Events in the Society of Genealogists September 2016..

There are still spaces on the following Society of Genealogists events taking place in September, further information about each event is listed below. All events with a charge must be pre-booked and paid.  Events can be booked through the website or by telephone (Tuesday-Thursdays & Saturdays) at the number listed below.


SoG members should log-in first to receive their 20% member discount. Non-members are welcome to attend events, at the full price. All events take place at our premises in London, unless otherwise noted.


Saturday, 3 September  10:30-17:00 – Fire and Pestilence: The Great Fire of London and Family History

The Great Fire of London is one of the biggest disasters in London’s history – some believe it to be the biggest of all. Join us for a whole day, at the Society of Genealogists, to explore the story of the Great Fire and how it affected Londoners and London. Attend talks and workshops covering the parts of London that burnt, where to find records on Londoners who lived through it and what happened when the Fire stopped.

Throughout the day, our speakers will help you develop your understanding of how Londoners survived the Fire and what their lives were like during it and afterwards.

A full-day course, cost 35.00/28.00 SoG members


10:30     The Great Fire and the Rebuilding of London (Gustav Milne)

11:45     Tea Break (provided)

12:00     Records for Londoners at the time of the Great Fire  (Vanessa Harding)

13:00     Lunch Break (lunch not provided)

13:45     Mapping London before the great Fire: principles, practices, and problem (Vanessa Harding)

15:00    Tea Break  (provided)

15:15    A Dreadful Visitation: The Great Plague – Pete Smith

16:30/17:00   Q&A/Finish


Monday-Friday, 5-9 September 10:30-17:00 – Family History Getaway: Victorian London Family and Social History    

Join us at the Society of Genealogists for a Family History Getaway Week. The Society is hosting this five-day programme in its Library in London. You can attend talks and workshops to find out how London Victorian families lived and how London’s social issues and local history affected their lives. Then, as part of the programme, explore the books, documents and records in our Library. Sixteen workshops and talks, help using our Library and a sandwich lunch included in the cost. You will also receive a copy of our publication, ‘My Ancestor was a Londoner’.

Spread over the five days, we aim to help you to develop your understanding of how your London ancestors lived and how their lives were affected by the social and local history of London. We will focus primarily on Victorian London under some broad themes: birth and baptism; health, marriage, family and society; work and school; death and burial.

Everyone researching their family history in London and building a family tree is very welcome.

Do you have the basic details for your London ancestors but wonder why they made certain choices and how they lived? This five-day Getaway programme is ideal for you.

A week-long intensive course with Else Churchill, Dr Vanessa Taylor, David Allen, Kevin Brown, Dr Colin Chapman, Michael Gandy, Ann Wise, Robert Stephenson Kathy Chater and Charlotte Hopkins. A full programme can be viewed and bookings made on ourwebsite. Cost 220.00/176.00 SoG members.


Saturday, 10 September  10:30-17:00 – Further Palaeography

A fully interactive workshop aimed at those who wish to improve their skills and fluency in reading 16th and 17th century handwriting. The documents will all be written in English, the teaching of Latin will not be included. Working in pairs on facsimiles you will be able to choose documents from a range of handwriting styles. Each pair will receive individual attention. You will be given practical tips on how to tackle unfamiliar scripts. The course is not suitable for beginners. If he has time, the tutor will help you with your own difficult documents or advice you on problems in your research.

About the tutor: David Smith has been a professional archivist for over 40 years. His last full-time job was as County Archivist of Gloucestershire 1980-2000. He has been teaching evening classes and archives skills for 30 years.

A full-day course, spaces limited due to the intensive nature of the workshop. Cost 35.00/28.00 SoG members


Wednesday, 14 September  14:00 – Medical Sources for Genealogists     

In this lecture we will be given an overview of medical sources which are invaluable to the family historian.

A one-hour lecture with Dr Chris Hilton, of the Wellcome Library, cost 8.00/6.40 SoG members



Thursdays, 15 September 18:00-20:00 – Stage 3 Evening Skills Course      

You have mastered all the basic skills needed to research family histories. You have even managed to break down some brick walls. Now you would like to take your knowledge and your skills a bit further. The Society of Genealogists’ Stage 3 set of evening classes does just that. You’ll learn about the information that lies in the less well known documents and you’ll get a chance to put your skills to use in practical exercises.

Who is this course for?

Stage 3 is designed for those with experience of genealogical research and the basic research records. It is suitable for students wishing to take the IHGS exams.

What will the course cover?

·        The British overseas

·        Intestacy, probate and tracing missing partners

·        The application of genetics and DNA testing for family history

·        Immigration to England

·        Chancery and other Equity Courts

·        Ecclesiastical Courts

·        Manorial records, customs and tenure

·        Land and estate documents

·        Researching before parish registers

·        Debrief of research assignments.

What you will learn

You will become familiar with many of the records and finding aids used to take research further.

Know what records are available and their whereabouts and place sources of data into the context of their original purpose.

Understand the techniques required to use sources of data in genealogical research.


Thursday evenings for 10 weeks, this course concludes on 17 November. With Else Churchill, Paul Blake, Ian Waller, and Dr Geoff Swinfield.  Some classes can be booked individually, contact the events department for further details.  Cost 175.00/140.00 SoG members


Saturday , 17 September 11:00-13:00 – Walk: Follow the Fire – The Great Fire of London  

350 years ago the Great Fire devastated London, destroying everything in its wake. Follow the Fire from its start time in the early hours of a Sunday morning through 4 days of danger and flames, with tales of heroism, cowardice and blame. Meet the people who lived through the Fire, and see how the City of London rose like a phoenix from the flames.

With Julie Chandler, cost 10.00/8.00 SoG members, places limited


Saturday, 17 September 14:00-17:00 – Shipwrecked! Tracing Ancestors Lost at Sea and Lifeboatmen

This course will consist of two talks, the first covering passengers and people who worked and fought at sea, whom were shipwrecked. In the second talk, Simon will discuss Lifeboatmen, and the genealogical research he undertook to create a novel. He will also give tips on tracing your own lifeboatmen ancestors.

A half-day course with Simon Wills, cost 20.00/16.00  SoG members


Wednesday, 21 September  14:00 – Finding London Burials Online            

One of the biggest problems facing family historians is trying to find the burial of an ancestor in London. This lecture will give some ideas as to possible sources for research.

A one-hour lecture with John Hanson, FSG cost 8.00/6.40 SoG members


Friday, 30 September  11:00-13:00 – Walk: City Livery Companies

A unique feature of the City of London is the 110 City Livery Companies. In this walk we will learn more about a number of the City Livery Halls that still exist in the City and some of the sites associated with the Livery Companies, culminating at the Guildhall.

With Ian Bevan  cost 10.00/8.00 SoG members, places limited

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