Testimonials


"Although I have been active in genealogy for a number of years, I was surprised at how much I learned"
(John, England)

"Your courses are just what us family historians are looking for"
(Kim, Scotland)
How Courses Work



"I learned a great deal of new stuff about using websites I have been using for years, was pointed in directions I hadn’t thought of going and the whole thing was presented in a very friendly manner"

(Mary, England)
Websites We Use



"I have taken other online courses and I found yours to be the most supportive because you are taking each person where he or she is and helping them focus on how to research using topics they need to pursue"

(Barbara, USA)



Past Courses


(Not currently running, but will be available in the future. Click on a course title to enquire about it.)

20th Century Surveys for Family and Local History (329)

All About Parish Registers (115)

Become a Better Genealogist- Research in England and Wales (101)

Civil Registration in England and Wales - The Expert Guide (201)

Climbing Trees - How to get children interested in family history (1100)

Discover Your Devon Ancestors (220)

Enclosure Maps and Records for Family Historians (309)

Genetic Genealogy - DNA and Your Research (715)

Genetic Genealogy - Managing a Surname Project (816)

I'm Stuck! How Can the Society of Genealogists Help Me? (180)

Manorial Records for Family and Local Historians (312)

Parish Registers - Family Tree FREE Taster Course

Researching Irish Ancestors Before 1820 (230)

Tithe Records for Family and Local History (319)

Your Family in Georgian England 1714 to 1830 (604)

Your Family in Stuart England (603)

 

 

 

Pharos - All Courses


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Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
One-Place Studies - Research from a New Perspective (317)This course teaches you the basics of organizing a one-place study. It looks at a wide array of sources, some familiar, and some less so, and it shows you how to reconstruct the lives of people within the context of a community.

The picture we build of a place as family historians is a picture of that place in relation to our ancestors. in contrast a one place study concentrates on the history of a place in relatio to all those people who have lived there through time. In a one-place study you put genealogical methods to one side yet, ironically, by doing so you will usually achieve a better understanding of your ancestors and potentially solve some of your family history problems! There are few better ways of getting under the skins of our ancestors than a serious study of where and how they lived and a one-place study is guaranteed to provide you with a much better understanding of their lives. The records used in an OPS include many that are used by genealogists – church registers, censuses, voters lists, land records, tax lists, etc – but we use them in a different way.

Learn how to carry out a one-place study and discover how an unusual perspective and a totally different use of facts about people can open your eyes to a new appreciation of the past and new solutions for your research problems.

The course is aimed primarily at English and Welsh researchers, but does cover some Scottish and Irish sources. We recommend that you have some family history research experience before you take this course, at least in civil registration, census returns and parish registers, and that you have already taken a Pharos course at the 100 or 200 level.

STUDENTS SAID "A fascinating topic that I had never properly pursued before. More than anything the course has opened up my research in all areas of my family history and has really broadened my research horizons."
Celia Heritage 29 Jul 2014 £33.99
Course Length: 3 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Old Handwriting for Family Historians (417)Old handwriting, or palaeography, often presents difficulties for family historians. This course takes a practical approach to reading and transcribing Secretary Hand which was a commonly used form during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Family historians will come across Secretary Hand in many types of documents such as parish registers and wills and inventories. The course aims to equip students with their own set of steps to successful transcription, as well as provide insights into the development of Secretary Hand.

STUDENTS SAID "The documents used for practice were varied and lots of useful tips were given. The internet links will be very useful for future practice"
Helen Osborn 01 Aug 2014 £49.99
Course Full
Course Length: 4 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Ireland - A Practical Approach to Family History (103)Research into Irish Ancestors is considered particularly difficult, a generalization that is too readily accepted. There are challenges, but until you match knowledge of resources - online and off - to the circumstances of your ancestors you do not actually know how difficult your own search will be. The focus of this course is on records, the context of your own Irish research and creating practical strategies. If your Irish ancestors were alive for any period after 1785, if you want to know whether you really can find your Irish origins and take them back beyond 1800, then this course is what you need. Sherry Irvine 20 Aug 2014 £45.99
Course Length: 5 Weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Scottish Research Online (102) Scotland was first to have major records digitized and offer indexes and images online. It has also been a leader in placing resource information on the World Wide Web. This course describes the major sites, the types of information and data that they offer, the forms in which databases are presented and how to analyze results. You will learn to lay the foundations for searching a family, how to select best resources and what to do next either online or in libraries and archives. Chris Paton 03 Sep 2014 £45.99
Course Length: 5 Weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Your Military Ancestors (224)Just about everyone with British or Irish roots can find a soldier or sailor on their family tree. As a result, military records are some of the most used by genealogists. In addition, there are many sources which can provide background to flesh out your ancestor’s forces service. This course guides students through sources at The National Archives, at local archives and military museums, and an increasing number of online resources. In particular we will consider the service records for both officers and other ranks that can provide vital genealogical facts and a wealth of helpful detail that can take your research back into the 18th century and help reveal the life of your military ancestors. The lessons cover what records exist, how to combine records to best effect, and what you can expect to discover about your military ancestors. Simon Fowler 08 Sep 2014 Unassessed
£39.99
Assessed
£53.99

