1. Courses Coming in January

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    December is a quieter month for us at Pharos, as we allow time for students and tutors to take a break. However, we have lot to talk about for January, some last minute Christmas gift ideas perhaps?

    Coming up in January:

    Introduction to Medieval Genealogy

    Tutor: Gillian Waters
    Start date: 5th January 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks (4 teaching weeks and a reading week)


    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 outlines some of the ways that you can break into medieval genealogy. It 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.

    The lesson headings are:

    Week 1: Starting out on Medieval Research – identifying families to track
    Week 2: Planning the move to Medieval Records – getting to grips with medieval pedigrees
    Week 3: Records of the Landed Classes- the structure of medieval society and the meanings of terminology
    Week 4: Reading week- a chance to do some background research
    Week 5: Medieval Church records, Military records and Taxation

    Advanced Military Research – 20th Century Conflict

    Tutor: Simon Fowler
    Start date: 4th January 2021
    Course length: 3 weeks

    This course follows on from our Your Military Ancestors course with a focus on the 20th Century (you do not need need to have taken the Your Military Ancestors course first).

    It covers the two world wars, the Boer War, the Korean War and other post-war conflicts, including for men who undertook National Service.

    As well as considering the records themselves, the course looks at their context, the purposes for which they were created and how different records relate to each other. We also consider non-military records at The National Archives and elsewhere that can help researchers. Although few records survive for civilians or those who served in the auxiliary services, such as the Merchant Navy and Home Guard, we will consider the records which are available.

    Apprenticeship Records

    Tutor: Stuart Raymond
    Start date: 6th January 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    Researching Online for Advanced Genealogists

    Tutor: Peter Christian
    Start date: 6th January 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    The internet is now an essential research environment for family history: many indexes to genealogical records are now available only online, and the internet provides access to a wealth of information and contacts for family historians. This course examines the main types of internet resource which are useful in carrying out research in English and Welsh family history and aims to improve your search skills so that you can be more confident with your search results.

    Employment Records

    Tutor: Alec Tritton
    Start date: 7th January 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    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. This 5 week course examines what is likely to be found in official and unofficial sources and where and how the information can be used as further insights into the lives and times of our ancestors.

    Lesson Headings:
    Week 1: The Professions
    Week 2: Merchant Seamen and Coastguard
    Week 3: Government employees
    Week 4: Town folk
    Week 5: Country folk

    Migration in the British Isles

    Tutor: Karen Cummings
    Start date: 18th January 2021
    Course length: 3 weeks

    Discovering Your British Family and Local Community in the early 20th Century

    Tutor: Janet Few
    Start date: 26th January 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    Family historians often neglect the twentieth century as being not really history but there is plenty to be discovered about individuals and the communities in which they lived between 1900 and 1945. Twentieth century research brings with it the difficulties of larger and more mobile populations as well as records that are closed to view. This course sets out to provide advice for finding out about our more recent ancestors and the places in which they lived.

  2. Scheduling the Intermediate Certificate in Genealogy

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    If you are looking for a programme of online family history courses covering a wide range of genealogical sources then look no further than our Family History Skills and Strategies (FHSS) Intermediate Certificate programme. More information, including entrance criteria, can be found here.

    The Intermediate Certificate consists of ten courses, and you have three years to complete all ten:

    17th Century Sources (382)
    Apprenticeship Records (281)
    Before the Modern Census – Name-rich sources from 1690 to 1837 (381)
    Employment Records (380)
    Migration in the British Isles (314)
    Nonconformity – Its Records and History 1600 – 1950 (280)
    Recording the Poor – From Parish to Workhouse and beyond (203)
    Victorian Crime and Punishment- Courts, police and prisons (308)
    Wills and Administrations; the riches of probate records (205)
    Your Military Ancestors (224)

    We often get messages from students asking for help scheduling the Intermediate Certificate courses. In this blog post we give some top tips on how to make the best of your time without overloading yourself too much in one go. So, how do you know where to start?

    Man under stress because of too much problems. Abstract image with a wooden puppet

    Course Numbers

    First up there are the course numbers. These are a guide to the difficulty of the courses. 300 series courses are generally more difficult than 200 series courses or based within an earlier time period. We suggest you plan to take at least one or two 200 series courses first.

    Course Frequency

    Secondly we suggest that, if you can, you avoid taking more than one course at a time. We have had feedback from previous students complaining that the courses booked up too quickly and that they struggled to fit all ten into the time available. In the last few months we have doubled up on how often nine of the ten courses run. All but Apprenticeship Records now run twice a year (and Apprenticeship Records takes a higher number of students than it used to).

    Fast track

    Now that we have increased the frequency of our courses it is possible to complete the Intermediate Certificate programme in 18 months without having to take any courses simultaneously. This is not for the faint hearted, there is a short gap between some of the courses doing it this way. The best way to show you how this works is to show you how we have scheduled these. Both schedules begin with the Wills & Probate course. If you start with Wills and Probate in September, you can follow the path below:

    Sep.    Wills and Administrations; the riches of probate records (205)
    Oct.    Nonconformity – Its Records and History 1600 – 1950 (280)
    Jan.    Apprenticeship Records (281)
    Feb.    Victorian Crime and Punishment- Courts, police and prisons (308)
    Mar.    Recording the Poor – From Parish to Workhouse and beyond (203)
    Jun.    Your Military Ancestors (224)
    Jul.     Before the Modern Census – Name-rich sources from 1690 to 1837 (381)
    Sep.    Migration in the British Isles (314)
    Oct.    17th Century Sources (382)
    Jan.    Employment Records (380)

    The alternative route is:

    Mar.   Wills and Administrations; the riches of probate records (205)
    Apr.    Nonconformity – Its Records and History 1600 – 1950 (280)
    Jun.    Victorian Crime and Punishment- Courts, police and prisons (308)
    Aug.   Recording the Poor – From Parish to Workhouse and beyond (203)
    Nov.   Your Military Ancestors (224)
    Jan.   Apprenticeship Records (281)
    Mar.   Before the Modern Census – Name-rich sources from 1690 to 1837 (381)
    Apr.   17th Century Sources (382)
    Jun.   Employment Records (380)
    Sep.   Migration in the British Isles (314)

    This is how courses were scheduled for 2020 and 2021, future order subject to change depending on tutor availability.

    We hope this helps!