Genealogy and History courses

 We offer two courses looking at history through genealogy

Traditionally confined to royal and noble families, genealogy or the study of family history, is quickly becoming one of the most popular and exciting of twenty-first century hobbies for people from all kinds of backgrounds. A desire to know our roots, to learn more about where we “come from” coupled with higher degrees of mobility and increasingly accessible online tools have contributed to a surge in the number of people tracing their ancestry across the world.

Contacts

Please address any enquiries about the courses to:

Department of English Part-time Courses
School of Humanities
3-5 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1TB

Email: english-lifelong@bristol.ac.uk
Tel: 0117 928 8924

Course 2 

Delving Deeper

DetailsDescription
When Tuesdays, 6 pm to 8 pm 
Dates

(8 meetings) 

8 March to 17 May 2022 (no classes during Easter 12, 19 and 26 April)

Where

Online

Tutor Dr Penny Walters
Description

This short course will introduce participants to lateral thinking, using research logs and devising timelines for a more critical evaluation of your family history research.

Participants will be encouraged to describe and discuss their family tree brick wall, and the group will collaborate to offer advice. There will be a deeper dive into using DNA tools, and we will also discuss forensic genealogy and its role in law enforcement, including a case study.

Participants will be given tasks to complete in their own time, including:

  • visiting an archive (virtually or in-person) and providing a review of their experiences
  • presenting a summary and critique of an episode of Who Do You Think You Are, a genealogy article or book chapter
  • presenting an ethical dilemma to the group and discussing possible solutions.

This module aims to help participants plan any potential career routes towards becoming a professional genealogist. 

Course fee

£195

Previous qualifications/experience

No qualifications needed. Open to the public.

Course 1 – beginners

An Introduction to Genealogy

DetailsDescription
When Tuesdays, 6 pm to 8 pm 
Dates

(8 meetings) 

26 October to 14 December 2021  

Where

Online

Tutor Dr Penny Walters
Description

This 8-week course will consist of an introduction to family history and genealogy, and the many resources available.

We will find out:

  • how to start and fill in a tree
  • how to analyse birth, marriage, and death certificates
  • how to analyse and deconstruct censuses
  • incorporating oral and social history into our narratives

We will also look at:

  • DNA testing options, discussing the merits of different companies
  • how to mix DNA results with a paper trail
  • fragmentations from biological family, through adoption, for example
  • ethnicity and identity, heritage, diaspora, homelands, oral histories, including the black British experience
  • the role of specific religions and countries when compiling a tree

An underlying theme will be that some people may uncover ancestors’ secrets and lies, so we will also address ethical dilemmas in genealogy.

Towards the end of the module, individuals will be encouraged to share their genealogy journey with the group.

Course fee

£140

Previous qualifications/experience

No qualifications needed. Open to the public.

Penny was an excellent tutor, passionate about her subject and genuinely interested in all participants' contributions. She made us all feel welcomed and valued.

Genealogy short course student, 2020

PS from our friends in the History Department...

Black History Revisited

This course will equip you with the tools to understand contemporary debates surrounding Black History, the transatlantic slave trade and the sociology of race. We will draw on archives from a diverse range of sources including art, literature, film and music.

Tutor: Dr Edson Burton
Dates: running across 12 Wednesday evenings, 9 February – 25 May 2022
Time: 6 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Arts Complex, Woodland Road, University of Bristol & Wellspring Settlement, Barton Hill.

Application deadline: 23 January 2022

Course fee: £240. Payment can be made by instalment and Funding support is available for those on benefits or low income.

For further information and to apply for your place, click here. 

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