Family History - A sense of place

Ref: C3671148

Whilst building our family trees we like to gather as much information about our ancestors’ lives as possible and very often local history helps us do that. In this course we’ll consider movement, migration and education in relation to our family members, the records they appear in and think how boundary changes are reflected in where they are kept. There will also be the opportunity to look more closely at where our families lived, their surroundings and the people who they may have met regularly. Elements of House history and School records will also be included along with the opportunity to keep an eye on the latest website and DNA developments. Our course this term will also refresh and catch-up with basic sources, briefly review recording and include optional visits and guest speakers. Course members are welcome to share examples, ideas and problems.

Course aim

To extend and develop Family and Local History research projects through learning and refreshing resources, particularly census returns, school records and local history as well as sharing ideas and experiences with other course members.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Produce between 150 and 750 words on the history of the County where my project is located noting some of the effects of the 1974 boundary changes
  • List the Registration Districts and Poor Law Unions for a place of interest with dates of existence, perhaps a map if convenient
  • Indicate the location of an ancestor’s house on a contemporary map, explain part of its history and locate the nearest school
  • Suggest how far my ancestor went to school, how they have got there and what records survive today
  • Display the results, this term or next, of analysing at least three adjacent pages of two years Census showing employment, migration and a route map

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • It is anticipated that you will want to follow-up the course content in respect of your own family members

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • Occasionally you will be invited to undertake activities in relation to the course content linked to your own interests. It is hoped you will want to share your research work with the group and talk about the pitfalls and possibilities encountered.

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Notebook, writing equipment and perhaps a folder to keep course work together.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Optional reading material and guidance on relevant websites will be provided through out the course.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Progress to additional family and local history study courses offered for example by the WEA, Pharos Tutors, Institute of Heraldry and Genealogy, Degrees in Genealogical Studies, Oxford Undergraduate advance diploma in local history.

Download full Course information sheet

Family History - A sense of place


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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