About Heritage Family History
Yes - Heritage really is my surname! The name was originally found in the Midlands of England and it is, naturally, there that it still predominates.
I have over 25 years of experience in family history, having first become interested in the subject as a teenager and I have researched my own family history into the 1600s. I graduated with a BA (Hons.) degree in history from King’s College, London in 1988 and went on to study family history at the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies in Canterbury, where I gained a distinction in the Higher Certificate in Genealogy. In October 2006 I was appointed as Registrar at the IHGS, leaving in March 2008 to form Heritage Family History.
I launched my first series of family history classes in 2005 and these proved extremely popular. In 2008 I introduced my first one-day courses at the Chatham University Campus which have been a great success. I have recently launched my first online course, often referred to as 'The e-Course', but officially entitled Researching Your Family History. This has proved very popular and I plan to add further modules by the end of 2012.
I am a regular lecturer for other organisations including the Society of Genealogists in London, Canterbury Cathedral Archives and the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies in Canterbury for whom I am also a course tutor on their acclaimed correspondence course. I am a regular speaker at the Who Do You Think You Are? National History Show at Olympia and also run an online course on One-Place Studies for Pharos Tutors
I have written for several family history magazines, notably Practical Family History Magazine, Your Family Tree Magazine, and Family Tree Magazine. I have a regular slot (Heritage Corner) in the Kent Family History Society journal. I have also featured as a guest genealogist for the popular BBC Radio Scotland programme Digging Up Your Roots and am frequently to be heard on BBC Radio Kent. My first book, 'Tracing Your Ancestors Through Death Records' is to be published by Pen and Sword Books in January 2013.
I find that both teaching and carrying out research for those unable to do their own family tree are two of the most rewarding parts of the profession. I love helping people get under the skins of their ancestors and bringing their family history alive! At the end of the day I want to give you more than just a list of dates, names and occupations, and in order to do this it is important to have a thorough understanding of the social and economic conditions of the day. This is where my background in history proves really helpful. Family History cannot be studied thoroughly without also investigating the times in which your ancestors lived.
- Thank you for a great talk last Tuesday evening, you certainly gave us food for thought.
Ashford Branch Kent Family History Society
- I am forwarding a few pictures taken when Bruce and Janet were reunited. Our Aunt Janet and Uncle Don flew from Vermont to the UK as soon as they possibly could. It was all very emotional. A truly happy ending. Janet couldn't be more pleased to find her siblings and her brother and sisters are all so very excited to find their missing sister at last. There have been numerous emails, phone calls and pictures exchanged. A very positive outcome.
Verity Wallace, Canada
- Celia has been punctual, precise and energetic in her research for me. She has consistently produced quality work, on time, at reasonable rates. I would recommend her without reservation.
H.C. Zachry, U.S.A.
- Thank you very much for the excellent work you have done in proving the connection between our family here and the one in New Zealand. The results were so well presented, and we know from reading the background to your research that we definitely would not have succeeded without you - there are so many potential blind alleys and pitfalls; and we know we
couldn't have done it in the time you did, which means we have the
results in plenty of time before our New Zealand relations visit us. Many thanks
Gordon and Mary Smith, Scotland
- Firstly I would like to say how wonderful your lectures were this week. If it hadn't been for the chairs being a little uncomfortable I could have listened to you for hours. You really know how to bring a subject to life and have made my desire to learn even stronger!The reason I am writing is, thanks to your talk yesterday, I today, spent some time looking through the Army Records on Ancestry. I actually knew this time what I was looking at and everything made far more sense. Anyhow, I found an absolute gem! My Grt Grandfathers Brothers records. 27 pages of them!I am SO chuffed, and I would never have managed it if it hadn't been for your instruction yesterday! Thank you so much! I am now really looking forward to your one day course in October!
Caroline Richardson, Kent
- Hi Celia, thanks so much for the Military clues on Friday. I have, after searching for a very long time, found my mum's cousin's grandfather in the Attestation Pension Records. He has a very common name, Charles Payne, and I had given up hope of finding him until the 1911 census as we didn't know where he was born - now we do!! Without attending your lecture, I would still be looking!
Lisa Birch, Kent
- "Thank you so much for the excellent research you did for my family tree. You gave me a great start to my own research giving me solid facts and the confidence to know that my future investigations are not built on shaky foundations. Your enthusiasm is so infectious!"
- " We were delighted with the family history research. Your enthusiasm really shone through. It was fascinating to see that our ancestors came from so many different parts of the UK and it was great to have the research so well referenced. It has inspired us to look further into the lives of our ancestors and we are now hooked! Thank you once again."
Kathryn Richardson, Staffs
- "Thanks for the very interesting lectures you gave. You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself so clearly - I wish I could do that!"
Anne Fleetcroft, Dorset
- "The classes that Celia ran were so valuable to me in my research. As each week covered a different topic they were easy to follow, very interesting and with Celia’s knowledge gave me a wonderful start to tracing my family history. I would certainly recommend anyone starting out on this fascinating subject to attend her lectures, talks and workshops."
Sue H, Ashford, Kent
- "When I started classes with Celia I was a complete novice, knowing only that I wanted to research my family tree, but not having the slightest idea how to go about it or how to organise the huge volumes of information which eventually came my way. Celia started us off gently with simple research, giving us examples to follow, showing us common pitfalls and giving lots of individual advice. She is a mine of information on useful websites, such as newspapers and wills. Once the class was familiar with on-line resources she encouraged us to go to sources such as parish records and The National Archives. I can thoroughly recommend Celia as a teacher. She has a very thorough knowledge and love of her subject, and clearly gets a lot of pleasure from sharing her knowledge with others. Her enthusiasm is infectious. Whilst my experience is that of a beginner, she was able to advise me on some unusual aspects of family history, and she is familiar with a huge range of resources."
Heather Norman, Kent
- I would like to say thank you for getting me started on my own family history quest. I found your course of lessons the best start I could have had. It was easy to follow and made me aware of a lot of pitfalls that I would not have known about. I have now amassed an enormous amount of information and I am now in touch with very distant living relatives.
Edna Farley, Kent
- "I really enjoyed Celia's style of teaching and found her classes very helpful and imformative. I have continued this hobby and found a long lost relative in Canada."
Elizabeth Tipping, Suffolk
- "Celia's seminars were both inspiring and extensively researched. She brings the past to life and awakens a desire for knowledge about one's ancestry whilst clearly indicating the way to meeting that desire. She has a huge well of experience and expertise and I would highly recommend her."
Josie Smeaton, Northumberland
- "Celia really knows her subject and is an excellent tutor, she taught me how to make real headway in finding my ancestors. She did some research herself for me when I had really come to what had seemed a 'dead end'."
Ann Laight, Kent
- "Thank you for the surname interpretation, it's extremely interesting and much more in-depth than I expected."