1. Agreement with the Society for One-Place Studies

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    One Place Studies

    We are delighted to announce that we have come to an arrangement with the Society of One Place Studies for our course, First Steps to a One-Place Study.

    One-place studies are a fascinating blend of local and family history. They are frequently undertaken by family historians wanting to create a context for their ancestors. Through a one-place study, you can investigate the friends, neighbours and associates with whom your family may have interacted and you can begin to understand the community in which they lived.

    Janet FewJanet Few’s course, starting in August, is designed for those who are just starting on their one-place journey and for more experienced one-placers who would like guidance or inspiration, or who are seeking a more organised approach to their study. It will also be suitable for those who may not want to undertake a full-blown one-place study but who wish to investigate an ancestral area in more detail.

    The Society for One-Place Studies is the leading organisation for anyone researching in this area and Pharos Tutors prides itself in engaging tutors and forming partnerships with those who are the experts in their field. The Society’s mission is to advance the education of the public in one-place studies, to encourage and assist those interested in this field of research, and to promote the preservation and publication of material relating to one-place studies, maximising its accessibility to the public.

    We are now able to offer any student of the course, who is not already a member of the Society, free membership for one year when the course starts. We also offer any current members of the Society a discount on the purchase of the course.

     

  2. Courses Coming in March

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    We have some great courses coming up for you in March:

    Practicalities of a One Name Study

    Tutor: Julie Goucher 
    Start date: 9th March 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks (4 teaching weeks and a reading / practice week)

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH * 

    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.

    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

    Scottish Research Online

    Tutor: Chris Paton
    Start date: 1st March 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    Scotland was one of the first countries to digitise its major family history records collections for accessibility online, and continues to this day to use such resources to promote a worldwide interest in family history for those with Caledonian connections. This course describes the major sites and record types that you will encounter in your research, and how to analyse the results. Most importantly it will inspire you to actively pursue your interest in Scottish genealogy and take it to the next level.

    Wills and Administrations; the riches of probate records

    Tutor: Linda Newey
    Start date: 1st March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * Booking now for September 2021

    Advanced Methods and Reports

    Tutor: Karen Cummings
    Start date: 1st March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    This course provides students with the techniques and tools to ensure the best possible evidence for their pedigrees and trees, and is suitable for hobby and professional genealogists alike.

    We look at problems of identity and interpretation, standards for evaluation and analysis, and how to build a case for proof. We will consider the display of charts and genealogy research reports, showing the conventions and standards that are used and that enable written research to be of a high scholarly standard. Students will also practise writing short research reports.

    Before the Modern Census – Name-rich sources from 1690 to 1837

    Tutor: Else Churchill
    Start date: 2nd March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    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.

    Church and Community, Selected records 1540 – 1800

    Tutor: Emma Jolly
    Start date: 3rd March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    Ickleton Parish ChurchThis course gives you the tools to understand the nature, jurisdictions and administrations under which different types of community existed in the past, and seeks to bring genealogy and local history closer together.

    You’ve found your ancestor in the parish registers, but was that parish rural or urban, a town or borough? How did that affect your ancestors’ lives and how will it affect your research? We look at the records of towns, such as burgess rolls, and the difficulties and pitfalls in tracing our early ancestors who migrated from rural areas / parishes to towns.

    You will learn about the many records of the diocese and its court, including visitation records, marriage licences and probate records. Also in this category are the records of disputes heard in the church or ecclesiastical courts, often know as bawdy courts due to the nature of cases they heard.

    Finally, we look at the records of boroughs in detail, including guilds, freemen, voting rights and merchant guilds.

    Are You Sitting Comfortably? Writing and Telling Your Family History

    Tutor: Janet Few
    Start date: 15th March 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.

    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. The best of the class may even be published on this blog!

  3. Courses Coming in February

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    We have some great courses coming up for you in February and early March:

    So You Think You Know FamilySearch – A Guided Tour

    Tutor: Barbara H. Baker
    Start date: 1st February 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH *

    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 worked in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City for more than 30 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.

