Family History - Building the Jigsaw

Ref: C3672103

The world of Family History never seems to stand still so our course is ideal to help you keep up to date on the latest records, to go online and any changes to access (whether physical or digital). We also try to appreciate the factors affecting printed and archival material so that we can make good use of these resources to develop Local and Family History projects. Our new topics this term may be instantly helpful or perhaps something that you’ll come back to in the future. There is always some time for questions, queries and help with problems whether to locate ancestors, how to track descendants, which website to use or manipulating search fields. Likewise sharing of ideas and experiences motivates everyone to delve deeper. Optional visits and guest speakers are arranged and new course members are always welcome.

Course aim

To promote Family and Local History research by learning new records, sharing discoveries and updated websites. To experience the following:- Oxford Dictionary of Surnames, Parliamentary Archives, 1939 Register, palaeography and census.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for improvers

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

  • Report on six (or more) family name searches in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and provide a short history of this publication.
  • Decipher four family surnames in the 1642 Protestation Returns, preferably in an area of personal interest
  • Explain why this list was made and confirm having searched the Portcullis catalogue
  • Display a comparison of the four surnames deciphered above in the 1911 census and the 1939 Register, using the same location
  • Share with the group a family tree and a referenced individual record for a person who you have developed knowledge of during this term or worked on recently

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

What else do I need to know?

  • A notebook and folder would be useful.

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
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • Support Family and Local History Societies.

Download full Course information sheet

Family History - Building the Jigsaw


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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