It’s always worth checking what research has been done before on the family history you are researching.
The SoG collects printed and published family histories as well as unpublished material in typescript or manuscript form. Family histories and pedigrees can be found all over the library and here are some top tips and guideance to help you search in the Society of Genealogists Library.
Search SoGCAT (the Society of Genealogists’ Library Catalogue) www.sog.org.uk
Use the browse & subject search facility eg SMITH (SURNAME) Double click OR tick box and click view. You should now have a list of all the Society’s holdings for published printed or bound material related to the name along with the references you will need to find the items in the Library.
Please note we have not catalogued all surnames names in every book in the library, only those with at least three generations of narrative family history are listed. Information on families will of course be located in sources for the places where they lived or what they did. You will also need to search other materials in the library as outlined below.
The Catalogue lists the printed and bound works on the Family History Shelves in the Upper Library
The Society of Genealogists library has an extraordinary amount of family history research notes within its collections. Thousands of bound family histories and biographies have been deposited on the Family History Shelves in the Upper Library. These are arranged largely in alphabetical order and cross referenced by surname on the catalogue.
Check bibliographies listing what’s been published
There are major bibliographies which list printed or published family histories – often in periodicals and topographical works as well as dedicated genealogical publications. These bibliographies can be found on the quick reference shelves at the Middle Library Enquiry Counter and are listed in the reading list below. The Society will have many of the works cited in these works.
Further reading. Some of thes titles have been published in facsimile form in CD ROM or may be found on Google Books)
The Genealogist’s Guide by G W Marshall
A Genealogical Guide by J B Whitmore
The Genealogist’s Guide by G B Barrow
A Catalogue of British Family Histories by T R Thomson
Scottish Family History by M Stuart
Scottish Family A Histories held in Scottish Public Libraries by J P S Ferguson
Bibliography of Irish Family History and Genealogy B de Breffny
Bibliography of Irish Family History by E MacLysaght
Look at the Society’s Manuscript Research Notes in the Lower Library
The Document Collection contains thousands of unique miscellaneous manuscript research notes arranged by surname. These are available in the archive section of the Lower Library where you will find a list of all the surnames represented. This list of the surname represented in the Document collections is also on the Society’s website (not the catalogue). The Special Collections also contain notes on families including thousands of roll pedigrees. All the Special Collections are listed and indexed in the card index in the Lower Library. The surnames in the roll pedigrees (but not all the other collections) are also listed in the SoG’s website. The collections themselves are also in the archive area but some have been filmed.
Birth Briefs and Members Interests
SoG members can submit birth briefs showing their ancestry back to their 32 great, great grandparents. The bound birth briefs and an index are in the Upper Library. Members can submit slips showing the names they are researching. The slips are in the Upper Library. The surnames represented are listed on the Society’s website
One Name Studies
Some genealogists try to trace everyone with a particular surname. The Family History shelves contain many listings of entries from the Civil Registration Indexes to birth, death and marriage records. and these can be found through the SoG Library Catalogue The Register of the Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS) can be found at the Middle Library Enquiry Counter and online on the Guild’s website.
Peerage and Royalty and Biography
Titled families are listed in Burke’s Family Index and in Frank Leeson’s Directory of British Peerages. Pedigrees of European royalty and nobility are listed in F R Price’s Guide to European Genealogies Exclusive of the British Isles. These titles can be found on the Peerage and Royalty shelves in the Upper Library along with standard reference works on the Peerage, Landed Gentry and other biographical works.