    The lesson headings are:

    Week 1: Introduction to FamilySearch and FamilySearch.org
    Week 2: Exploring British and Irish data and resources at FamiySearch.org
    Week 3: The British and Irish collection at the Family History Library
    Week 4: The FamilySearch Family Tree and What’s New

    Introduction to One-Name Studies

    Tutor: Julie Goucher
    Start date: 2nd February 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    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.

    Victorian Crime and Punishment – Courts, police and prisons

    Tutor: Antony Marr
    Start date: 23rd February 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * Booking now for June 2021

    Scottish Research Online

    Tutor: Chris Paton
    Start date: 1st March 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    Scotland was one of the first countries to digitise its major family history records collections for accessibility online, and continues to this day to use such resources to promote a worldwide interest in family history for those with Caledonian connections. This course describes the major sites and record types that you will encounter in your research, and how to analyse the results. Most importantly it will inspire you to actively pursue your interest in Scottish genealogy and take it to the next level.

    Wills and Administrations; the riches of probate records

    Tutor: Linda Newey
    Start date: 1st March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * Booking now for September 2021

    Advanced Methods and Reports

    Tutor: Karen Cummings
    Start date: 1st March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    This course provides students with the techniques and tools to ensure the best possible evidence for their pedigrees and trees, and is suitable for hobby and professional genealogists alike.

    We look at problems of identity and interpretation, standards for evaluation and analysis, and how to build a case for proof. We will consider the display of charts and genealogy research reports, showing the conventions and standards that are used and that enable written research to be of a high scholarly standard. Students will also practise writing short research reports.

    The lesson headings are:

    Week 1: Evidence and Proof
    Week 2: Overcoming Problems in Genealogy
    Week 3: Laying out Your Tree
    Week 4: Writing up Your Research

    Before the Modern Census – Name-rich sources from 1690 to 1837

    Tutor: Else Churchill
    Start date: 2nd March 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    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.

  4. Announcement of new tutor: Dr Richard Baker

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    We are absolutely delighted to announce the appointment of a new Tutor at Pharos Tutors: Dr Richard Baker.

    Dr Richard Baker Pharos Tutor

    Dr Richard Baker joins us at Pharos Tutors

    Many of you will already know Richard. Richard is an experienced Tutor and Lecturer in all aspects of Genealogy, but his specialist interests are in Heraldry and Palæography. He lectures regularly at the International Heraldic and Genealogical Congresses and is an Academician of the Académie Internationale d’Héraldique, a Council Member of the Heraldry Society and President of the International Federation of Schools of Family History. He will be preparing a brand new course on Heraldry for Pharos over the next few months, which he will teach for the first time next year. Keep an eye on the website for the release of course dates!

    He is well-known within the genealogy community for his position as Principal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (IHGS), a position from which he retired earlier this year. You can read more about Richard here.

  5. Courses Coming in November

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    Pharos Courses Coming Soon

    Coming up in November:

    Scotland 1750-1850 – Beyond the Old Parish Registers

    Tutor: Chris Paton
    Start date: 2nd November 2020
    Course length: 5 weeks

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH *

    This is the second course on Scottish research. If you have not taken Scottish Research Online you may want to check out its description first. This Beyond the Old Parish Registers course 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 Parish Registers (OPRs) of the Church of Scotland and in using major websites for Scottish research. The 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, and you will learn how to check online finding aids and discover the most effective way to obtain records that may be available both online and offline. Lessons will cover:

    • Kirk Sessions records and parish poor
    • Burgh records and town poor
    • Occupations, taxation and early lists
    • Land transfer and the value of sasines
    • Land, inheritance and estates

     

    Advanced One-Name Studies

    Tutor: Julie Goucher
    Start date: 3rd November 2020
    Course length: 6 weeks

    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.

