Beginners’ Family History Course – online
In the difficult times we all face due to the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, Berkshire Family History Society is delighted to offer you this online Beginners’ Family History Course, which replaces the previously scheduled face to face Beginners’ Course on the same date. Enjoy this from the comfort and safety of your own home, and wherever you live, whilst still being able to contribute fully to the discussion. Individuals who had already booked for the face to face course will be contacted to advise of the change and to give them the option of having their monies refunded. If you had booked and haven’t heard from the society by 27 March 2020, please check your spam box and then email
This course comprises of six sessions: Tuesdays 14th, 21st and 28th April and 5th, 12th and 19th May. All sessions run from 7pm – 8.15pm.
The course is aimed at those new to researching family history and includes where to start, how to progress and good research practice. Learn how to work with core records of civil registration, censuses, parish registers and modern wills. Discover the different genealogy websites, the content they offer and their strengths and limitations.
Places are limited, and pre-booking is required, as full joining instructions will be sent to all attendees in advance. Bookings close one day before the event.
To be able to join in this course, you will need a computer (or laptop/tablet) which has built-in or separate speakers and a built-in or separate mic. Ideally you will also have a webcam fitted on your device or as a separate attachment. Your computer needs to have a browser and be connected to broadband. You will be asked to download a small piece of software the first time you join to enable you to use the online conferencing software. This will be sent to you in advance. Technical help will be given to those who need further assistance, please contact
To book – scroll down.
Chad is a highly experienced family historian, having been in and out of Record Offices since the 1970s. He has honed his understanding of family history at conferences in both the UK and the USA. Chad has a one-name study of his mother’s Failes family who arrived in England as the Fenlands were being drained in the late 17th century. He has also made some headway with his father’s Irish ancestry.
Chad has a particular interest in both probate and electoral records, and also has a deep understanding of records produced by family history societies, having worked professionally for the Federation of Family History Societies for eight years using his skills as a computer professional. He holds a BSc(Eng) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Imperial College and a City and Guilds Certificate in High Education teaching.
A veteran family historian, Gillian has worked closely with the Federation of Family History Societies, Findmypast and The National Archives enabling her to build an impressive experience of archives and their accessibility. She is an experienced tutor of beginner family history courses and also runs workshops for more experienced researchers on family history websites and wills and probate, to name but a few.
Gillian has a degree in Business Studies and a City and Guilds Certificate in Further Education teaching. She has served regular five year terms as a trustee of Berkshire Family History Society since 2007 and chairs the society’s Computer Branch. She also facilitates discussion in an informal monthly natter group and helps researchers who require more technical assistance with their family history research as part of a ‘Tuesday evening team’.