St Ives (Cambs)

Family History

June 2013

The Group Leader, Elaine Barnes, can be contacted via the link on the top right of this page. When e-mailing any U3A Group Contact, please ensure that you mention the name of the group in which you are interested in joining.

The Family History group is made up of people who are interested in researching their family tree and wish to enhance this research and join together with others who share the same interest. It is a group for complete beginners through to experienced researchers.
What you need is TIME, PATIENCE and some basic computer skills with access to the internet. There will also be some financial outlay.

Central to the Family History group is the General Meeting. These meetings are held aprroximately once a month on Monday afternoons, (2.30-4.00), at The Corn Exchange. Members pay annually to cover the cost of room hire. For 2013 this is £12, (for anyone joining from September 2013 this would be reduced to £5 to cover the remainder of 2013). Occasionally there are extra costs if we invite speakers. Next annual payment will be due in time for January 2014.

1. GENERAL MEETINGS are organised on a thematic basis. Examples of this are: Occupations, Censuses, Agricultural Labourers, Food Memories, Medals, Maps, Wills etc. These meetings are for all our Family Historians whether a beginner or a more experienced researcher. It is an opportunity for the whole Family History group to meet together. Currently there are nearly 40 members in the group.

General meeting dates for 2013:
Jan 14, Feb 4, Mar 4, Apr 8, May 13, Jun 10, Jul 8, Sep 9, Oct 7, Nov 4, Dec 2

2. NEW BEGINNERS as from Autumn 2013
There will be a six week introductory course for anyone new to family history research. This will either be held at Elaine's house in St Ives or at the Corn Exchange (depending on numbers). The course will run Oct-Nov 2013. Exact day/dates will be decided by the group. Following on from the introductory course the group will then be welcome to join the 'drop-in' group (see below).

3. DROP-IN GROUP (Current Beginners/Improvers)
Both these groups will continue to meet as already arranged for 2013. From JANUARY 2014 these groups will be amalgamated and will form the 'drop-in' group at Elaine's house. Internet access will be available and there will be the opportunity for questions, queries and problem-solving with Elaine and other members. Exact arrangements for this will be decided towards the end of the Autumn term 2013.Meetings will be monthly.

4. WORKSHOP This group is made up of a small number of experienced members. They meet monthly to discuss topics of interest. Meetings dates are arranged to suit the people concerned at each session.

Looking ahead to 2014 and how the groups will run

January 2014-July 2014
a. General Meeting (open to all)
b. Drop-in meetings for anyone with queries etc (and a social cuppa)
c. Workshop Meetings
September 2014 - December 2014
As above, (a & b & c), plus annual introductory course for new beginners (Oct-Nov)


Members of the Family History groups enjoy problem-solving, being 'amateur detectives' and developing their research and geographical skills.

Researching your family tree is not just a matter of 'how far back you can go’ 'or 'how many ancestors you have found’. We strive to develop an understanding of how our ancestors might have lived and we see them as real people, not just a collection of names on a tree.

If you are interested in joining us, please contact Elaine in the first instance.

Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.

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