    This course is the third of three courses regarding One-Name Studies and builds on the initial learning from the Introduction to One-Name Studies course and the Practicalities of a One-Name Study course. We strongly advise you to take at least the Introduction to One-Name Studies course before taking this course, even if your one-name study has been running for some time.

    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.

     

     

  6. Courses coming in October

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    We have a bumper number of courses starting in October:

    The National Archives Website and Catalogue – Finding People

    Tutor: Guy Grannum
    Start date: 23rd October 2020
    Course length: 3 weeks

    COURSE OF THE MONTH

    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.

     

    Are You Sitting Comfortably? Writing and Telling Your Family History

    Tutor: Janet Few
    Start date: 5th October 2020
    Course length: 5 weeks
    Assessed and non-assessed options available

    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.

    Practicalities of a One Name Study

    Tutor: Julie Goucher
    Start date: 6th October 2020
    Course length: 5 weeks

    This new course for 2020 sits between the existing two 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.

    Victorian Families – Your Ancestors in the Census

    Tutor: Malcolm Sadler
    Start date: 7th October 2020
    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.

    Manorial Records for Family and Local Historians

    Tutor: Sue Adams
    Start date: 12th October 2020
    Course length: 5 weeks
    Assessed and non-assessed options available

    The manorial system was a framework for people’s lives in England and Wales for hundreds of years, enduring well into the 19th century in some areas, and not finally abolished until the 20th century. 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. 

    17th Century Sources

    Tutor: Stuart Raymond
    Start date: 14th October 2020
    Course length: 4 weeks
    Assessed and non-assessed options available

    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. 

    Demystifying DNA for Family Historians

    Tutor: Karen Cummings
    Start date: 19th October 2020
    Course length: 5 weeks

    DNA testing is becoming an increasingly popular tool in genealogical research and has the potential to solve mysteries and brick walls, where other records do not survive. The more its popularity rises and the number tested increases, the greater the chance of success. However, with so many tests available and so many companies to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. 

    This course starts at the beginning, providing you with the tools to understand and demystify DNA testing for use in your own research. You will be guided through what to consider before testing, the different types of DNA, who can test and which test is the most appropriate in different circumstances. You will learn about how DNA is passed down the generations and why this is important, what haplogroups are, and how much you really can rely on ethnicity estimates. 

     

     

  7. Pharos Tutors under new ownership

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    Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd has been purchased by Dr Karen Cummings DipGen, with the change in ownership effective immediately.

    Helen Osborn, co-founder and owner of the business since its inception in 2005, has sold the business to allow her to focus on other interests.

    Karen Cummings, who has been the Course Director for Pharos since October last year, is an established genealogist, tutor and speaker. She is one of our longstanding tutors and has taught and written a number of Pharos courses over the last 6 years. Students who have been on Karen’s courses will testify to her enthusiasm about Pharos courses and the subjects she teaches.

    Karen Cummings, new owner (right), with Helen Osborn

    Helen says “Pharos has been a large part of my life for 15 years and it now needs new vision and fresh enthusiasm to take it forwards. Karen shares my love of imparting the best genealogy tutoring and inspiration to all genealogists no matter where they are in their educational journey. She brings many skills to Pharos so I am really thrilled that she is stepping into my place. I know the company will not only be in safe hands, but will build on current successes and go from strength to strength.”

    Karen says “When Helen told me she was thinking of selling Pharos I jumped at the opportunity to buy the company. I’ve been a student, a tutor and then the Course Director for Pharos and, as we were moving things forward, I was constantly reminded of that 1980s marketing campaign “I liked it so much I bought the company”. We have the most amazing group of Tutors here at Pharos, I am in exceptionally good company. Like the other tutors, I am passionate about delivering high quality courses to students, providing them with tools to become better genealogists, and giving them the opportunity to ask questions along the way. We have over forty different courses currently running and more in development, and I am very excited about taking Pharos forward into the future”.

    If you have any questions, feel free to email Karen directly: karen@pharostutors.com