Course Length: 4 Weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Organizing Your Genealogy (202)As you research your family history, you collect information, charts, copies of records, notes, lists of sources searched, etc. Whether you are just starting your research or whether you have been at it a while, it is important to be organized and have a record keeping system. It should be easy to file and store information when you get it, and to find it long afterward. Good organization and record keeping will help you assess what you have, what you have learned, and what you need to learn. This three-week course is designed to help you get organized, stay organized and be ready for research online and on location by developing good record-keeping habits. Barbara H. Baker 09 Sep 2014 £33.99
Course Length: 3 Weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Victorian Crime and Punishment- Courts, police and prisons (308)Court records can provide a fascinating glimpse into the criminal lives our ancestors but crime is not the only topic covered in this course. There are records of juries, witnesses, licences for gamekeepers and peddlars plus records from the High Courts & Chancery where families squabble over inheritances and property. We also examine records of the new police force and the management of prisons. This course presents the background and the records, includes illustrations and case studies, and sets forth the best research methods, online and in archives. If your family tree lacks privileged ancestors it may have other well-documented ancestors - those who made their way into records of crime and punishment. Liz Carter 09 Sep 2014 Unassessed
£45.99
Assessed
£61.00

Course Length: 5 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Researching Your Welsh Ancestors (119)Wales is unique and Welsh research is different. Despite the fact that, by and large, Wales used the same legal and bureaucratic framework as England, the country's social, linguistic, cultural and religious fabric mean that a different kind of approach is necessary. The context of research is vitally important and there are difficulties, even for those who have a good level of knowledge and experience with family history research. The course therefore is aimed at those who have some basic knowledge of family history research in England and deals with those particular aspects of family history research in Wales which are different to that of England. For example, you will learn how linguistic, social and cultural factors shaped the day-to-day life of your ancestors and how they coloured the historical documents you will be consulting. You will also have the chance to study how Welsh nonconformity could affect your own research as well as where to locate and how to get the most out of specific Welsh sources and Welsh repositories. There is now a good range of sources for Welsh research on the Web and this course includes lots of advice on finding and using online information and data.

STUDENTS SAID "I had hoped for some time that Pharos would run a Welsh Ancestors course and I have not been disappointed. The course was absolutely magical in its content and far exceeded my expectations. I hadn't realised before, how complicated the Welsh history and culture was. It has certainly opened my eyes, has made me want to know more and made me realise why I may be experiencing some difficulties with my own Welsh research. Thank you Pharos and Eilir."
Eilir Daniels 15 Sep 2014 £45.99
Course Length: 5 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Fixed in Time and Place- Using Directories and Gazetteers in Genealogy (311)Directories are a wonderful primary source for genealogists and historians. Trade directories can give us a snap-shot of a community by providing reliable and dated information about people, places, trades, farming, travel connections, shops and institutions. Telephone directories can help us pin point people with great accuracy, and professional directories can be used to track a career. Topographical gazetteers provide local information that also helps us make sense of communities particularly in relation to boundaries and jurisdictions. But a directory is not just a list of names, they give a wealth of community information, help you fill in missing gaps, and track the movement of people with accuracy. This can be particularly useful when researching people into the 20th century with no census after 1911 to guide you. They also give us much information about social and historical change over time.

