Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


We’re Talking To You

The Family Records Centre (FRC) (at the National Archives) is pleased to present a programme of talks on a variety of family history related topics. Talks are now held all year round and this page will be updated regularly as new talks are announced.

Tickets are free and can be collected from the New Customers Desk on the first floor on the day of the talk. Please note that spaces for the talks are limited. Tickets will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be booked in advance.

The talks will take place at 2pm in the Meetings Room on the first floor.

Date Talk Speaker
3 August Tracing Your Ancestors at the FRC
A step-by-step case study using the genealogical sources available at the Family Records Centre. Ideal for newcomers to family history. Gerry Toop
Gerry has worked for The National Archives since 1972 and at the FRC since June 1997. He has had a keen interest in genealogy since he started delving into his own family history in 1977.
7 August Tracing Your Ancestors at the FRC
A repeat of Tuesday’s talk. Please note that this talk will take place at 11am. Gerry Toop
17 August Journeys in Family History
Based on the book of the same name, this talk looks down the centuries to investigate how our ancestors’ lives were affected by the social conditions in which they lived. The talk will be followed by a book signing session. David Hey
David is Emeritus Professor of Local and Family History at the University of Sheffield and the consultant editor to The National Archives’ family history magazine, Ancestors.
24 August London in the Eighteenth Century
A major problem with the records of 18th century London is that of linking records from sources such as land tax, insurance, apprenticeships, victuallers, the Middlesex Deeds Register, manorial records to the better known International Genealogical Index (IGI). The talk will describe an imaginative approach to this problem based on the records for the hamlet of Mile End Old Town, Stepney, between 1740 and 1780. Comment will also be made on the “Place in the Sun” insurance project and errors in the IGI. Derek Morris
Derek has been studying records of 18th century London for over twenty years. This has led to many talks, over 20 articles, a book and the recently released CD-ROM by the East of London FHS of 7,000 Mile End Residents between 1740 and 1790. He is also closely involved with the “Place in the Sun” project which is producing a web-based index at for SUN insurance records from 1816 to 1825, which provide a new resource for those stuck at the 1841 census. The web site is already live and by time of the talk over 90,000 policies and links to over 250,000 individuals will be available.
31 August Secrets of the FRC
Everyone knows about the FRC’s main holdings – the indexes to births, marriages and deaths and the nineteenth century census returns, but as this talk demonstrates, the FRC has so much more to offer. Audrey Collins
Audrey has worked at the Family Records Centre as a Reader Adviser since 2002, and for several years before that was a professional family history researcher. She has written a number of books and magazine articles on family history, and also teaches and lectures on the subject. Her particular interests are the history of Civil Registration in England and Wales, and research in newspapers and periodicals.
7 September The Latter Day Saints’ (LDS) Family History Library and Family Histoy Centres
The LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, is the largest genealogical library in the world. Worldwide there are over 4000 branches of the Library called Family History Centers which are available to the public. There are many services available through the Library and the Centers that will assist you in researching your ancestors. You may order photocopies, ask research questions, access records of genealogical value for over 110 countries around the world, and much more. Access to the Library and Centers is free to the public. Come and learn how these resources can assist you in your research. Diane C Loosle, AG
Diane is the Supervisor of the British Reference Unit in the Family History Library, Utah.
14 September Clerkenwell and The New River
Join qualified London tour guide, Jean Haynes for an introductory talk followed by a guided walk around Clerkenwell’s historic streets. We are expecting to return to the FRC by 4pm. Jean Haynes
Jean is a former English teacher and professional family historian. She has published articles on various subjects and, about 15 years ago, she became a qualified City of London Guide.
21 September Surnames In Family History
Have you ever wondered if you are related to everyone who shares your surname? This talk will look at a number of different approaches to the ‘single origins’ problem using a variety of genealogical, genetic and linguistic methods. Specific examples will be used to illustrate the techniques employed by the speaker in his research into this fascinating subject. The talk will be followed by a book signing session. George Redmonds
George is a former lecturer in Modern Languages, and has been a freelance historian since 1974. He has written a number of books including Surnames and Genealogy : A New Approach and Christian Names in Local and Family History as well as numerous articles and booklets on different aspects of local and family history.
28 September The Women’s Century Mary Turner

5 October DNA and Family History Chris Pomery
19 October Dr Williams’ Library
Over a hundred years before the start of general registration, three nonconformist denominations (the Baptists, the Independents and the Presbyterians) got together to set up their own registry of births. The registry was housed in the library of a Presbyterian Minister, Dr Daniel Williams, and by the time it was closed in December 1837 nearly 60,000 births had been recorded. This talk will look at the history of the registry which has come to be known as Dr Williams’ Library and at the unique series of records which are now more easily accessible than ever before. Dave Annal
Dave is the Family Record Centre’s Development Manager and has worked at the FRC since May 1998, prior to which he was a professional family history researcher. He has written a number of books and articles on family history sources.
26 October Family History on the Internet Nina Jenkins


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