Society of Genealogists Special Collections – Coleman’s Catalogues and Index

 Society of Genealogists Special Collections   Colemans Catalogues and Index

The Society of Genealogists Special Collections contain a variety of interesting resources for family historians. Amongst the treasures in the Society’s Library are the Coleman’s catalogues and index

 
 
James Coleman was an heraldic and genealogical bookseller and publisher in London in the second half of the 19th century.  He aimed to obtain a constant supply of documents and books from various sources which were listed for sale in his catalogue which was produced on a regular basis between 1859 and 1911. He also published Coleman’s general index to printed pedigrees (1866).
 
As a second hand dealer he sold marriage settlements, wills, rent rolls, peerage claims, private and local Acts of Parliament, appeal cases, pedigrees, deeds, autograph letters, maps etc. as well as new and second hand books on heraldry, topography and biography.  His catalogues give brief details of the items for sale.
 
The Society has bound copies of his catalogues which were given to us in 1915 as part of the Snell Collection. The catalogues come under the heading of “printed ephemera” and it is rare for such a long and complete run to survive.  A card index of nearly 50,000 names appearing in the catalogue descriptive entries was compiled in 1936. Taking that as a starting point the Society, through its volunteers, is now undertaking to expand the index to include, where stated, the year, the county and sometimes the parish or place where the person lived. This could prove most useful for placing a family in a particular area and time.  It has, however, to be borne in mind that the original documents  listed in the catalogues are now unfortunately either no longer in existence or are in private hands.

The illustration here is of the front cover of a catalogue for 1865.

Colemans cat4 653x1024 Society of Genealogists Special Collections   Colemans Catalogues and Index

Coleman's Catalogues at the Society of Genealogists

Coincidentally, the item offered at the bottom of the page – the original burial register of Mr Roger’s Meeting House, Collier’s Rents, White Street, Southwark – was given to the Society in 1993 by one of our members. Having been photocopied and transcribed, the original was donated to the Southwark Local Studies Library. Also illustrated is a sample page from one of the catalogues.

David Horwill & Sue Gibbons, 2009

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Family History Courses for the 21st Century

The Society of Genealogists’ First Online Family History Course

The Society of Genealogists and Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd are pleased to announce a new joint online course called I’m Stuck!  How can the Society of Genealogists Help Me? starting 28th May 2009 and repeated from 2nd July 2009. 

In this short two week course, Else Churchill of the Society of Genealogists will guide you through the steps needed to help you think logically about research problems and how to solve them.  She also introduces you to records and indexes, held by the Society of Genealogists, which can be used to break down those brick walls, and demonstrates how these resources help you extend your family tree.  Emphasis is also placed on learning how to apply research techniques to solve your problems.
 

Prospective students can pay and enrol via the Pharos website – www.pharostutors.com at a price of £23.99 or a discounted price of £19.99 for members of the Society of Genealogists.

The course is suitable for genealogists who have had some experience in family history research in England & Wales but who have found they have been unable to identify where their ancestor might have come from. 

It is hoped that this will be the start of a wider collaboration on genealogical distance learning courses between the Society and Pharos.

logo Family History Courses for the 21st Century

Helen Osborn, Managing Director of Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd, said today

“We are very pleased to be given the opportunity of working with the Society of Genealogists in this collaborative way and to bring the vast knowledge of the Society to a wider audience.”
                                                         

Else Churchill, Genealogist at the Society & tutor for Pharos courses, said today

“The Society of Genealogists is delighted to offer the first of, what we hope will be many, distance learning opportunities for the Society. This course will enable those who are unable to visit the Society and take part in our extensive education programme to learn more about the techniques of family history research and the Society of Genealogists in particular.  ”
 

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