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'The Lives of Tudor Women'. A talk by Dr Elizabeth Norton

Saturday 7 March, 2pm - 3.30pm

  • On the eve of International Women's Day join us to learn more about women in the Tudor period.
  • The turbulent Tudor age never fails to capture the imagination. But what was it actually like to be a woman during this period? This was a time when death in infancy or during childbirth was rife; when marriage was usually a legal contract, not a matter for love, and the education of women was minimal at best. Yet the Tudor century was dominated by powerful and characterful women in a way that no era had been before. Join historian, Dr Elizabeth Norton, as she discusses the lives lived, or endured, by Tudor women from all levels of society.
  • Tickets: £5.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

Six Week Family History Course

Fridays (10am - 1pm): 20 March, 27 March, 3 April, 17 April, 24 April, 1 May

  • Run by professional genealogists and archivists this 6 week course will cover all you need to know to enhance your research as well as providing many tips of the trade. There will be opportunities to handle original historical documents, navigate online resources and importantly discover how and where to find less-known genealogical sources in a small, comfortable workshop environment.
    • 1) An introduction to family history - 20 March
    • 2) Crofts, Castles, Trades and Professions - 27 March
    • 3) Schools and Workhouses - 3 April
    • 4) Fighting Talk: An Introduction to Military Records - 17 April
    • 5) Mad, Bad and Sometimes Sad - 24 April
    • 6) Moving On: Immigration, Emigration & Transportation - 1 May
  • Tickets: £80 - booked as a complete 6 week course
  • Full course information (pdf)
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.
  • If you are unable to make this 6 week course, or would like to attend just one of the weeks you may be interested in attending the individual sessions running in September. More details are below.

Surrey Local History Committee presents: Poverty "You have the poor with you always"

Saturday 21 March, 9.55am - 3.30pm

  • Surrey Local History Committee, a Committee of Surrey Archaeological Society presents:
    • 9.30 am Registration
    • 9.55 am Welcome Gerry Moss Chairman of Surrey Local History Committee
    • 10.00 am Catherine Ferguson (Research Associate, University of Cambridge)
      Those that "pinch and suffer want". The treatment of the poor in post-Restoration Surrey: a tapestry of local variation
    • 10.40 am Coffee or tea
    • 11.10 am Judy Hill (Freelance lecturer and researcher)
      Rethinking the Old Poor Law once seen as profligate, extravagant and grievously flawed in 1834. Fact or fiction?
    • 11.50 am Paul Carter (Principal Records Specialist, The National Archives)
      ".. consequently a question thus arises whether I am, or not, to Starve?" Lives and Letters of the Nineteenth Century Poor
    • 12.30 pm Lunch (coffee or tea available)
    • 1.55 pm Presentation of the Gravett Award
    • 2.00 pm Viv Bennet (Charlotteville Jubilee Trust, The Spike, Guildford)
      More Than Oliver Twist – Stories of Inmates at Guildford Workhouse in 1881
    • 2.40 pm Martin Stilwell (Volunteer Researcher at Surrey History Centre)
      Quality housing for deserving workers. Building high quality council housing for the ex-servicemen and workers of Surrey after WW1
    • 3.20 pm Discussion and Closing remarks
    • 3.30 pm Close.
  • Tickets £15 includes refreshments (Coffee or tea are included, please make your own arrangements for lunch).
  • Please book a place online via the Surrey Archaeology Society website.

Family History Online

Saturday 28 March, 10am - 12.30pm

  • A workshop devoted to tips and techniques for exploring your family history using the many and varied sources available online. In addition to learning more about the large commercial websites such as Ancestry.com and Find My Past, we will also include information on using the Family Search website and hopefully introduce you to many wonderful free websites. We will also touch on how to share your information online and keep it secure.
  • Tickets: £15 includes refreshments.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

Ahoy Me Hearties! - Easter Family Activities

Tuesday 7 April to Saturday 18 April (closed from Friday 10 to Monday 13 April due to the Easter bank holidays)

  • Come along to Surrey History Centre for some pirate fun this Easter. Enjoy fun crafts like making your own pirate hat and a feathered parrot friend, learn some pirate words and much more with our free drop in family activities!
  • Parents/Guardians are responsible for supervising their children.
  • During normal opening hours at Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.

Surrey History Centre Open Day

Saturday 2 May, 11am - 3pm

  • Celebrate Surrey's rich and diverse heritage this Surrey Day at Surrey History Centre! From maps to photographs, letters and archaeological finds, there will be a whole array of Surrey gems from our fascinating collection on show.
  • Take a behind the scenes tour where you'll explore how we rescue and preserve the past and discover the 6 miles of shelving in our strongrooms, housing documents dating back to the 12th Century! Tours last for around 30 minutes and must be booked in advance as places are limited and we cannot guarantee there will be space on the day. Tour times: 11.15am, 1.30pm, 2pm and 2.30pm.
  • Find out more about the work we do and our collections at our free 30 minute talks:
    • 12pm - Making Archives Matter
    • The ways in which people use archives are changing. Alongside our work to rescue, preserve and make accessible archives charting nine hundred years of Surrey's history, we are constantly exploring new ways to make archives and history relevant and accessible to people in new and imaginative ways. This talk discusses the challenges of using mental health records for research and highlights our award-winning work with mental health, disability and dementia groups to enrich lives through the materials of the past. It shows how we use HLF funding to blend traditional archive work with innovative outreach activities and how we work with different communities to ensure the county's diversity is reflected in the archive for present and future generations. It also highlights how we work with volunteers to enhance and improve access to our collections
    • 12.45pm - Aladdin's Cave: some major family and estate archives in Surrey History Centre
    • What do a map of the St Germains Estate in St Albans, drawn in 1637, an eyewitness account of a dinner with a grumpy Duke of Wellington in 1849, a season ticket for the Great Exhibition of 1851, a propaganda pamphlet by Joseph Goebbels, glass slides of beheaded Turkish soldiers and a lock of hair of Napoleon's niece have in common? They are part of a Surrey family's archive held by Surrey History Centre and vividly show the extraordinary variety and unexpected content that can be found in many family archives. This talk takes us on a journey through some of our leading family and estate collections, discussing the extraordinary histories behind them, the sheer luck that they survived at all and highlighting some of the unexpected riches they contain.
  • There will be staff on hand to offer expert advice, displays and exhibitions as well as drop in family activities. Refreshments will also be provided.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • The open day is completely free but tours must be prebooked. Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

