FFHS - supporting family historians for over 40 years

Family History Courses & Talks

What do you want?

Consider what your aims are.

  • Do you want to enrol in a face-to-face course or only use online resources?
  • Do you just want to look up specific topics?
  • How much time do you have available?
  • Do you want to obtain a qualification?
  • How much (if anything) are you prepared to pay?

Depending on your answers to these questions, you may decide to enrol on a course, attend a talk, consult reference books, visit relevant websites or choose a combination of these options.

The courses and talks mentioned below can help you discover more about what is available. Only some are free of charge. Where there are fees, the current details should be set out on the associated website.


Local courses & Talks

Family History Societies

Your local family history society may offer courses. To find a society near you, see the list of our member societies.

Local Adult Education

You can search for these courses nationwide if you visit the DirectGov website. Scroll down on that page to the part headed “Finding the right course for you” and type “family history” in the subject box. You can narrow the search by place. It is a good idea to repeat the process using similar search terms, such as “genealogy” and “ancestors”.

Workers Education Association

This charity runs courses across the country. You can use their online search form to find details of family history and other courses of interest in your area.

Society of Genealogists - London

This long-established body offers both individual lectures and courses.

Institute of Heraldic & Genealogical Studies – Canterbury

Details of the courses currently available appear on the IHGS website.

North of Ireland Family History Society

Details of traditional and DNA genealogy courses for Autumn and Spring terms.


Online courses & Talks

Celia Heritage

Professional genealogist and former IHGS tutor Celia Heritage runs her own Family History eCourse. This downloadable 7-module course can be started at any time. The course is not assessed but there are questions and exercises with answers to work through, and an accompanying student links website.  http://www.chfh.co.uk/ecourse


A large number of short courses are offered. Lesson material is sent by email with opportunities to “meet” the tutor and fellow students online.


This annual conference focuses on how technological advances can help us to find, organise, preserve and share our family heritage. Speakers came from a range of different countries and most of the topics explored are relevant to researchers across the world. There is no charge for online viewing of podcasts from the 2015 event.

The National Archives

A growing range of audio and video items are available to view free of charge. The family history section of the online catalogue takes you to a menu of over 120 items.

University of Strathclyde

Courses on genealogical and related subjects are available online at a variety of levels, including:

The University of Strathclyde has also created a free online course, Genealogy: Researching Your Family History, currently being offered through Future Learn, providers of hundreds of free online courses from top universities and specialist organisations.

University of Oxford

Opportunity to earn the undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Local History.



The list set out above is not exhaustive. It concentrates on opportunities directly connected with family history. By using some of the links shown as well as the usual search engines, you will be able to find information about related topics, such as additional courses and talks on local history.

The FFHS is not responsible for the contents of any linked site or the quality of the courses and talks that they offer.

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Page updated by the webmaster on 11 August 2017

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