St Ives (Cambs)

Family History

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.

1. Central to the Family History group is the General Meeting. These meetings are held once a month on Monday afternoons,(2.30-4.00), at St Ives Corn Exchange. Members pay annually to cover the cost of room hire. Usually the cost is around £12 per member for the year. There are additional costs involved if we invite speakers (on average this ranges from £2-£4 for the session).

For more information concerning General Meeting dates please contact Elaine.

2. NEW BEGINNERS - Autumn Term of each year
There will be a six-eight session introductory course for anyone new to family history research. This is held at Elaine's house in St Ives or at the Corn Exchange (depending on numbers). The course will run Oct-Nov of each year. Exact day/dates will be decided by the group at the first meeting. On completion of the course Beginners will then join the General Meetings.

3. 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.

Elaine offers 1 to 1 sessions with members of the family history group should anyone require it.


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. The social context in which they lived is also of importance to family history researchers.

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

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

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