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About Us

The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies is an independent educational charitable trust established to provide full academic facilities for training and research in the study of the history and structure of the family. It was established in Northgate, Canterbury, in 1961 by Cecil Humphery-Smith.

Set in its own grounds in a charming property dating from the thirteenth century, the Institute arranges courses of instruction leading to qualifications in genealogy and other subjects auxiliary to history. There is a graded scheme of qualifications leading to the Licentiateship of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (LHG).

The Institute has published its journal Family History since 1962 and publishes an e-mail Newsletter on a monthly basis.

The Institute is famed for its Library, especially the Heraldic collection, and for its publications including the celebrated Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers.

Our renowned Correspondence Course in Genealogy was established to train professional genealogists; most of our students, however, simply want to trace their own family histories as well as possible. The Correspondence Course is available world-wide by post, and has also been available on-line since 2004.

The Institute shares its premises with its sister company, Achievements founded in 1961. Achievements is the leading international research organisation devoted to and specialising in all aspects of genealogy, family tree research, heraldry and associated artwork. Their network of specialist family historians and researchers are scattered across the UK and the world with easy access to local records in your ancestral home.