Events - Courses & Talks


The Heritage Family History e-Course:

Researching Your Family History

In this new e-course Celia Heritage will guide you through the pitfalls of tracing your family tree and give you tips to overcome any problems, while also taking a detailed look at the records and resources you will need in order to help you get the most from them. This in-depth course is aimed at those who are really serious about their family history and wish to learn all they can about the records they are using and develop a sound research technique to ensure they are tracing the correct family every step of the way. It also highlights the ways in which you can find out all you can about your ancestors rather than having just a list of names and dates.

The course is suitable for beginners as well as those people who have been tracing their family trees for several years, enabling them to enhance the knowledge, skill and understanding they already have. This first release consists of four modules covering how to start and family records (Module 1), and an in-depth look at both General Register Office and census records and how to use them (Modules 2, 3 and 4). The course also looks at the pros and cons of choosing a website and how to overcome family history's notorious brick walls. Further modules will be added in due course at a discount rate for those who have purchased the first release.

The e-Course also incorporates some short questions (with answers) as well as separate exercises for the student to work through in order to ensure they have understood the points made. Students work at their own pace and have no deadlines to meet.


Dedicated Student Links Website

One of the features that make this course stand out is its dedicated student links website, which is available only to e-course students. This provides easy access to, and information about, an extensive range of websites that will prove invaluable for both your initial research and then for more advanced research topics. Topics covered on the student links website range from BMD and Census listings through to Parish Records, Map Resources, DNA, tracing living relatives and archival listings. It also has dedicated pages for Scottish and Irish Resources.

Although the course is designed as a "work alone" course there are optional top-up packages where students can book tutorial sessions or ask questions relating to the course by telephone or Skype while the course also includes the opportunity to email Celia if you have any specific queries related to the course. This is currently limited to two emails per student. Finally, there will also be the opportunity to chat about the course and any problems with Celia and other students via the Heritage Family History Student Facebook page.

Module 1: Starting Out and Family Records                   Module: 2 Census Returns and BMDs - An introduction

Module 3: Civil Registration - In Depth                Module 4: Census Records In -Depth and Related Sources


Usual Course Price: £79

Discount for newsletter and blog readers of £10 until end December, to receive your discount which runs until the end of December 2011 email Celia direct on" stating that you are a Family Relatives member.

Top up packages

Phone sessions for students who want to discuss something covered by the course or in relation to their own research

£13 for up to 15 mins

£21 for up to 30 mins

Payment can be made via PayPal or cheque


Email questions 

Up to two questions are included in the course price


For further details or to purchase the course visit or telephone 01797 344376




Celia Heritage Bio

Family history has been Celia's passion since she first began tracing her own family tree as a teenager. After studying at the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies she gained a distinction in the Higher Certificate in Genealogy and worked at the IHGS as Registrar and lecturer before leaving to form her own business (appropriately called Heritage Family History) in 2008. Celia is a regular lecturer for the Society of Genealogists and is also a tutor for the IHGS correspondence course. She was well-known to Practical Family History readers for her many informative articles on family history, while she also runs classroom based family history courses in Kent and gives many talks on genealogy around the country.

Celia  is one of the speakers at the 2012 Who Do You think You Are Show at Olympia. Her talk is entitled I've Lost My Ancestor Before 1837. Where Did He Come From?  And takes place in the WDYTYA Theatre at 3 pm on Sunday 26 February.



Find out how a Celia Heritage family history course can bring your family history to life and help with your research.



It's very easy to be carried away by the family history bug and find yourself spending hours on the computer adding the various generations to your family tree.  The Internet age has revolutionised family history, and what used to take hours to do can now often be completed in a matter of minutes.

But hang on a minute - you may well have found your ancestors, but how well do you actually know them? Do you know what life was like for your grandmother Mary as a young girl growing up in London in the 1890s, or great great grandfather Robert an agricultural labourer in Norfolk in the 1840s, or even great Uncle Tom a young private in the First World War?

Do you just want a list of names and dates to add to your database or do you want to learn about your family history for real? What was life like for these people? What did their jobs involve and what sort of living conditions did they have to contend with? Did they live through times of hardship, such as the Napoleonic wars when prices went sky high, or did they live in more prosperous times when things were a little easier?  Learning about your ancestors' history and the time in which they lived adds a whole new dimension to your research and most people find it becomes even more rewarding and addictive!

This is also the difference between "genealogy", which shows names, dates and relationships, and "family history" which is learning all about your family, where they came from and what made them tick!  It is Family History which helps you learn not only how they lived, but gives you an idea of why they made certain major decisions in their lives such as deciding to migrate to another part of the country, to change jobs, to steal from their employer, or even to leave their spouse and set up a second family - all things which could, at the end of the day, have had an effect on the sort of family you yourself were born into.

At Heritage Family History my aim is to bring your ancestors alive for you; to make them real living, breathing people and to help you get under their skins by means of stimulating courses with information and examples you can relate to, rather than dry old lectures where all you can think about is what time the next tea break is.

Many people come to realise that there is a lot more enjoyment to be had, and many more records and relatives waiting for them, once they have a little learning under their belts. Yes, it is great fun searching on the Internet, but even more fun is to be had once you know more about the records you are looking at and about all the other documents out there waiting for you! As more and more records are coming online, it is even more important not only to know what is available and which records to use to search for certain types of ancestors, but also to understand what these documents are and how to get the most from them.

Learning does not have to be tedious or difficult, and although there are plenty of advice and classes available online, nothing beats the stimulation of attending a live class with other people who share their love of the subject with you and also with the tutor!

My students come away from my classes buoyed up, and rearing to go and look at new records and to revisit old ones with new eyes! This is because I am passionate about family history and history too. I want you to get as much enjoyment from it as I do. The most rewarding thing for me is to hear back from students telling me how much they have enjoyed one of my classes, and how it has led them to discover new and fascinating pieces of information about their family and how they lived.

Let one of them tell you in her own words below, and I hope to see many more of you soon!

Details of my courses and talks are on my website under both the Courses and the Talks pages or try the links below;

Celia Heritage
Heritage Family History

"Firstly I would like to say how wonderful your lectures were this week.  I could have listened to you for hours.  You really know how to bring a subject to life and have made my desire to learn even stronger!

The reason I am writing is, thanks to your talk I spent some time looking through the Army Records. I actually knew this time what I was looking at and everything made far more sense.  I found an absolute gem!  My Grt Grandfathers Brothers records.  27 pages of them!

The other information was fantastic too, giving all details of his wife, children and also nephew, who I am hoping that I may be able to track down.

I am SO chuffed, and I would never have managed it if it hadn't been for your instruction yesterday!  Thank you so much!

I am now really looking forward to your one day course in October! Many many thanks"

Caroline Richardson