Family tree online courses and talks - autumn 2021


16 August 2021
Expand your family tree with our round-up of online courses and talks for genealogists this autumn.

Online courses, conferences and events

Ancestor Journeys: Broadening your family history horizons, 4-5 September

This virtual genealogy weekend is hosted by the Society of Genealogists and the Halsted Trust and includes talks by established genealogists and speakers new to the British genealogical community.

The speakers this year will focus on tracing women ancestors and wanderers – so often a challenge in our pedigrees and stories. Concentrating on sources and guidance for research there will be examples of studies that researched the lives of formidable women. 

The weekend Zoom pass gives access to recordings of each talk for up to 14 days after the event. Tickets £25. To see the programme and to book, visit the event website.

Irish lines and female finds, 18-26 September

An online conference from the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa. There will be 15 online sessions over 8 days, from 14 expert speakers. Register at the society's website.

DNA bootcamp, starts 29 September

Family Tree's hugely popular DNA bootcamp is back! 

Starting on 29 September this 8-week DNA Bootcamp from Family Tree is tutored by Michelle Leonard of Genes & Genealogy & Family Tree and will provide you with practical information to help you learn how to use DNA effectively in your family history research.

On this DNA Bootcamp you will have the opportunity to gain a solid understanding of your DNA test results, DNA match lists and of how to use the tools provided by DNA testing companies.

Find out more here. Price: £75 (£50 for Family Tree subscribers).

Victorian families: your ancestors in the census, starts 6 October

This 5-week course from Pharos Tutors is led by Malcolm Sadler and helps you take a closer look at life - in fashionable streets, back alleys and the countryside, in large houses, town houses, cottages and tenements. Cost £49.

Tracing a house history, starts 30 October

A 15-week online course led by house historian, genealogist, writer and tutor Gill Blanchard. The course guides participants through the process of investigating a house history and what was there before, plus a presentation seminar one month after course completion. Price £450. Find out more at Past Search Learning.

Genealogy: researching your family tree, ongoing enrolment

The University of Strathclyde's six-week course requires around four hours of study per week and enrolment opens at set points during the year. Free enrolment.


A beginner's guide to researching your family's history and story, starts 9 November

Ken Nisbet is tutor on this new six-week course that runs 7pm-9pm on Tuesday evenings. Running via Zoom, the course will look at the sources that are available both online and offline that can help you to start researching your family history. Price £42-48. Enrol at EventBrite.

Online talks

DNA absolute beginners webinar, 1 September

Join DNA detective Michelle Leonard for an engaging webinar from Family Tree, designed to help you get to grips with using DNA in family history. Discover how you inherit DNA from your ancestors and what your ethnicity results mean. Tickets are just £10 and you can sign up here.

Horatio Bottomley: swindler of the century?, 25 September

Manchester & Lancashire FHS present an illustrated biographical talk on the life of Horatio Bottomley, Editor of the popular weekly journal 'John Bull', a demagogic MP and financier turned fraudster. This virtual presentation will be given by Jef Page, President of the Ilford Historical Society,experienced freelance lecturer and guide for over 25 years at the National Gallery in London.

Runs 2-3pm. Tickets £0-£3. Book at Eventbrite.

A Stitch in Time: A social history of Seamstresses, Dressmakers and Tailors, 9 October

Many of us have ancestors who worked in the clothing trade where remuneration and working conditions were often appalling. 'Slop shops' or sweat shops were in existence since at least Samuel Pepys' time. This talk covers the lives of these workers from contemporary sources; what they did on a daily basis, working hours and conditions and the impact of the sewing machine.' A one-hour talk with Adele Emm, cost £10.00. Book at Society of Genealogists.

Royal Cousins, Rival Queens: Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I, 18 November

Professor Susan Doran presents an exclusive online talk for History Scotland on the rivalry between two of history's most famous women, as a major new British Library exhibition opens this autumn. Who were the real Mary and Elizabeth? How were their fates intertwined?

Tickets £10, starts 6.30pm GMT+1. Register here

An Introduction to Jewish Family History, 2 December

This Society of Genealogist talk teaches the tips and tricks for researching Jewish genealogy and family history. Some of these will be technology-related and some which come from the speaker's vast experience. Although this talk is primarily geared towards beginners and refreshers, there should be something for everyone.

A one-hour talk with Jeanette Rosenberg, costs £10. Starts 2pm. Book at SOG.