Press Release written by the Society of Genealogists:
At last, the news that so many of you have been waiting for – we can finally announce our new home! We are delighted to inform you that we picked up the keys for Unit 2, 40 Wharf Road, London, N1 7GS this week and have started to plan its refurbishment as a wonderful library, archive and social venue for genealogists, local and family historians.
The venue is easily accessible from Euston, Kings Cross and Paddington, and we will keep you up to date with our progress. We estimate that the Society will reopen at the site in the Summer of 2023.
As many of you may be aware, The Society had sold its previous premises at Charterhouse Buildings several years ago and finally vacated the site in October 2021, having packed up its immense holdings into storage temporarily.
We have been operating out of temporary offices in the old Jones Brothers Department Store on Holloway Road, with a retrieval system and visits which can be booked on Wednesdays. We've also continued to welcome our valued volunteer team to the site on Fridays.
We very much look forward to welcoming everyone back to a new refreshed and revitalised Society in 2023. New premises are just one part of the ambitious transformation programme that we’ve been undertaking over the past eighteen months.
The Society also hopes to welcome partners in the genealogy community, academics, local, family and social historians through its doors. We are looking forward to holding another youth conference as well as a conference exploring African and Caribbean disaporas in September as part of the events marking Windrush 75. Our ambition is for this building to become a destination venue, where we shall hold exhibitions, conferences, courses and continue to promote genealogy and family history.
The Society of Genealogist's popular live online lectures are due to continue in 2021 via the Zoom platform. From their news page we see that their first talk this New Year is 'Sources for Medieval and Early Modern Genealogy' and will be taking place on 9 January 2021.
In this talk, Dr. Nick Barratt will be looking at medieval and early family history sources, including practical information for research. He will be introducing new sources to help you trace your relatives further back in time and his talk covers: feudalism, landholding and social hierarchy, government and local administration, law and justice, and church and religion.
At the end of the Zoom talk there will be a short Q&A session for you to ask Nick questions.
About the speaker: Dr Nick Barratt obtained his PhD in history from King's College London. At the National Archives he previously was head of Medieval, Early Modern Legal, Maps & Photographs, and was president of the Family History Federation for ten years. Nick worked in television as a specialist archive researcher and consultant including House Detectives and Who Do You Think You Are. He is the owner of Sticks Research Agency, as well as being the director of Learner and Discovery Services at the Open University.
This Society of Genealogist's event is online and is a one-hour talk on Saturday, 9 January (2pm UK), cost £10.00/£6.50 SoG members. This talk as well as the SoG's other January events can be booked through their website.
Society of Genealogists Free Library Tours & Advice for Members and Non-Members
The Society of Genealogist's blog has announced the upcoming dates for their next tours of the library at their premises in London will be 20 January, 3 February and 17 February.
The SoG Library is packed with many family history records, directories and databases and can be a great help for people searching for their ancestors. With more than 140,000 items spread over three floors it is a treasure trove for genealogists to explore.
While you can just go and explore yourself, asking the staff and volunteers for help when you need it, the SoG recommends that you take a Library Tour so that you are introduced to what they hold.
The visits are free to all, last approximately 1½ hours long, and they are on nearly every second Saturday at 11.15 am.
The Society is also offering free half-hour advice sessions on these Saturdays. You can book an appointment by contacting the library by email or telephone.
To see more take a look at their blog here:
In Clerkenwell, London can be found the Society of Genealogists
If you are looking for a genealogy talk in the next few weeks of May 2016, then why not consider one of these?
Sat 21 May 10:30-18:00 Open Day - with Free Lectures, Library Tours & Advice - Free (must be pre-booked) Please watch their website for upcoming details on a variety of online talks to take place in 2016
Wed 25 May 12:00-13:00 Nursing through Shot and Shell: Medical Women at the Front £8.00/£6.40 for SoG members. Dr Viv Newman
Wed 25 May 14:00-15:00 SoG Special Collections: What has Been Done Before £8.00/£6.40 for SoG members. Else Churchill
Sat 28 May 10:30-13:00 Upstairs, Downstairs: My Ancestor was in Domestic Service £20.00/£16.00 for SoG members. Ian Waller FSG
Sat 28 May 14:00-17:00 Divorced, Bigamist, Bereaved - Marriage Law for Genealogists £20.00/£16.00 for SoG members. Prof Rebecca Probert
Sat 28 May 14:00-16:00 Walk: Historic Shoreditch £10.00/£8.00 for SoG members.
