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.


Please address any enquiries about the courses to:

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

Tel: 0117 928 8924

Course 1 – beginners

An Introduction to Genealogy

When Tuesdays, 6 pm to 8 pm 

(8 meetings) 

26 October to 14 December 2021  



Tutor Dr Penny Walters

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


Click here to book

Previous qualifications/experience

No qualifications needed. Open to the public.

Details for course 2, starting February 2022, will be published here shortly. To register your interest, click here. 

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