Family History Skills & Strategies (Intermediate) with Certificate


SOG / Pharos Certificate Course
From Pharos and the Society of Genealogists

This page shows the 10 modules that make up the Family History Skills & Strategies (Intermediate) course sorted by Start Date.

You may choose which course to start the 10 module programme with, although we strongly recommend that you choose 200 level modules before 300 level modules. You may take the 10 modules over a period of 3 years and this should allow you to build in breaks between modules without taking modules that overlap.

Make sure you have read How Certificate Courses Work





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.

Instructor: Else Churchill

  • Different world, different sources
  • The first enumerations, 1801 - 1831
  • Landowners, Traders and Freemen
  • Census substitutes and name-rich lists

Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat session per week See How the Courses Work.

Relevant Countries: England & Wales

381 Before the Modern Census - Name-rich sources from 1690 to 1837 (381)
Starting Date
10 Nov 2014
Course Length:
4 weeks

Unassessed Cost: £39.99

Assessed Cost: £53.99
Course Full
Course Full





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.

Instructor:

  • Victorian Law Enforcement and How It Changed
  • The Police
  • Records of Local Courts
  • High Courts
  • Prisons and Punishment

Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat session per week. See How the Courses Work.

STUDENTS SAID: "Liz has given another first-rate course. I am starting to appreciate how social history can help me understand my ancestors' lives and living conditions."

Relevant Countries: England and Wales

308 Victorian Crime and Punishment- Courts, police and prisons (308)
Starting Date
  2015
Course Length:
5 weeks

Unassessed Cost: £45.99

Assessed Cost: £61.00
Course Full
Course Full





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.

Instructor: Stuart A. Raymond

  • Records of Birth, Marriage and Death: Registers, transcripts, visitations and more
  • Locating People Using 17th Century Lists
  • Church and Civil Court Records: including crime, disputes, land and probate
  • The Civil War and Commonwealth: Problems and possibilities for research

Each lesson includes exercise and activities and a minimum of 1 one hour chat session per week. See How the Courses Work.

Relevant Countries: England & Wales

382 17th Century Sources (382)
Starting Date
09 Jan 2015
Course Length:
4 weeks

Unassessed Cost: £39.99

Assessed Cost: £53.99
Course Full
Course Full
Starting Date
05 Jan 2016
Course Length:
4 weeks

Unassessed Cost: £39.99

Assessed Cost: £53.99
Start Date Available Soon
Start Date Available Soon





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.

Instructor: Gill Blanchard

  • Wills Before 1858
  • Administrations Before 1858
  • Wills After 1858
  • Administrations After 1858 and Death Duty Registers

Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat session per week. See How the Courses Work.

STUDENTS SAID: "I have already praised the course to several genealogical contacts." "I liked the ability to spend as much time as I wanted on each lesson; the lack of pressure; and the practical nature of the tasks."

Relevant Countries: England, Wales

205 Searching for Wills and Administrations in England and Wales (205)
Starting Date
23 Jan 2015
Course Length:
4 Weeks

Unassessed Cost: £39.99

Assessed Cost: £53.99






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.

Instructor: Helen Osborn

  • Steam: The impact of industry and railways
  • Disaster: the impact of bad weather, famine, conflict, and economic depression
  • People: law makers, local officials, labourers, entrepreneurs and dreamers

Each lesson includes exercises and activities and a minimum of 1 one-hour chat session per week. See How the Courses Work.

STUDENTS SAID “it made me think outside the box to find that elusive ancestor”

Relevant Countries: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

314 Migration in the British Isles (314)
Starting Date
30 Jan 2015
Course Length:
3 weeks

Unassessed Cost: £34.99

Assessed Cost: £49.99






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.

Instructor: Alec Tritton

  • Origins and Early Restrictions 1600 - 1700
  • Nonconformity Becomes Established 1700 - 1850
  • Consolidation 1750 - 1900
  • Social and Mission 1850 - 1950

Each lesson includes exercises and activities, and minimum of 1 chat session per week. See How the Courses Work.

Relevant Countries: England and Wales

280 Nonconformity - Its Records and History 1600 - 1950 (280)
Starting Date
05 Feb 2015
Course Length:
4 weeks

Unassessed Cost: £39.99

Assessed Cost: £53.99






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:

Instructor: Stuart A. Raymond

  • What was an Apprentice?
  • Reading & Interpreting Apprenticeship Indentures
  • Documents dependant on Apprenticeship Indentures
  • Pauper Apprentices

See How the Courses Work.

Relevant Countries: England & Wales

281 Apprenticeship Records (281)
Starting Date
13 Apr 2015
Course Length:
4 weeks

Unassessed Cost: £39.99

Assessed Cost: £53.99






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.

Instructor: Simon Fowler

  • British Army pre-1914
  • Royal Navy pre-1914
  • The two World Wars
  • Online resources

Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat session per week. See How the Courses Work.

STUDENTS SAID: "I would recommend this style of teaching to anyone"

Relevant Countries: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, Canada

224 Your Military Ancestors (224)
Starting Date
08 May 2015
Course Length:
4 Weeks

Unassessed Cost: £39.99

Assessed Cost: £53.99






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.

Instructor: Paul Blake

  • The Professions
  • Merchant Seamen and Coastguard
  • Government employees
  • Town folk
  • Country folk

Each lesson contains exercises and activities with a minimum of one hour chat per week. See How the Courses Work.

Relevant Countries: England and Wales

380 Employment Records (380)
Starting Date
05 Aug 2015
Course Length:
5 weeks

Unassessed Cost: £45.99

Assessed Cost: £61.00






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.

Instructor: Gill Blanchard

  • Records of the Poor: background, terminology, how the Internet can help
  • Parish Poor Law Records (1) types, use, indexes, access
  • Parish Poor Law Records (2) other related parish records - bastardy, accounts, etc.
  • Workhouse Records: content, use, access, life in the workhouse
  • Other Related Records of the Poor including orphanages and charities

Each lesson includes exercises and activities; a minimum of 1 one-hour chat session per week. See How the Courses Work.

STUDENTS SAID: "I thought Gill was a great tutor and would be keen to take another course of hers in the future." "I would highly recommend this course for anyone interested in this subject and time period. The instructor is extremely knowledgeable about the records and where to find them."

Relevant Countries: England, Wales

203 The Poor, The Parish and The Workhouse - Records in the 18th and 19th Centuries (203)
Starting Date
18 Sep 2015
Course Length:
5 Weeks

Unassessed Cost: £45.99

Assessed Cost: £61.00