Check with their website to see what is fully booked or otherwise before going!http://www.sog.org.uk/books-courses/events-courses/
14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA
Image by Fergusfish (http://www.societyofgenealogists.com) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
Who Do You Think You Are? Live will run at the NEC from 7 to 9 April. Anita Rani is due to appear on Saturday April 9 at 10.15 to 11:00 and 12.15 to 13:00. To book tickets go to here.
The 38 year-old Countryfile presenter, who is of Punjabi descent but raised in Bradford, was reduced to tears on the WDYTYA? TV programme earlier this year when she heard about the horrific circumstances in which her maternal grandfather, Sant Singh lost his first wife and children during the Partition of India.
The collection of Customs & Excise Staff Service Registers 1833-1911 that were deposited with the Society of Genealogists by HM Revenue and Customs in 2013 and comprises of 32 service registers created by HM Customs and Excise for staff born between 1833 and 1911, have been made available to family history researchers by the Society of Genealogists on their website.
If you have Customs and Excise officers in your family tree then this could be useful to you. The detailed records include date of birth, place of birth, date of civil service certificate, rank or office held, former residence (i.e. prior to employment), ports(s) in which staff served and date of admission along with notes of salary, offences and meritorious service. The registers often show dates of resignation, dismissal, retirement and pension received and dates of death. While predominantly relating to male officers some women staff members do certainly appear in the later years.
The registers, that have now been digitised and indexed by the Society of Genealogists, comprise nearly 14,000 images with approximately 16,800 entries and can be accessed via SoG Data Online. The index can be searched by non-member here for free but to view the full record with full entries then you will need to join the Society.
The Society of Genealogists has released its new 2016 Events programme is now online and bookable.
Listed below are events taking place at the Society of Genealogists in January. Visit their website if you want to find out further information about each event, as well as events taking place during the remainder of the year.
If you are a member of the Society of Genealogists and are booking online, then you should remember to log in first, in order to receive the member discount. Non-members are also welcome to attend events, at the full price. Events can also be booked by telephone (Tuesday-Thursday & Saturdays), at the number listed below. All events take place at their premises in London, unless otherwise noted.
Wednesday, 13 January 14:00 - Discovering Discovery: Using The National Archives Website and Catalogue
Discovery is The National Archives online catalogue and holds more than 32 million descriptions of records held by The National Archives and more than 2,500 archives across the country. Millions of records are available for download, find out what can be found in the catalogue and how to get the best from the website.
A one-hour lecture with Guy Grannum, Discovery Product Manager at The National Archives. Free of charge, but must be pre-booked.
Thursday, 14 January 18:00-20:00 - Stage 1 Evening Skills Course (10 weeks)
The Society's successful family history skills course begins again with the first ten-week series of classes for those who are new to family history or who have had a little experience and want to build upon their initial progress. Our team of professional genealogists will introduce the records and illustrate how they should best be used for the study of family history. Publications, electronic finding aids and the internet will, of course, be included along with all the basic sources needed to start research. Topics will include how to get started, how to best search the census, newspapers, probate, parish registers, Non-Anglican family History and more.
With Else Churchill, John Hanson, Simon Fowler and Ian Waller.
Thursday evenings (last class 17 March) Cost 175.00/140.00, Please see further information about Stage 2 and Stage 3 courses, on our website.
Saturday, 16 January 14:00-17:00 - Researching Irish Family Life in the Famine Years
80% of today’s English people have Irish ancestry and this seminar looks at Irish lives in the rural west of Ireland in the famine years between about 1800 and 1850.
In the first talk, we will look at how people lived; their houses, possessions, food, work, education, entertainment, etc. It touches on politics, social attitudes and the reasons for mass poverty and emigration.
The second talk discusses how to use such facts as these to build your own family history in places, like Ireland, where few real records survive. It looks at subjects such as additional places to search and how to follow leads, how to put the story together and to what extent you can judge events of 200 years ago by modern standards. It opens up a whole area of family history beyond the collecting of birth, marriage, death and census data. If you have just a few facts, this seminar will start you on a family quest that will be engrossing, interesting and, with luck, extremely rewarding.
