Pharos Teaching & Tutoring Limited
Helen  Osborn
3 Beaford Grove
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+44 (0) 208 542 6552

Pharos Teaching & Tutoring Limited    Helen Osborn

Online Classes in British Genealogy

Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd was founded in 2005 by Sherry Irvine and Helen Osborn, two professional genealogists who share enthusiasm for helping others journey into the past. Researching and teaching family history brought Sherry and Helen together though they live nearly 10,000 miles apart. The idea for Pharos sprang from awareness of the potential of the Internet, common goals and their conviction that the teaching of family history should embrace facts and records in their correct social, geographical and historical context.

Pharos exists to teach the best and most rewarding ways to go about discovering as much as possible about the lives of our ancestors.

Pharos has 3 basic goals common to every course:

To present information clearly and in an interesting way.

To improve research skills.

To build enthusiasm.

The People at Pharos
Sherry Irvine, BA (History), MSc. CG, FSA Scot, Courtenay, BC, Canada
Sherry has been teaching family history for over 20 years. In the classroom she has taught for college adult education programs, at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama and at the British Institute, Salt Lake City, a program of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History. Since 1996 she has led study tours to England and Scotland for IGHR. She has several years experience teaching via the Internet.

Sherry’s genealogical background includes establishing and operating a retail and research business, lecturing, and writing. She is the author of Your English Ancestry (2nd ed. 1998) and Scottish Ancestry: Research Methods for Family Historians (2003) both published by Ancestry. From the start of her career she has been involved in local and professional organizations. In 2005 the Association of Professional Genealogists presented her with the Smallwood Award of Merit for services to the organization and to genealogy.


Genealogical Data: Maximizing Success, Minimizing Cost

Scottish Research Online

Helen Osborn BA (History), MA (Archives & Records Management) Merton Park, London, UK
Helen has been teaching and lecturing on local history, historical records and genealogy for more than 10 years. She is the author of a University of Liverpool accredited distance learning course on records management, and was for many years the Archivist at Young & Co’s Brewery PLC. Eight years ago she established a successful genealogy research company, Helen Osborn Research Ltd.

Her professional research work originally concentrated on census and civil registration but she is mainly to be found nowadays at the National Archives, Kew, where she is one of their independent researchers. An occasional contributor to family history magazines, she is also the author of three books relating to public houses and brewing.


All You Ever Wanted to Know About Civil Registration 1837 – 2005

Researching Army and Navy Service Records Online and at the National Archives

Gill Blanchard, BA (History, Sociology), MA, Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Gill holds a Post Graduate Certificate in adult education and for many years has been teaching courses in family history. She has taught for the adult education program of Norfolk County Council for several years. Independently she has planned her own family history courses and presented them at locations across Norfolk.

Her professional research experience includes working for the Norfolk Record Office and establishing a successful research company. Gill has provided research services for private individuals, academic institutions and authors; her clients are from many parts of the world.

Other genealogical work includes presenting talks for family history societies and other local organizations and writing for journals and magazines. Gill has been working as a genealogist since 1992.


Fundamentals of English Research 1835 to the Present

Records of the Poor in the 1800s

Searching for Wills and Administrations in England and Wales

What Makes Pharos Special
We would like to tell you why we think Pharos is special.

All of us, company founders and instructors, are professional genealogists who work at family history in some way every day as a full time occupation.

We are teachers, writers, lecturers, archivists and researchers, and all of us have gained our experience in family history work.

Pharos is small and wants to take advantage of that to offer a more personal touch; no class will become too large for an instructor to handle – new sections will be created.

Pharos recognizes the importance of offering quality programs; each course proposal goes through a careful review process by the Program Director and one other instructor, and course content is reviewed by fellow teachers.

Everyone here is enthusiastic about Pharos and about helping you find enjoyment and success in family history research.