Family History - The Parish Chest

Ref: C3678129

Taking your family tree back beyond 1837 isn't always easy as there are fewer records available and the cross-referencing evidence is limited. The main resource for tracing people in this earlier period is Church material in particular Parish Registers which are the best known records once kept in the Parish Chest. Our course will expand your knowledge of sources and skills to extend family history research back beyond the introduction of Civil Registration and Census records. We will sample and begin to experience some of the documentation a Parish kept which recorded both its people's everyday lives and also its own administrative processes. We will also aim to keep an eye on online developments and support individual research projects when possible.

Course aim

To expand knowledge of sources and skills to extend family history research back beyond the introduction of Civil Registration and Census records. To understand and experience some of the records a Parish which recorded its people and administration.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • This course is for improvers
  • It is anticipated that course members will have begun to draft out a family tree, used Certificate indexes as well as Census records and be ready to work with Parish Registers.

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

  • Explain the different layout stages of Parish Registers including the changes from two major Acts of Parliament, naming and dating these
  • Name three Parish Officials and give details of their key roles and name at least one such person who would probably have known my family
  • Report on the results of searching an online catalogue for surviving Parish Chest material for one place of personal interest
  • Contribute at least one website to a collective course resource of online Parish Chest material
  • Produce an outline plan for a Local History project on a Village, Town or Parish which is significant to my family history research

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • Most of your learning will take place in your class, but one or two sessions will be online using WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas, working by yourself or engaging with other students. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • 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?

  • You will be able to keep a record of your progress and achievement using photos, audio, text or documents uploaded into the WEA’s digital learning platform, WEA Canvas.
  • Your tutor will provide written, text and audio feedback recorded in WEA Canvas, WEA’s digital learning platform.
  • You will be able to keep a digital portfolio of your work on WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas.
  • 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

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • You will have access to course resources and links to wider learning through the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • It is anticipated that course members will have begun to draft their own family tree, have looked at Certificate Indexes as well as Census Records and starting to work with Parish Registers

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
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next
  • Study courses with the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies: https://www.ihgs.ac.uk/courses Study courses with the University of Strathclyde: https://www.strath.ac.uk/studywithus/centreforlifelonglearning/genealogy/

Download full course information sheet

Family History - The Parish Chest

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • 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 2020
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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