A half-day course with Stephen Lally, Cost 20.00/16.00
Wednesday, 20January14:00 - Copyright for Family History
Copyright applies to photographs, diaries, paintings, film clips and many other works. This talk will aim to cover some of the issues you might face with copyright works in your family history, including how long copyright lasts, when you might or might not need permission to use the works, and what you can do if you cannot find the right holder and would like to copy the work. This talk will be especially useful for those considering publication of their family history.
A one-hour talk with staff from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the official government body responsible for intellectual property rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright.
Saturday,23January 10:30-13:00 - Research Before Parish Registers
Pre 1600 research is an entirely different "ballgame" with many records existing that can be useful. Many such records continued beyond 1600 but are under-used. Some family historians think they have to stop researching when parish registers end. How wrong you are! Come see what is available.
A half-day course with Ian Waller, FSG Cost 20.00/16.00
Wednesday, 27 January 14:00 - Catching up with FamilySearch
The familysearch.org website is the largest family history website in the world, with billions of names across thousands of collections - and more are added monthly. Learn what new major databases have been added, how to find this information, and how to best use the website.
A one-hour lecture with Sharon Hintze. Free, but must be pre-booked.
Thursday, 28January14:00 - Visit: St-Mary-le-Bow Church
We will learn about the history of this famous church and the great architecture of Sir Christopher Wren, in particular relating to the famous steeple. Inside the church we will look at the post-war rebuilding by Lawrence King, the beautiful stained glass windows by John Hayward and the other modern furnishings.
The church has many international connections, including significant ones with the USA, Norway, Germany and Australia. It also possesses an 11th century crypt, part of it now an elegant chapel, the rest of it used as a restaurant, set among many of the original Norman arches.
With Tony Tucker Cost 10.00/8.00 (appx 1 hour)
Saturday,30January10:30-13:00 - East London, Kent & Essex in the 18th Century
The emphasis of this course will be on the movement of people, money and goods backwards and forwards between East London and the counties - the pattern being very different between Kent and Essex. Come and learn more about these areas, and subsequently more about your ancestors during this important time.
A half-day course with Derek Morris Cost 20.00/16.00
Saturday,30January14:00-17:00 - Good Research Techniques
This course will take an in-depth look at the best ways to research in order to avoid making mistakes as well as how to get the most out of the records you use. We will also look at the likely causes of brick walls you may meet during the course of your research and the best way to tackle them. Sources covered include BMDs, census and parish records.
A half-day course with Celia Heritage Cost 20.00/16.00
For those of us that have managed to get back to the Georgian era of British history the Society of Genealogist is offering a full day course on the 13th June 2015. This period is normally defined as spanning the reigns of, the first four Hanoverian kings of Great Britain who were all named 'George': George I, George II, George III and George IV (covering the dates from 1714-1830). If you book yourself on the course you will learn more about the sources for family history research within this era.
Checking out the SoG websites gives the following details of the Full Programme:
10:30 - Genealogical Sources of the Georgian Era (Else Churchill)
11:45 – tea break
12:00 – Georgian Era Nonconformist records for Family History (Les Mitchison)
13:00 – Lunch Break
13:45 – Georgian Era Military Records for Family History (esp Royal Navy) – (Les Mitchison)
15:00 – Tea break
15:15 – The Life and Times of An Army Wife in the Peninsular War (Rebecca Probert)
16:30/17:00 - Q&A/Finish
This full-day course is on Saturday, 13 June, cost £35.00/£28.00 for SoG members. Places should be pre-booked, either through the SoG website or by telephone: 020 7553 3290.
The Society of Genealogists has added the evidence records of those candidates taking the Civil Service examinations, between 1855 and 1939, to their SoG Data Online. Members of the Society will be able to view the original documents, after logging in, while non-members can search for a name in the collection, but are not able to view the documents.
The records were originally created when candidates for the examinations had to provide proof that they were at least 21 years old. The evidence, which they submitted, very often would have been their birth certificate or sometimes a certified extract from a baptismal register. In some cases these documents were simply not available and so all manner of alternative evidence was produced, such as Indian horoscopes drawn up at a child’s birth.
The SoG says that the geographical spread of the collection is extremely wide with many births recorded from Ireland, the Channel Islands, Malta and Gibraltar plus others for British people who were born all over the world and especially in India.
The surviving documents only include evidence of birth for a small proportion of Civil Servants, some 60,000 people in all. However the collection may provide vital evidence of an ancestor’s birth date that would be difficult or impossible to prove otherwise and so break down a brick wall.