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    Welcome to the Society of Genealogists

    Discover your family history

    Join us and explore the UK's premier collection of family history records.

    Whether you're a beginner or already on your journey of discovery, we have something for everyone.

    We all have a history and we exist to help you find yours.

    Featured Stories

    Why did our ancestors celebrate Michaelmas?

    29 September, or Michaelmas, was one of the most significant dates in the lives of our ancestors?in the UK. Michaelmas was the feast day of St Michael and All Angels. It was also the day that marked the end of the harvest and of blackberry eating, and provided an occasion for socialising and merriment.

    Michaelmas was not only a religious feast, but also had serious secular implications. Read on to discover some of the traditions that our ancestors would have experienced.

    Percival Boyd

    Each month, we’ll be using this space to highlight notable members of the Society of Genealogists. We begin the series with one of the most well-known names among the Society’s shelves.

    Percival Boyd was born on 29 June 1868 in Clapton Square in north east London to Thomas Boyd, a draper, and his wife, Sarah. Boyd followed in his father’s footsteps to become a textile warehouseman.

    Diana Astry’s recipe book

    Family historians often enjoy preparing meals that older relatives ate in the past, as well as passing on food traditions to younger generations. Another way of connecting family history and food is through exploring historic recipes.

    Diana Astry's recipe book in the Society’s Library includes over 350 numbered recipes, which provide an important insight into the history of English cooking.

    Upcoming talks and events

    Getting the Best from The National Archives Website
    One-hour Talk

    The website for The National Archives (TNA) is one of the most important genealogical resources available. A brilliant resource but can be scary to the uninitiated.

    Simon Fowler shows you how to get the best from the website, including TNA's Discovery catalogue.

    The Work of the Surrey History Centre
    One-hour Talk

    The Surrey History Centre holds over a million manuscripts, maps, engravings and drawings recording Surrey's history from the middle ages to the digital age.

    Julian Pooley describes the wonderful range of information accessible to anyone interested in family history or the history of the county.

    Creating a Website for Family History
    A half-day course

    Paul Carter will demonstrate how to put your family history online, which not only aids sharing with family members but also acts as a means of connecting with others researching the same lines.

    The content is aimed at beginners to web design who are interested in setting up a website and publishing their family history to it.

    Family History Skills - Evening Course - Stage 1
    A twelve-week intensive course

    Take the next step in your family history journey. Actually, 12 steps. Treat yourself to some dedicated time each Thursday evening by joining us on our Family History Skills course.

    Learn about essential records and find out how the important databases and archives work, to further your research.

    Explore our collections

    Court Records

    Our ancestors appeared in many different types of courts – criminal, civil and equity – either as plaintiffs or defendants, criminals or victims.

    Parish registers

    First introduced in 1538 the Parish registers of the Church of England record baptisms, marriages and burials.

    Poor Law Records

    Many of our ancestors lived precarious lives and if they grew old and inform could not work or fell ill or bore illegitimate children they may have become a burden on the community.


    Evidence of apprenticeship is more likely in 18th century than at any other time from town freemen records, London guilds, parish pauper apprenticeships and the tax levied on apprentice indentures.

    Find out more

    About us

    We all want to know where we’re from; to solve the mysteries of our past; to connect with people whose lives lead to ours; to feel as they felt; to wonder what we would have done in their place.

    Our mission and vision

    Our vision is a world in which everyone has convenient, affordable access to records, finding aids, knowledge and skills necessary to conduct authoritative research into family history.

    We are moving!

    We have now officially given notice to our landlords here at Charterhouse?Buildings and are very excited for?our?next chapter and a place which will better suit?your?needs?and ours.

    Get Involved

    Join today and become a member

    As member you can make the most of our resources, access our experts and find a welcoming community of people interested in family history and genealogy.

    We all have roots. Let’s find them together.

    Keep up to date with news and events

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Sign up today to receive regular updates including our monthly newsletter full of hints, tips and special offers. You can also choose to receive information on upcoming events, talks and lectures to help you discover your roots.

    Thankyou! Please look out for an email from events@ to validate your email address, after which you'll be added to our Newsletter subscription.

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