Beginners’ Family History Course
Update 7th March: This course is now fully booked. If you would missed the opportunity to reserve a place and would like to be notified if a cancellation occurs – please email
This course comprises of six sessions: Tuesdays – 16th, 23rd & 30th March and 6th, 13th & 20th April.
All sessions run from 2pm – 3.30pm.
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.
This is also a good refresher for those who want to make sure they have covered all bases.
Places are limited, and so pre-booking is required, as full joining instructions will be sent to all attendees in advance. Bookings close one day before the event.
To join this course, you will need a computer device with speakers and a microphone. Ideally, also a webcam. You also need to be able to access the internet from it. First-time users of Zoom, will be asked to download a small piece of 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’.