Learning to look back.

Who do you think you are? Trace your ancestors on a family history course at Bath Record Office.

Bath Record Office
Bath Record Office at the Guildhall.

There are often surprises on the BBC’s popular family history programme, Who Do You Think You Are? In the most recent series, EastEnders actor Danny Dyer discovered he had royal blood, while TV’s Amanda Holden found French ancestors in Bordeaux’s vineyards. In a previous series, actor Sir Tony Robinson even traced his roots to Bath.

Now you have a chance to find out about your own ancestors. Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Bath Record Office is running family history courses to help you, whether you are just starting out on your research or have reached a more advanced stage. 

Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “These courses are always very popular with local residents keen to trace their ancestors and find out more about the area’s history, so I’d recommend booking a place as early as possible.”

Family history for beginners

Who is the course for?

Anyone who wants to start tracing their family tree

People who have started to trace their family tree, maybe using online resources, but are unsure of the best way to proceed

What will the course cover?

Basic approaches to tracing a family tree

Basic sources: certificates of birth, marriage and death, census returns and parish registers. What they tell us, how to use them, and how to find them

General troubleshooting of particular family history problems encountered by course participants. This may take place during the group session, or in a one-to-one sessions at the end.

bath record office
Advanced family history – understanding archives

Who is the course for?

Anyone who has traced their family tree using basic sources such as certificates of birth, marriage and death, census returns and parish registers, and now wants to go further.

What will the course cover?

Archives in general, what they are and how they are catalogued. This is to help family historians use online archive catalogues, and to find archives that might not have online catalogues at all

Case studies showing how things that happened to individuals in the past have left a ‘paper trail’ – and how to follow this paper trail to find out more about the individual

Finally, it will briefly cover specific sources for a small number of topics. As far as possible, these topics will be focussed on the interests of the course participants, although we cannot guarantee to cover all areas of interest.

There will be an opportunity to discuss particular family history research queries either as part of the group session or in one-to-one sessions at the end of the day.


All the courses take place at the Guildhall, High Street, Bath


Friday 3 March                                 Advanced course

Wednesday 15 March                     Beginners course

Wednesday 17 May                         Beginners course

Wednesday 21 June                       Advanced course

How much?

Beginners course    £20

Advanced course     £25

Lunch and mid-morning refreshments are provided and included in the price.

How can I book?

Telephone the Bath Record Office on 01225 477421 or email archives@bathnes.gov.uk 


1 Comment

  1. Thank for that, just book my course, can’t wait 😃

    Best wishes Louise

    Sent from my iPhone


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