This three week course is an in-depth guide to directories and gazeteers, how to use them in your research, and provides invaluable background information to help you understand how the information was collected and laid out, whether or not people paid to be included, who used the directories originally, how you can analyse it effectively and how and where you can access original copies.

Gill Blanchard 15 Sep 2014 £33.99
Course Length: 3 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
The National Archives Website and Catalogue - Finding People (207)The National Archives' website and catalogues describe more than 20 million documents, and can lead you to information about individual ancestors.

UK Government records, held at The National Archives (TNA), are a leading resource for genealogists. These are the historical records of a nation through more than a thousand years. They include documents about all parts of the British Isles and all parts of the world where the government had its agents, colonial officials or military forces. Even if you cannot visit TNA in person, there is much to be gained from using TNA online. The lessons cover how to find the most genealogically valuable records and how to search for individuals. You learn what to do next, once you find an interesting listing, and how to discover useful background details about the records. The key to achieving this is navigation skill and you are shown how to navigate around the website. The emphasis is on remote access, how anyone, living anywhere, can make the most of The National Archives website and catalogues.
Guy Grannum 19 Sep 2014 £33.99
Course Length: 3 Weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Professional Genealogist - Become one, become a better one (941)You can be a successful working genealogist. Whether you are already researching for clients or planning to do so, this 4 week course guides you through the professional skills that form the foundation for success. The course has been prepared with the assistance of the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives(AGRA). The course begins by stressing how professional research differs from personal research with the focus on standards for research, analysis and reporting. You learn what AGRA requires of its members and how to ensure you measure up. Equally important are the business skills that contribute to success. Topics in this segment of the course include advice on managing your office and UK regulations for the self-employed. Another section of the course presents a practical guide to marketing your business and yourself. We conclude with advice about the ways professional genealogists can stay current with new developments, including IT, and with advice on the advantages of diversifying into writing and lecturing.

Students should note that this course does not give guidance on advanced methods of research or records, and will assume you already have extensive research experience.

STUDENTS SAID "It focused directly on setting up a Genealogy Business. You can buy lots of material on setting up a business but it was brilliant to see this information directed specifically towards Genealogy. Excellent"

"Although the content looked as though it was simple and straightforward, it was presented in a way that broadened my view of the subject and made me rewrite my business plan."

"The emphasis on business skills was just right. The chat sessions were particularly interesting."
Karen Cummings 19 Sep 2014 £47.99
Course Length: 4 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Introduction to One-Name Studies (901)A one name study is an exciting new journey into your surname’s past. It involves the collection of all the occurrences of a surname and biographical data about everybody who shares that surname. This course is an introduction to one name studies, written with the guidance of the Guild of One-Name Studies and is suitable for all genealogists who have woken up to the knowledge that they have an interesting and unusual surname.

You will learn about the history and study of surnames, which surnames are suitable for a study, what a one name study consists of, and how to get started. We cover how to collect and analyse data from the core records. You learn about all the practical aspects of running a one name study; collecting data, how to publicise your study, data protection, publish results and make sure your study is preserved for others in the future. You will also learn how the Guild of One-Name Studies guides and supports its members. Non Guild members signing up for the course will get FREE Guild Membership for the remainder of the financial year.
Helen Osborn 26 Sep 2014 £45.99
    27 Feb 2015 £45.99
    04 Sep 2015 £45.99 Start Date Available Soon
Course Length: 5 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Employment Records (380)Find out about the working life of your ancestors. Records of employment can do two things; reveal important facts for furthering the genealogical information about a family and provide vivid details of the way your ancestors lived. Many documents uncovered during our research indicate an occupation, perhaps several in which our ancestor was employed. Many will have followed their father's trade or occupation, and their children will have followed them. Others will have broken away, perhaps from the land and headed for the town to learn new skills and enter a different trade. Those more fortunate, at least financially or by birth may have been destined for one of the professions. Records of employment will vary from the scant to the copious; much depends on the occupation. This 5 weeks course examines what is likely to be found in offical and unofficial sources and where and how the information can be used as further insights into the lives and times of our ancestors. Paul Blake 06 Oct 2014 Unassessed
£45.99
Assessed
£61.00

Course Length: 5 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Developing and Writing Your Family History (803)Writing a family history is the logical step after genealogical research, and sometimes while research is still in progress. To avoid gathering dust, a family story must be written to appeal to a broad spectrum of relatives and readers, to answer questions of relationships and to stimulate the sharing of knowledge. The history of a family blends a range of information: the ancestors and their stories, the places they knew, and the context of contemporary conditions and event. A good story, based on sound research, is a focal point of a family re-union, and it makes a great gift.

