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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

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month has been celebrated since 2008. The aim of the month is to celebrate, educate and raise awareness about Gypsy, Roma and Traveller culture, as well as to tackle prejudice, challenge myths and to amplify the voices of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in wider society. The theme for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month 2022 is 'What Makes a Home?'. For some Romani, such as pioneering jazz legend, Jean ‘Django’ Reinhardt (1910–1953), the concept of home could be multi-faceted.?

Platinum Jubilee

Between 2 and 5 June 2022, Britain will celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The occasion is of historic significance, with Queen Elizabeth II becoming the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, after 70 years of service. As part of the preparations for the event, heritage organisations, community groups, and individuals have been comparing how society and culture has changed over the Queen’s 70-year reign.? The Society has been looking at what was happening with one of its senior figures in 1952.


Many genealogists will be familiar with Midsummer, on 24 June, as a quarter day when our ancestors paid their rent and hired servants. Midsummer dates back to before Christianity. Midsummer’s Eve dated in medieval Britain as St. John's Eve, June 23. Shakespeare famously celebrated Midsummer with his comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream. The main plot centres around the forthcoming marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, the legendary Queen of the Amazons. The two have been betrothed since Theseus defeated Hippolyta in battle. Like all good weddings, this event prompted thoughts of the couple’s family tree.

Upcoming talks and events

Tracing Your Female Ancestors
5 weeks from 6 Aug

Family historians are often accused of interesting themselves only in the male lines of their ancestry,?following the history of the surname. Older pedigree compilations often ignore the daughters of a family leaving it difficult to establish the distaff line.?? ?

In this 5-week course you will find out about the?sources that you can use to throw more light into the lives of your ancestresses and hear their voices.? Every Saturday afternoon 2-3pm from 6 August to 3 September 2022 on Zoom.

The Great War Dead & their Widows
25 June

Join us for two different perspectives on our ancestors’ experiences during and just after World War 1. Simon Fowler discusses the sources used to trace the soldiers who died in the War and how to locate their burial places.

Andrea Hetherington looks at the more than 200,000 British women who were widowed as a result of the war. Their experiences provide an insight into attitudes towards women and to welfare in early 20th century Britain. She covers the challenges widows in dealing with the Ministry of Pensions and in making new lives after bereavement.

Using the Sources within the National Records of Scotland
25 June

Lorna Kinnaird explains the sources a researcher can access, either in person or by ordering documents from the Virtual Volumes, an online service enabling us to access the National Records of Scotland’s thousands of historical records.

While the Virtual Volumes records are not intensively indexed, for example by personal name, Lorna offers tips on how to use the catalogue effectively.

Visit: The Library of the Society of Friends
1 July

The Library of the Society of Friends in London contains a world-leading collection on the lives and work of Quakers. This includes books, journals, manuscripts and visual resources, as well as the archives of the central organisation of Quakers in Britain.

The Society of Friends?aims to collect and preserve a record of Quaker activity, increase access to information to encourage the study of Quakerism and its values.?Join us on this group visit which must be pre-booked.

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.

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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.

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