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Genealogy (Family History)

Meeting time Monthly 1st Thursday
Venue Church of the Resurrection, Cosham
Enquiries Email groups@waterloovilleu3a.org.uk
Use our contacts page
Or visit the Groups table at any Coffee Morning or General Meeting
genealogy headline picture

We are a friendly group of people who share a common interest and fascination with family history, whether it be our own or someone else’s!

“Genealogy” is much more than names, dates and places on a family tree, but also the family stories, (whether they are proven true or not !) the social & historical context that our ancestors lived in, their occupations, and much more beside.

Each of us have varying degrees of experience, some with very little and others with many years and we often find that our individual research takes place on a stop/start basis within our personal lives. Some of us use computers for recording our findings, some are paper based only – but even computers generate paper !

So our aim is to encourage and learn from each other, share our experience and personal research stories, pass on tips and generally give help to each other, and of course to enable people to make new friends within the wider U3A group.

Things we did in 2023 :

We had a talk via Zoom on the topic of Brick Walls, which highlighted things we either didn’t know or had forgotten about! We were also provided with an information sheet.

In July we had a visit to Portsmouth Dockyard, hosted by the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust. This enabled us to see some of the things that the Trust has managed to save which would otherwise have been lost.  Certainly worth a visit.

We’ve talked about researching outside the UK, looking at various documents. This didn’t apply to all of us but of course with Genealogy you never know when circumstances will change. We’ve had discussions on Military research and our ancestors’ occupations. One of the group members gave us a talk on their Derbyshire Ancestors which included a Powerpoint presentation.

Lists have been provided so that members could note down where they would like to visit/talks/areas of research/names being researched etc.

We’ve had a volunteer from the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust visit to talk about The Triangle Girls. These were ladies who kept the Dockyard going through the war as many of the men had gone to fight in the war

Late last year we had a visit from the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust who gave a talk entitled A Moment in Time.

In recent years we have visited The National Archives in London, Winchester Archives , The Society of Genealogists, The Spring at Havant and Highland Road cemetery. We’ve done research, with the local history group, on the men who died at the Battle of Jutland and the men on the war memorial at St Andrews church both resulted in booklets being produced. We’ve had talks on Portsmouth, Military Archives, lantern slides, members “brick walls” and The Guild of one name studies.

We meet every month except August at a small monthly attendance cost to cover the hall hire and including refreshments! The room has a screen which enables us to give presentations.


We had a fascinating talk by Jane Fox, followed by a visit to The Elms in Old Bedhampton.

We have heard about one of our members' DNA results from Ancestry, another member gave us an update on her Sri Lanka research. We have been bringing to the meetings things that we have found out about whilst doing our research and giving a short talk about them – a sort of "show and tell”.

Finally in August, when we don’t hold a meeting, we enjoyed a cream tea at The Northney Tea Rooms on Hayling Island.

Things in the planning stage:

  • Trip to Winchester Archives
  • Trip to National Archives at Kew
  • Trip to Society of Genealogist in London
  • Talk by George Yalden #
  • Talk by Andrew Negus #