This course begins with advice on injecting life into the family history and ideas for identifying historical themes. These two elements are key to holding interest. Among the ideas and themes discussed are the use of photographs, local and social history, timelines, the occupations of your ancestors and the lives of women and children. The third lesson discusses the writing process and includes examples of different themes and approaches to help generate new ideas and class discussion.
Brian Drescher 17 Oct 2014 £33.99
Course Length: 3 Weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Caribbean Family History (150)Britain’s first colony in the West Indies was settled in 1625. Over the next three centuries hundreds of thousands went out to the Caribbean as merchants, traders, soldiers, sailors, labourers, transported traitors and felons. The slave trade brought many times that many to the region. If your genealogical research has turned up a connection to one of Britain’s colonies in the Caribbean this course is your opportunity to expand your family history. You will learn about vital records, passenger lists, immigration sources and records of the slave trade. You will be able to make use of sources on the Web and learn about resources accessible in archives and libraries. For anyone with Caribbean connections this course will put your research on solid foundations. Guy Grannum  Oct 2014 £45.99
Start Date Available Soon
Course Length: 5 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Tracing Beneficiaries - A Step by Step Guide (741)When you have to administer an estate, the process can be more complicated and cost more if you also need to trace a missing beneficiary. Sometimes the value of the legacy or estate does not merit hiring a genealogist or a specialist probate genealogy firm to trace them.

This course, designed specifically for solicitors, executors and legal staff, takes you through the basics of finding named beneficiaries and proving family connections where there is no will. It will cover easy, low cost sources and methods, where to access records (both online and historical) and advice on building a family tree. You will be shown how to present your evidence and advised how best to make an approach to possible beneficiaries. The course concentrates on resources for locating people in England & Wales, although some advice for the rest of the UK will also be included. The course will not teach you how to be an “heir hunter” or give any instruction on how to administer unclaimed estates advertised by the Treasury.

A basic understanding of family history research will help you but is by no means essential as all resources and procedures will be explained. Some websites and databases in the course are subscription only or will require a fee.
Karen Bali  Oct 2014 £54.99
Start Date Available Soon
Course Length: 5 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Scotland 1750 - 1850 - Beyond the OPRs (302)This is an intermediate level course in Scottish family history for those who are going back beyond 1850. You should have some experience with research in the Old Parochial Registers of the Church of Scotland and in using major websites for Scottish research. This course discusses sources that fill the gap when the OPRs are uninformative or missing; for example, records of parish and town administration, occupations, land transfer and taxation. Using these records involves several different locations. You will learn how to check online finding aids and how to find the most effective way to obtain records that may be online, in print, on CD or microfilm. This is the second course on Scottish research. If you have not taken Scottish Reserach Online please check its description. Chris Paton 05 Nov 2014 £45.99
Course Length: 5 Weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Before the Modern Census - Name-rich sources from 1690 to 1837 (381)What do you do when the nominal census records that you have used so much are no longer there, when you cannot obtain names, ages, birthplaces and the household address of a family? And how do you supplement the deficiencies of parish registers?

Your attention should turn to a variety of lists which at least reveal where someone lived at a particular time. Though this seems scant information, such facts can be vitally important especially in those years when children were not born and christened.

Over four lessons you will learn about the introduction of newspapers, the earliest efforts at census taking, and what other records are considered to be useful census substitutes. Census substitutes are often quite local in scope and purpose. Many will be explained and advice will be given on how to search for local lists. You will come away with an understanding of how to make the most of census substitutes, some new online search skills, and an ability to assess and access these sources.
Else Churchill 10 Nov 2014 Unassessed
£39.99
Assessed
£53.99

Course Length: 4 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
World War Research (225)Almost everybody has ancestors and family who fought in the two world wars. This three-week course will help you find out about their service whether they spent their time in a cookhouse at Catterick or, in Winston Churchill’s words” at the sharp end”.

