Trace your Ancestors

Ref: C2338105

Discover your family history through essential records. There are many records that hold the key to unlock your family history. You will discover the background and use of key historic records and develop effective research and recording methods.

Course aim

To explore key documents and sources for researching family history along with effective research skills.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners

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

  • Recognise the difference between Primary and Secondary historical resources
  • Use UK census records, 1841-1911, to discover details about a family
  • Use UK birth, marriage, death (BMD) certificates as a source of information about an individual or family and search an online BMD index
  • Find if an ancestor left a will after 1858 and identify where to find pre-1858 wills
  • Identify sources of WW1 military records

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Students will find a folder (not provided) would be useful to store the handouts and other documents you will collect through your own research.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Students will be able to continue their own family history research online, in archives and libraries. Students may choose to join a local family history society or genealogy group.

Download full Course information sheet

Trace your Ancestors

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


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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