“A Sense of Belonging”

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An introduction to exploring your family tree


Lecturer: Peter Twitchett



Where do I come from?  What has made me the person I am today? What were my ancestors like?  These are questions which fascinate and excite many people.


Do you like detective stories?  Do you often have the plot worked out before it is revealed? Do you relish a challenge? Then family history is for you!  This course aims to help you meet members of your family who lived before you were born, yet still influence who you are today; Families hovering at the edge of history and offering their sixpennyworth, whether it’s been called for or not!


However…much as one might like to trace your family and find links to famous ancestors, you must not expect to trace a direct line back to royalty! It is not given to all of us to have ancestors who bestrode history, whether locally, nationally or internationally.  Whereas US Presidents often like to trace their ancestors back to sleepy villages in Ireland or Essex, I regret to announce that there is no guarantee that it works in reverse! 


This is not to say, however, that our lineage is of no interest at all!  At the end of this short course you should be able to….


Understand and use the sources available for research into your family history;

Investigate and use efficient ways of organising the results of your research;

Interrogate family history data effectively;

Use the computer to help your research;

Explore the benefits and pitfalls of using the Internet for family history research

Contribute ideas and suggestions to assist other course members

Begin to write the history of your own family line.


This course will introduce you to Census details, Parish Records, Civil Registration, Record Offices in Suffolk and elsewhere, Family History Societies, Computer programs, Internet resources, Photographs old and new, Military Ancestors and Street Directories.


Stuck?  Struggling?  Don’t know where to begin?


Then this course is for you!