We look at online resources available from The National Archives, the commercial data providers, and those maintained by enthusiasts. Offline, we examine original records at Kew and consider resources available at the Imperial War Museum and other military museums across Britain, as well as how best to use these records. Women’s war service records are included and records for men from the Dominions who came to the aid of the Mother Country during both world wars. This course will answer your questions about: service records, where to find them and how to interpret them; medal records, including how to discover more about why they were awarded; casualty records, including researching how and why a man lost his life and also operational records, which give you a good idea of a man’s career in the services.

Two of the three weeks will be spent looking at the major resources for the First World War and suggesting alternatives where there are gaps in the records. The last lesson will concentrate on the Second World War, where there are many records which are rarely used by family historians. For both conflicts research strategies will be offered, together with tips to speed your research along.

STUDENTS SAID "I very much enjoyed the chat sessions and learnt a lot through them. I found the practical exercises very helpful to reinforce the information I had read."

"I enjoyed the whole course. I was especially interested in world war one and enjoyed reading the lesson notes for this part as well as attempting to do the associated excercises."

Simon Fowler 10 Nov 2014 £33.99
Course Length: 3 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Maps and Surveys - Locating your Ancestors (320)A five-week course examining how you can isolate where your ancestor lived using the maps & related surveys for the 1910 Land Value Duty (2nd Domesday Book); the 1836 Tithe Commutation Act and Enclosure Awards. Starting with a study of historical maps and online sources, the course moves on to examine each of the 3 map-based surveys using case studies to illustrate how each record can be used to locate families. The course finishes with links to contemporary records and case studies. Throughout the course, the emphasis will be on locating records both on- and off-line and interpreting the documents. Gill Blanchard 14 Nov 2014 £45.99
Course Length: 5 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
The Parish Chest -There was more to life than baptism, marriage and burial (310)The records and accounts of the parish make up what is collectively called the parish chest. From the reign of Elizabeth I the parish’s role in local affairs expanded to include many civil responsibilities that affected the lives of your ancestors. Parish officers - the churchwardens and overseers - raised taxes, kept accounts and managed parish affairs including maintaining the church, providing relief to the poor, setting local rates, repairing roads, maintaining law and order, and operating schools. You will discover other fascinating records as well, among them the wills of benefactors, militia records and parish magazines. This course explains how to locate parish chest records, describes indexes and finding aids, and discusses how to interpret and use search results. As a result you will build your family tree and expand your understanding of the parish and its day to day activities. Gill Blanchard 15 Nov 2014 £39.99
Course Length: 4 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Beginners Guide to Creating and Researching Your Family Tree (020)Written in association with findmypast.co.uk, this course will quickly and easily enable you to start building your family tree. In the first lesson, which is available as a FREE download with no obligation, you will discover and explore a range of basic family history records and your family tree will start to take shape. Lessons two and three continue to build knowledge and confidence when finding and using records guides you on how to organise and plan your research. The lessons consider current debates in genealogy and how to use technology and the internet effectively. The course focuses on genealogical knowledge and technological know -how, a combination which makes family history research easy and enjoyable. Experience accessing and using an on-line forum as well as taking part in a live web chat. This course is not just about building a tree, it aims to inspire, guide and equip you to enter the world of genealogy with confidence and a clear direction. The course is suitable for all beginners who have either English or Welsh ancestry. Hannah Baker 01 Jan 2015 £21.99
Start Date Available Soon
Course Length: 3 weeks with the first Lesson Free to download at any time   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
17th Century Sources (382)Students completing this course will gain a broad understanding of the problems encountered when researching in 17th century records. They will be able to locate indexes and finding aids, document copies and transcripts, and original records. In addition, they will appreciate the research value and practical application of the information found. The course gives significant emphasis to local and regional differences within records as well as to historical context. For genealogists the 17th century presents new challenges. These are not discouraging – if anything, challenges add interest and enthusiasm to research. Historically it is a fascinating period, and genealogically some familiar records continue to be used so the research is not with entirely new material. Themes within the course include: the structure of a gentry dominated society, the records created by 17th century civil and ecclesiastical government, and the problems created by the "Commonwealth Gap". Sources for 17th century research are found in many formats, from original documents to print to microform to digital. This course presents 21st century techniques for finding ancestors in Stuart England and Wales and teaches record interpretation, analysis and planning.

