Trace your Ancestors: Next Steps

Ref: C2337236

Take you family history further. Explore weekly topics to find out more about your ancestors' lives. There are many records that hold the key to unlock your family history. You will discover the background and use of historic records and develop effective research and recording methods.

Additional information about this course

Further you family history research, to cover a broader range of records and how to use them.

Course aim

To broaden students existing knowledge and experience of family history research, exploring key documents and sources to develop a picture of aspects of family history and individual ancestors’ lives.

Who is the course for?

The course is suitable for students who have previously attended the beginners course or anyone who has been researching their family history for a while and now wants to take it beyond the basic records.

What topics will this course cover

Topics include: - Poor records - did your ancestor appear in the parish poor records? Many did and most in the 19th century would live in fear of the workhouse. - Illegitimate ancestors - more common than you may think! But not necessarily a dead end. - Wrong side of the law! - or may be your ancestor was the victim or witness to a crime. - Mapping your ancestors - they didn’t move far did they? You may be surprised how much people moved around in the past. Discover maps and other land records. - DNA for Genealogy - how can DNA help my research? The topics are illustrated with copies of original documents and short case studies/activities

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

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

1. Identify types of poor records held by county archives 2. Identify criminal records in archives and online 3. Draw up a plan to research an illegitimate ancestor 4. Use maps and other local sources to build a picture of where their ancestors lived, came from or moved to 5. Identify the three types of DNA test used in genealogy

How will I know I'm making progress?

Progress will be assessed from group and individual activities. Feedback may be written and/or verbal.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

Students will find a folder (not provided) would be useful to store the handouts and other documents collected through your own research. You may bring your own laptop, iPad or tablet if you have one but this is not essential.

Reading and information sources

Previous reading is not essential. Handouts covering the key points of each week’s topics are provided. The tutor’s website includes links to all the websites covered in the course along with many other sites to explore.

What could the course lead to?

Students will be able to use the skills and knowledge gained on the course to continue their own family history research online, in archives and libraries. The tutor provides suggestions for further reading and online resources to extend students’ research skills and knowledge if they wish. Students may choose to join a local family history society or genealogy group.

Download full course outline

Trace your Ancestors: Next Steps Course Outline


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 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing