Women in Family History

Ref: C3675691

Although the Representation of the People Act in 1918 gave some women the right to vote it wasn't until 1928 that they got equal franchise with men over 21. Thereafter Electoral Registers become a really vital resource for tracing the female line, as well as bridging the gap between the 1911 census and today. Our course will review a selection of sources which are particularly, though not exclusively, relevant to researching women and developing the maternal side of family trees. You may wish to adapt the term female to something traditional known as "she" such as ships for option project work. General guidance, website hints and tips will also be included along with additional optional events.

Course aim

To study sources which are particularly, though not exclusively relevant to researching women to develop the maternal line. We'll think too about what's "female" for our projects. Includes general guidance, website hints and tips plus optional events

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Enthusiasm to research your family tree and work on building generational charts is assumed as is interpretation of our ancestors lives. Will include a variety of sources for all levels.

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

  • Identify the three main building block sources for family history research indicating which provide the most useful information for Women
  • List at least two other items traditionally known as "female" and identify two repositories where relevant archive material is held
  • Demonstrate three ways in which legislation improved how women became easier to locate for genealogical purposes
  • Provide information on the link between 100 years of women’s suffrage and part of the history behind women wearing a particular element of the crown jewels
  • Produce a short project piece on a female person, place or object including additional material specifically researched this term. Presentations can be oral, digital or by any other means

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

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
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

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.)
  • A notebook, paper or electronic, to record ideas for further research, dates and other associated comments.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • A book and website list will be provided.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next

Download full course information sheet

Women in Family History


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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