Stuart Raymond 09 Jan 2015 Unassessed
£39.99
Assessed
£53.99

Course Length: 4 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Introduction to Medieval Genealogy (501)Don’t stop tracing your family once you have exhausted the Parish Registers- it is possible to trace lines back beyond the 1500s, and this course will outline some of the ways that you can break into medieval genealogy. This course will help you create the foundations for researching medieval records, describe the nature of medieval records, on-line locations and finding guides that can improve your chances of finding direct or probable relations. It will also help you understand the geographical and political landscapes of medieval England, including general histories and the key events which generated records. Topics covered include using medieval pedigrees, heralds visitations and how to prove (or disprove) the genealogies given by using inquisitions post mortem, feet of fines, chancery and other government records as well as taxation, church and military records. It is possible to find a foothold into medieval genealogy using many Tudor and Stuart records; this course will outline ways in which you can push the boundaries further back. Many medieval records were written in medieval Latin and medieval French, but do not panic! In this introductory overview of medieval genealogy we will concentrating on the most accessible sources, gaining contextual background to understand medieval society and the nature of medieval records; how they were put together, and their limitations. Whilst this course is intended to be an introduction to medieval genealogy, it will depend on the family history research you have already completed in the 16th and 17th centuries, so if you are beginning your genealogical journey perhaps this course is one for the future.

STUDENTS SAID "Some of the examples in the lessons were very interesting. It was most helpful to have to sketch out a research plan."

"A lot of information and MANY useful links and sources given."
Gillian Waters 12 Jan 2015 £45.99
Course Length: 5 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
My British Isles Origins - When and How do I Cross the Pond? (931)This 4 week course concentrates on the period from 1600 to 1830. It begins with advice on identifying your immigrant ancestor in America, supported with historical information on population movements before and after the Revolution. Sources most likely to offer clues about origins are explained and presented with research strategies.

The focus changes in the second lesson to your ancestors origins in the British Isles. The topics covered include: major migrations out – when, where from, where to; sources for searching within particular migrant groups; and, advice on searching for people who do not fit any patterns. There is also advice on how to make the best use of surname information and survey techniques. Lessons 3 and 4 look at records in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, discussed according to time period. The emphasis is on using Web resources and on helping you develop the skills to initiate searches after the course. You will try out online indexes, sites that lead you to sources, and finding aids that help you locate sources that may or may not be online. The course shows you how to identify and select the best records to search based on your problem, minimum information required for a search, and ease of access.

At the end of the course you will understand the challenges to be faced in "crossing the pond" and have had some practical experience such as locating places, searching online records and catalogues, and transcribing an early will.You will have an opportunity to prepare a research plan and have it reviewed by the instructor.
Sherry Irvine 15 Jan 2015 $65
Course Length: 4 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Dead and Buried, Not Forgotten - Churchyards, Cemeteries and Their Records (214)Finish them off! Properly see your ancestors out by searching for the records of the churchyard or cemetery where they were buried. Where and how, with or without expense, as well as the information recorded about a burial reveals family background and genealogical facts. This course provides the historical background and practical information you need to find records of burial in churchyards and cemeteries. It also gives practical advice about visiting graveyards and recording monumental inscriptions. Each lesson includes guidance and exercises to help you maximize the genealogical value of any information found. Is a churchyard visit among your list of summer activities? Take this course to make the most of it.

STUDENTS SAID "I enjoyed all of the course. Forums & chats were interesting & fun. Also like the 'explore further' sections of course material."

"Gill has an excellent style, friendly and informative. Everything was clearly explained."
Gill Blanchard 17 Jan 2015 £26.99
Course Length: 2 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Migration in the British Isles (314)Your ancestors moved about. Long before canals and railways some moved long distances, usually on foot. Most people moved within their own regions, seldom more than 20 miles in any direction. Seemingly unsolvable research problems may be resolved by studying causes and patterns of migration, both local and national, around the location where your genealogical trail stops. Around three themes – steam, disaster, people – this course introduces you to migration history, offers advice on expanding your knowledge and help with solving problems, the emphasis on those records that were likely to “catch” migrants. Helen Osborn 30 Jan 2015 Unassessed
£34.99
Assessed
£49.99

