitled at any time to end this contract without giving reasons. If so, we will refund in full any fees already paid which relate to the period after the contract ends.


21.4        We are entitled at any time to end this contract if in our reasonable opinion it is necessary to do so for security, technical or operational reasons.


21.5        If this contract ends:

·                Your right to use our Services and all licences are terminated.

·                Existing rights and liabilities are unaffected.

·                All clauses in this contract which are stated or intended to continue after termination will continue to apply.


22.           If our Online Services don’t work properly

22.1        We do not guarantee that the Online Services will be uninterrupted or error-free. We are entitled, without notice and without liability (a) to suspend the Services for repair, maintenance, improvement or other technical reason and (b) to make changes to the Services. 


22.2        You acknowledge that technology is not always secure and you accept the risks inherent in use of the Internet or other technology for the purpose of the Online Services.


23.           Restrictions on our legal responsibility – very important

23.1        Nothing in this agreement in any way limits or excludes our liability for negligence causing death or personal injury or for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation or for anything which may not legally be excluded or limited. In this section, any reference to us includes our employees and agents, who have the right to enforce this agreement.


23.2        If you are a Consumer, we shall not be liable for any loss or damage where:

·                there is no breach of a legal duty owed to you by us;

·                such loss or damage was not reasonably foreseeable (meaning it was not an obvious consequence of our breach or not contemplated by you and us at the time we entered into this contract);

·                (and to the extent that) such loss or damage is your fault, for example by not complying with this agreement; or

·                such loss or damage relates to a business of yours.


23.3        If you are a Consumer, you will be responsible to us for any reasonably foreseeable loss or damage we suffer (including claims made by other people) resulting from your breach of this agreement or misuse of our Services.


23.4        The following clauses apply only if you are not a Consumer:

·                Our liability of any kind (including our own negligence) for any act or omissions or series of connected acts or omissions is limited to the total fees paid or payable by you to us in connection with our Services in the 12 months before the first act or omission complained of.

·                In no event (including our own negligence) will we be liable for any:

·                economic losses (including, without limit, loss of revenues, profits, contracts, business or anticipated savings);

·                loss of goodwill or reputation;

·                special, indirect or consequential losses; or

·                damage to or loss of data

(even if we have been advised of the possibility of such losses).

·                You will indemnify us against all claims and liabilities directly or indirectly related to your use of the Service and/or breach of this agreement.

·                To the extent allowed by law, you and we exclude all terms, whether imposed by statute or by law or otherwise, that are not expressly stated in this agreement.

·                This agreement constitutes the entire agreement between us with respect to its subject matter and supercedes any previous communications or agreements between us. We both acknowledge that there have been no misrepresentations and that neither of us has relied on any pre-contractual statements. Liability for misrepresentation (excluding fraudulent misrepresentation) relating to the terms of this agreement is excluded.


24.           Intellectual property rights (e.g., copyright)

24.1        If you supply Content for display on our Online Services, you retain ownership of the intellectual property rights. You allow us, at no cost and forever, to use and adapt all or part of such material however we wish on our Services. You waive your “moral rights” in relation to such Content to the extent legally allowed. You also allow each User to use your Content in accordance with these terms and conditions. You give us the right to take any legal action we think necessary if there is an infringement of the intellectual property rights in your Content.


24.2        The intellectual property rights in all Content (excluding your Content) used on or in connection with our Services are owned by us or by our partners or other Users. In the case of Online Services, you may view such material on your device for your personal, private and non-commercial use only.  You must not otherwise use such material including copying, publishing, selling or adapting it or taking extracts from it unless we specifically say so in writing (except to the extent specifically allowed by this agreement).   You must not misrepresent the ownership or source of such material, for example by changing or removing any legal notices or author attributions.


24.3        Just to be clear - you must not collect, scrape, harvest, frame or deep-link to any Content on our Online Services without our specific prior written consent.


25.           Your personal information – see our privacy policy

25.1        You agree that we can deal with your personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy which may change from time to time.


26.           Things we can’t control

26.1        We are not liable for failure to perform or delay in performing any obligation under this agreement if the failure or delay is caused by any circumstances beyond our reasonable control including third party telecommunication failures and epidemics/pandemics.


27.           Transferring this contract to someone else

27.1        We may transfer all or part of our rights or duties under this agreement provided we take reasonable steps to ensure that your rights under this agreement are not prejudiced. As this agreement is personal to you, you may not transfer any of your rights or duties under it without our prior written consent.


28.           English law and courts   

28.1        This contract is under English law and any disputes will be decided only by the courts of the United Kingdom.  If you are a Consumer, you will benefit from any mandatory provisions of the law of the country in which you are resident. Nothing in these terms and conditions affects your rights as a Consumer to rely on such mandatory provisions of local law.


29.           General but important information

29.1        We may send all notices under this agreement by email to the most recent email address you have given us. You can send notices to our email address shown below. Headings used in this agreement are for information and not binding. If any part of this agreement is ineffective or unenforceable for any reason, the rest of the agreement will still apply. If either of us overlooks any breach of this agreement by the other, it can still be actioned later. A person who is not a party to this agreement can’t enforce it unless the agreement says otherwise. The parties are independent contractors and, except as otherwise specifically stated above, nothing in this agreement make any party as agent, employee or representative of the other.


30.           Complaints

30.1        If you have any complaints, please contact us via the contact details shown below.


31.           More information about us

31.1        Our name: The Society of Genealogists

31.2        Our legal status: Company limited by guarantee

31.3        Country of incorporation: England and Wales

31.4        Registered number: 00115703

31.5        Registered office and contact address: Unit 2, 40 Wharf Road, London N1 7GS

31.6        Registered charity number: 233701

31.7        VAT number: GB 240 6070 02

31.8        Contact email address:

31.9        Other contact information: See our website/contact page






The following applies if you have the right to cancel this contract (as explained above).


Right to cancel

1.              You have the right to cancel this contract within 14 days without giving any reason.


2.              The cancellation period will expire after 14 days from the day when we enter a legal contract with you.


3.              To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform the Society of Genealogists, Unit 2, 40 Wharf Road, London N1 7GS (email address above) of your decision to cancel this contract by a clear statement (e.g., a letter sent by post or e-mail). You may use the model cancellation form below but it is not obligatory.


4.              To meet the cancellation deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your communication concerning your exercise of the right to cancel before the cancellation period has expired.


Effects of cancellation

5.              If you cancel this contract, we will reimburse to you all payments received from you.


6.              The reimbursement will be made without undue delay, and not later than 14 days after the day on which we are informed about your decision to cancel this contract.


7.              The reimbursement will be made using the same means of payment as you used for the initial transaction, unless you have expressly agreed otherwise; in any event, you will not incur any fees as a result of the reimbursement.


8.              If you requested us to begin the performance of services during the cancellation period, you shall pay us an amount which is in proportion to what has been performed until you have communicated to us your cancellation of this contract in comparison with the full coverage of the contract.




Complete and return this form only if you wish to cancel the contract:


— To the Society of Genealogists, Unit 2, 40 Wharf Road, London N1 7GS (email address above):

— I/We [*] hereby give notice that I/We [*] cancel my/our [*] contract of sale of the following goods [*]/ for the supply of the following service [*],

— Ordered on [*]/received on [*],

— Name of consumer(s),

— Address of consumer(s),

— Signature of consumer(s) (only if this form is notified on paper),

— Date

[*] Delete as appropriate

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