A Palaeography Primer: get started reading old handwriting

Thursday 7 May and Thursday 14 May, 10am - 12.30pm

  • A two week course for beginners in reading older handwriting, or those who want to refresh their knowledge. Working in detail through some examples from the 16th century (Secretary hand) to the early 18th century, we will discuss techniques for deciphering, interpreting the records and reference books. Including guidance on abbreviations, numerals and understanding Old Style dates.
  • £30 booked as a two week course, includes refreshments.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

Netherne, c.1960 – A Surrey Mental Hospital in Focus

Saturday 16 May, 2.00pm – 3.30pm

  • A free talk by Julian Pooley for Mental Health Awareness Week and Living Well In Woking
  • Netherne Mental Hospital, Coulsdon was opened by Surrey County Council in 1909. Initially accommodating 960 patients, by 1950 numbers had increased to 2,000. The hospital closed in 1994. The surviving archive, now preserved at Surrey History Centre, includes 19,500 patient case files and c.10,000 photographs taken c.1960, exploring all aspects of the hospital's life. From the wards to the airing courts; the art therapy unit to the operating table, these vivid images provide a rare glimpse of daily life inside a Surrey psychiatric hospital, allowing us to take a tour of the hospital on a typical day at what was a turning point in its history.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Tickets are free but please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

Keeping it in the Family: a Four Week Course Reading and Interpreting Legal Records of Inheritance for Genealogy

Thursdays (10am - 12.30pm), 4 June, 11 June, 18 June and 25 June

  • With special reference to the handwriting of examples from before 1800, this course introduces the use of title deeds, wills and manorial records for family history.
    • Week 1: Discusses marriage settlements, deeds of arrangement between families to provide for the couple during their lives and for the inheritance of their heirs. We look at a deed and introduce some techniques of palaeography
    • Week 2: Discusses wills and where to find them, with a detailed look at reading one in 16th century Secretary Hand.
    • Weeks 3 and 4: Discuss manorial records, which document inheritance by tenants even where they may have been too poor to make a will. We start with some 18th century examples and introduce how to extract and interpret information from court rolls. In the last week we look at the use of Latin in 17th century examples
  • £60 - booked as a complete 4 week course, includes refreshments.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

Family History Workshops

  • If you are unable to attend our 6 week family history course or just want to find out more about a particular topic these individual sessions are perfect for you!
  • 1) An Introduction to Family History - 10 September
    • This covers all the basics, with tips for navigating the major family history websites, hints on how to record and store your research, and exploration of some valuable but less-known sources.
  • 2) Crofts, Castles, Trades and Professions - 11 September
    • Explore available resources that show what our ancestors did and how they earned their living. Learn how to use maps, local directories, rate books and more to explore the homes and places where your ancestors lived.
  • 3) Schools and Workhouses - 17 September
    • Find out more about the records of schools, orphanages, universities and colleges, and the information they contain. Learn more about the Poor Law and the workhouse, and why it was such an important part of our ancestors' lives.
  • 4) Fighting Talk: An Introduction to Military Records - 18 September
    • Discover the sources we can use to trace our ancestors who served in the army, navy and air force. What can we expect to find and where can we find First and Second World War and earlier records.
  • 5) Mad, Bad and Sometimes Sad - 24 September
    • Was your ancestor in prison or in an asylum? Discover the records of hospitals and asylums, prisons, courts and institutions such as industrial schools. Examine access to sensitive records and the implications of the Data Protection and Freedom of Information acts.
  • 6) Moving On: Immigration, Emigration & Transportation - 25 September
    • Discover why (and how) our ancestors emigrated and the records we can use to trace their journeys and new lives. Explore immigration records, and learn about techniques and resources for overseas research, including Ireland and mainland Europe.
  • Sessions booked separately at £15 each, includes refreshments.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

Return to the Manor: an Intermediate Course in Reading and Interpreting Manorial Records

Thursdays (10am - 12.30pm), 1 October, 8 October, 15 October and 22 October

  • This palaeography course would suit local and family historians who would like to extend their understanding of manorial records, including those who have already attended 'Keeping it in the Family'. We will include study of records written in Latin (although prior knowledge of the language is not required), and we will look at examples of Medieval to Early Modern handwriting (mainly Secretary Hand). Over the sessions we accumulate knowledge of the language and formulas of manorial records.
    • Week 1: includes 17th century English palaeography examples and some Latin in transcription
    • Week 2: includes mediaeval palaeography (rental) and some Latin in transcription
    • Week 3: includes detailed study of an original court record in English and some Latin in transcription.
    • Week 4: includes a detailed study of an original court record in Latin.
  • £60 - booked as a complete 4 week course, includes refreshments.
  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND.
  • Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.

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