Course Length: 3 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Nonconformity - Its Records and History 1600 - 1950 (280)Nothing in the Church of England register – this genealogical challenge is the most likely impetus for an interest in the records of non-conformist chapels. When census takers asked about attendance at church in 1851 they discovered that less that half the population were sitting in Church of England pews. If you examine the numbers you will see that a large percentage of those worshipping elsewhere were nonconformists. This course is about the records and history of nonconformity. It covers its origins, the early history and records during the period of persecution. The major denominations in the 18th and 19th centuries, such as Methodist and Congregational, are discussed and their records and finding aids are explained. Social context is an important part of the story and you will learn about the people who were nonconformists, how they governed their churches, and how their faith affected their lives. Records covered in the course include vital records, seating plans, meetings, newspapers, missions and accounts. In addition you will learn about finding nonconformists within the registers of the Established Church. Alec Tritton 05 Feb 2015 Unassessed
£39.99
Assessed
£53.99

Course Length: 4 weeks   Enquire about this course



Title Instructor Start date/s Cost
Apprenticeship Records (281)Apprenticeship generated a range of records, most of which provide invaluable information for tracing family history. The practice of apprenticing young men to learn a trade is first recorded in twelfth and thirteenth century London. It gradually spread to many other towns and cities, and became subject to regulation. The Statute of Artificers 1563 required all tradesmen to serve an apprenticeship of at least seven years before they could trade. Provision for apprenticeship was also made under the Poor Laws. Parish overseers could bind children as young as six or seven to serve as apprentices until they were adults. Such bindings were supposed to ensure that children were taken care of at little cost to the parish. This course will familiarise you with apprenticeship records, and will explain how to find them. It will also give you a basic understanding of what being an apprentice meant in the period covered. Lessons will include the following topics: Stuart Raymond 24 Apr 2015 Unassessed
£39.99
Assessed
£53.99
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Course Length: 4 weeks   Enquire about this course



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Tying the Knot - Marriage and its Records (212)Every genealogist wants to find marriage records because they connect two names and two families, thereby making both easier to find. Whether or not you find a marriage record is dependent on more than its survival. You also need to know something of the fascinating history of marriage, a tale of laws and the flagrant abuse of same, banns and licenses, of clandestine marriages, handfasting, bigamy, and more. This course not only follows the history of marriage it provides practical advice on records, finding aids and the best places to search, online and in archives and libraries, when you are faced with puzzles and challenges. Gill Blanchard  Apr 2015 £33.99
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Course Length: 3 weeks   Enquire about this course



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Irish Family History and the Use of Land Records (333)Perhaps the first records consulted in the search for Irish ancestry are the valuation records of the nineteenth century. Every genealogist is aware of the Plantation of Ulster and the potato famine, events more than 200 years apart that are nevertheless linked by the common theme of land. In that 200 years the land map of Ireland had changed completely and after the famine it was going to change dramatically again.

Within the context of historical events, the course presents the major records of land ownership, land transfer, and taxation. It begins with the assumption that you have researched ancestors in Griffith's Valuation and in the Tithe Applotment Books, both of which are covered in course #103. You should be familiar with the boundaries and jurisdictions in Ireland, including how to identify the townlands within a parish. You will learn about the purpose and contents of estate records, deeds, encumbered estate papers and other records. You will be able to locate the records and know how to access them. The course includes an introduction to the early records that surveyed the land ownership of Ireland in the seventeenth century.

Whether or not your ancestors were landlords, estate managers, tenants, renters or labourers there is something of value to your research within land records. This course begins your investigation of a valuable source for research in Ireland before 1830.

STUDENTS SAID "The course itself is clear, concise, very interesting and gives students, whether they have previous experience or none at all, the tools necessary to continue their search."

"Before starting this course my research was very focused on finding my ancestors and specific references to them. The course has helped me to see the value of wider research of an area and how that can help to build up a picture of what life would have been like and to open up new avenues of research."
Sherry Irvine  Apr 2015 £33.99
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Course Length: 3 weeks   Enquire about this course



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Advanced One-Name Studies (902)Take one-name study skills to new levels. Whatever drew you into the investigation of a surname you are now deeply immersed in gathering and analysing data. You have mastered the practical aspects of managing your project and are eager to turn your discoveries into something of lasting value.

