Family History-Basics Masterclass

Ref: C3676311

An ideal course for anyone who has started building their family tree and wants to confirm basic steps and recording techniques, both paper and computer based. We'll look at the main sources for research to get back to 1837 and which websites are best suited for this material. Then we'll learn about Parish Registers to take us further back in time, how they were compiled, where they are today and what can be found online. In addition we'll also have a brief look at probate indexes for students to check which of our ancestors left wills and how to get copies if so. There will be opportunities to ask questions and followup some avenues of personal research along the way.

Additional information about this course

Course will run from 10.30 to 3.30 with a 30 minute lunch break

Course aim

To gain an overall understanding of how to build and develop family history research, essential sources and methodology To appreciate the significance of "key" dates and strategies for manipulating genealogical websites

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • List four essential sources for family history research in chronological order with keys dates for each
  • Record efficiently and accurately both a family tree chart and information regarding individuals
  • Use at least four websites for the major sources and know where to look for the census enumerator's route
  • Explain the stages of Parish Register development, how to find their current locations, identify online collections and how they can be very cost effective
  • Understand the key elements of probate indexes for family history and how to order copies of modern wills

How will I be taught?

  • All activities will be undertaken during the session

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?

  • Useful to bring a note book and pencil.

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 as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

Family History-Basics Masterclass

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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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