1. Courses Coming in October

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    The nights are starting to draw in. What better way to spend the colder evenings is there, than working on a Pharos course? We have a wide variety of courses coming up in October for you:

    Unlocking Heraldry for Family Historians
    Are You Sitting Comfortably? Writing and Telling Your Family History
    Practicalities of a One Name Study
    Victorian Families – Your Ancestors in the Census
    17th Century Sources
    Manorial Records for Family and Local Historians
    Nonconformity – Its Records and History 1600 – 1950

    Carry on reading to find out more.

    Unlocking Heraldry for Family Historians

    Tutor: Richard Baker
    Start date: 4th October 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH *

    Have you often wondered whether your family is entitled to bear a coat of arms? Have you seen coats of arms displayed on buildings or on hatchments in churches and wondered as to the story behind them? This course will help you unlock the language of heraldry, a fascinating branch of family history research.

    The course begins with an introduction to heraldry and the terminology. We will look at different types of coats of arms, and examine how they are being used for personal, civic and corporate identity. We will examine the components of an achievement of arms and the language of heraldry and you will learn to blazon simple coats of arms.

    In the second half of the course, we will move onto ways in which coats of arms are combined in families, how to begin to identify an unknown coat of arms and where to dig for more genealogical information.

    By the end of this course students should be able to:

    * Describe a coat of arms in the language of heraldry or draw a coat of arms from a description
    * Understand the different methods of marshalling arms
    * Identify marks of difference on a coat of arms and be aware of their meaning
    * Implement strategies to identify the bearer of a coat of arms

    Are You Sitting Comfortably? Writing and Telling Your Family History

    Tutor: Janet Few
    Start date: 4th October 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    Writing your 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 five-week course begins with advice on making decisions about what to write about, and what to include, and how to make some order out of the potential chaos of information. It goes on to discover the historical context and how to add interest into your story with background about what was happening nationally and locally and how this might have affected your ancestors. It looks at how knowledge about occupations can bring an ancestor to life, and how and why social history helps you to make sense of it all and frame your story. Finally in week five, you will discover how to add photos and other illustrations as well as options for publishing.This course is about acquiring skills that will help you to present your family history in a coherent and interesting way.

    The course is relevant to anyone who has researched a British or Irish family, with examples taken from English history and records but the techniques can be applied to families from elsewhere as well.

    If you wish to receive feedback and assessment on your writing, there is the option to submit a piece of writing of up to 3,000 words for marking. You will have two months after the course finishes, before this needs to be sent to the tutor.

    STUDENTS SAID: “The course has provided me with everything I could possibly need (and more) to sort out my main goals of prioritising family history, research, recording and writing up the stories during the coming year and beyond. I now know the way ahead and am very much looking forward to putting my plans into action.”

    Practicalities of a One Name Study

    Tutor: Julie Goucher
    Start date: 5th October 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    This course sits between the two other one-name and surname study courses: Introduction to One-Name Studies (901) and Advanced One-Name Studies (902) and focusses on the practical elements of running a study.

    The course is designed to enable students to explore the practical steps of maintaining and developing their one-name study through a variety of mediums and to give some context to the various considerations they will need to explore.

    It is expected that students for this course will already have a one-name study or surname study registered, or will have identified a surname to register and begin working upon. They will be familiar with the material covered by Introduction to One-Name Studies and will have begun to collect data, or be at the stage where they are considering the options and would like further guidance.

    Lesson Headings:
    * Understanding and making the best use of spreadsheets in your study
    * Genealogical Software, what to consider
    * Online Trees and other software
    * The next steps: Preservation and Sharing

    Victorian Families – Your Ancestors in the Census

    Tutor: Malcolm Sadler
    Start date: 6th October 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    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. But, interpreting the social and local detail half hidden in these vital documents, bring their lives back to us! 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.

    Lesson Headings:
    * A closer look at the census – finding your family
    * Investigating the neighbourhood – putting your family on the map
    * Inside the Victorian house – family life in the 19th century
    * The Victorian Environment – from slums to palaces
    * Knowing them better and taking it further

    17th Century Sources

    Tutor: Stuart Raymond
    Start date: 13th October 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    LAST FEW PLACES

    This is one of the courses in our Intermediate Certificate programme, but can also be taken in isolation.

    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”.

    Manorial Records for Family and Local Historians

    Tutor: Sue Adams
    Start date: 14th October 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    This is one of the courses in our Advanced Certificate programme, but can also be taken in isolation.

    Manorial records can be used to locate people within a community and to set them in their social and economic context. This course examines the place of the manor in the legal and social system, the records created by the manor, and changes that occurred through the centuries.

    You will get to understand the complexities as well as the background historical context, and how local customs can differ from place to place. You will read court rolls, look at court books and learn about property transactions, surveys, maps, accounts and even people’s wills that may not be recorded elsewhere. Manorial court records offer genealogists and local historians more than just a glimpse of local justice being dispensed.

    Nonconformity – Its Records and History 1600 – 1950

    Tutor: Alec Tritton
    Start date: 28th October 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    COURSE FULL
    but taking bookings now for April 2022

    That’s all for this month, happy studying!