Family History

Ref: C2341729

A course for students with no experience of family history but others with experience are welcome. New sources and methods will be investigated to enable them to begin their research further and work with others on the journey. Particular emphasis is placed on historical context in order to better understand the lives and struggles of the individuals who helped to make us who we are today. Whether you are just starting out or want an opportunity to review your current progress there's something on this table for you. Come and make new friends, make new discoveries and have a lot of fun on the way.

Course aim

Designed for students with no experience of family history research but others with experience are welcome. The course seeks to introduce sources and methods to enable them to begin, revise or extend their research.

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:

  • Create a simple family tree both as a pedigree and full tree
  • Describe how to seek out basic civil registration and census records online to verify your research
  • Contribute actively to a local family history network in encouraging and helpful ways
  • Analyse and explain how a family history interacts with the social history of a locality
  • Surf the internet using several online sources for research

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 will be expected to carry out a range of activities in your own time

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
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your 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.)
  • Please bring pen, pencil and paper or notebook. You are welcome to use your own laptop or tablet if you wish. Suitable for all levels of IT understanding.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

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
  • You will be encouraged to continue researching your family history alongside others. This group aims to establish itself as a regular course offered throughout the year and beyond, but there is no obligation to continue on if you prefer not to.

Download full course information sheet

Family History

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


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

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