Saturday, August 25, 2012

U3A - An essential Resource for the retired family historian

The University of the Third Age has been in existence for some 30 years, and if you are retired don't know it, or of other "Learning in Retirement" organisations worldwide, you really should find out more about it. I have provided a list of the U3A groups in Hertfordshire which run family history (and sometimes local history) study groups. I expect most study groups are like the genealogy group we have in Tring, which meets monthly, and has occasional invited speakers and excursions - for instance to the National Archives, the local Records Offices (including the London Metropolitan Archives). Other meetings provide the opportunity for everyone to exchange notes on their own researches (which could involve families from anywhere, and not just local families) and there is a healthy mixture of experienced researchers and beginners. Most are researching their ancestors online and at every meeting someone reports on a new and useful web site that they have discovered. In addition there is nearly always someone who can give good advice to beginners. If you are old enough to join you really ought to be a member of your local group, wherever in the world you live. If you live in a Commonwealth country you are bound to meet up with people who have experience of researching ancestors from England.

Some U3A groups also have local history study groups - and reminiscence groups recording living people's memories of the past - which could be of interest. Some heritage study groups probably also include local history. ... And if there isn't a local group that covers your interests at present you might well be able to start one!

I have added a U3A link on the Key Web Sites page.

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