This page shows all the Courses that we run. If no date is shown, but you would like to join one of the Courses, please Contact Us and we will register your interest. If there is sufficient interest we will try and arrange a new date.

All our courses have practical hints and tips, handouts, where to go for more information, looking & working with examples of documents. We also make full use of the library & collections in the Treetops Research Centre. Please bring your own research as each course is restricted in numbers to allow your family history problems to be discussed.

You do not need to be a member of Dorset Family History Society or have Dorset roots to attend our Courses.

There will be short breaks during each course for tea / coffee which will be available at a small charge. You are welcome to bring a packed lunch

To book a place on one of our Courses, please print off a copy of the appropriate Application Form, complete and send it with your remittance to Treetops Research Centre. A place can also be booked at Treetops or at meetings. Numbers are restricted.

All Courses are 2 days (both days must be attended) at the Treetops Research Centre and the cost is shown against each course.

Applications from non-members but accompanied by a completed Membership Application Form and additional remittance should pay Member rate.
Non-members who join during the Course will receive a refund of the additional amount paid.

Form requires Adobe Reader Get Adobe Reader

Organising, Writing Up & Presenting Your Family History Research

Day 1: Looking at different methods of storing your research, either on paper or on computer:
good practices of research;
keeping / storing records, documents, photos etc.
A practical session exploring and discussing the many different ways of writing up and presenting your research.

Day 2: Return to Treetops one month later where you have the opportunity to demonstrate and discuss how you have presented, or intend to, your research (either in draft or finished format!)

BACK TO 1837


  • How to begin
  • Surnames
  • Civil Registration from 1837
  • Researching on the Internet
  • Using computers
  • Census 1841-1911


The aim of the course is to assist you with additional family history research topics, taught by Jane Ferentzi-Sheppard, the Society’s professional family history tutor

Research before 1837:

  • Parish Registers
  • Parish Chest
  • Wills & Probate
  • Local / National Repositories
  • Picking up on your problem areas


(Recommended for researchers who already have a good knowledge of pre 1837 records)


  • Directories
  • Poll Books / Electoral Registers
  • School & Health Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Militia
  • Taxes, Legal records
  • Maps & 1910 Valuation Survey