Genealogy and Researching Your Family History

Ref: C3674880

This course is for any one who wants to be able research their family history and put it into context. Over the course you will be introduced to the tools and skills needed to do this research including how to put a family tree together and how to find and analyze all the sources connected to your family's history. This course will also explore the context of your family history and how it is connected to local, national and international history as well, finding out about how your family lived and what their experiences might have been.

Course aim

The course's purpose is to give people the skills to study their family history and heritage. These skills will include archival research, searching online, analyzing different historical primary sources and putting a detailed family tree together.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • The ability to chart several generations of your family.
  • The ability to identify and analyse a variety of different primary sources.
  • The ability to use archival services and online researching tools.
  • Gaining an understanding of the context of your family history, adding to knowledge of cultural and social history.

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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • We will also organise a meeting at Sheffield Archives during the course.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • 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
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • If possible it would be good to bring with you any information, dates and names of family you wish to trace as a starting point for the sessions. If you do not wish to provide these then that is also fine and you will still be able to participate in the sessions.

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

Download full course information sheet

Genealogy and Researching Your 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 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

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