Increasingly accepted by the academic world, one-name studies are growing up. Collecting and studying the origins of surnames using genealogy techniques is no longer only undertaken by family historians with personal problems to solve. All one-namers with a substantial collection of data are potentially in a position to shed new light on old historical problems. A one-name study provides the glue that melds together disciplines as diverse as population studies, place-names, etymology, as well as genealogy and local history. In this course, you will be shown how, with an interdisciplinary approach, your research and analysis has the potential to shed new light on the past and contribute to historical knowledge.

The course includes sections on the theory of one-name studies, a review of current published work on surnames, introduces more complex interdisciplinary analysis, and shows you how to bring your historical skills up to scratch. There is an emphasis on analysing data and synthesis or ‘adding value’ to your results, as well as working towards the publication of your findings.

The course assumes you are familiar with the material covered by Introduction to One-Name Studies (Pharos course 901). We strongly advise you to take course 901 before taking this course, even if your one-name study has been running for some time.

Students will normally have a registered One-Name Study with the Guild of One-Name Studies and should be familiar with the Guild’s seven pillars of wisdom. If you are not already a Guild member, please contact us for advice before paying for the course. Students should note that this course is not about how to do advanced genealogy research.

At the end of the course, those students who successfully complete a 2 – 3,000 word written article about one-name studies will be awarded the Guild Certificate of Attainment. The best articles will be submitted for publication in the Journal of One Name Studies.
Helen Osborn 08 May 2015 Unassessed
£49.99
Assessed
£59.99

Course Length: 6 weeks   Enquire about this course



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Searching for Wills and Administrations in England and Wales (205)Records of wills and administrations are potentially the most informative sources for genealogical research. The course explains the systems for probate before and after 1858, describes records and online resources, and takes you through the steps of finding and using wills, administrations and death duty registers. You will learn how to extract maximum genealogical benefit from these probate records. Gill Blanchard  Jun 2015 Unassessed
£39.99
Assessed
£53.99
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Course Length: 4 Weeks   Enquire about this course



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The Poor, The Parish and The Workhouse - Records in the 18th and 19th Centuries (203) Poor, illegitimate, sick, temporarily out of work, old, deserving or undeserving, those who could not or would not support themselves obtained help, in England and Wales, either from the parish, before 1834, or the poor law union, after 1834. Careful records were kept and they are helpful to family historians not only for what they reveal about those receiving assistance but about the local people who paid the rates and made the system work. The course explains how poor relief evolved, functioned and recorded its activities. You will learn how to use these records, how they can solve genealogical problems and what fascinating insights they offer into the lives of your ancestors. Online information and data are integral to the course. The course is for anyone searching poor law records for the first time or wanting to build on existing knowledge. Gill Blanchard  Jul 2015 Unassessed
£45.99
Assessed
£61.00
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Course Length: 5 Weeks   Enquire about this course



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So You Think You Know FamilySearch - A Guided Tour (206)Discover what you don’t know about English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh resources at the FamilySearch website with the help of an experienced guide. Barbara Baker has worked in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City for more than 25 years and is an expert in FamilySearch resources. Since its beginning in 1998, FamilySearch.org has been a leading family history website on the Internet. The website provides access to many of the records, indexes and resources available at the Family History Library, which has one of the largest collections of published, microfilmed and digitized British and Irish records in the world. In recent years technological advances have made it possible for you to search and browse formerly inaccessible records, check geography and boundaries and obtain research advice anywhere, anytime. All this information is free to anyone with the knowledge and navigating skills to find it. This class guides you through the highways and byways of FamilySearch.org, offers tips about searching data and using the helps, and brings you to the point where you can say that you really know the FamilySearch website. Barbara H. Baker  Jul 2015 £39.99
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Course Length: 4 weeks   Enquire about this course



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Victorian Families - Your Ancestors in the Census (208)Victorian ancestors - we all have them but what do we really know about them? Facts from civil registration and the census tell us something, but say little about how they lived. This course takes you beyond the facts and explains what census records reveal. The census is a window on the Victorian family and this course helps you take a closer look at life - in fashionable streets, back alleys and the countryside, in large houses, town houses, cottages and tenements. It looks too at food, work, fun, life and death. You will learn to interpret what you have found, get to know your ancestors better, and realize the genealogical value of a close acquaintance with past lives. Liz Carter  Jul 2015 £45.99
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Course Length: 5 weeks   Enquire about this course