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Research family history with new online sessions

Published June 07, 2021 4.01pm

Online sessions to help people take their first steps into researching what is in their family tree will begin later this month.

Bennett family at Horden

A photograph of the Bennett family at the Sands, Horden, 1925. Property of Durham County Record Office, ref: hord0140.

Following the success of the online family history course earlier this year, Durham County Record Office, part of us, will be offering another opportunity to take part in this course, which is aimed at people who would like an introduction, or refresher, to getting started in family history research.

The course will comprise of three talks, all bookable individually, and will explore some of the sources that family historians use to discover their ancestors and show how archives held at the Record Office can help in their search. 

Chance to book 

Those interested can book onto a session on civil registration on Monday 21 June, a session on the Census on Monday 28 June and a session on parish registers on Monday 5 July. Participants will be able to take part in sessions at either 10am - 11am or 6pm - 7pm on each of the three days.  

The Record Office is also running a talk for people with more experience as part of its regular Branching Out programme. Part of a series of monthly talks on a particular family history topic, June's talk is on how wills are an invaluable source of family history, while July's session is about tracing ancestors before 1800.

Participants will again have a choice of morning or evening sessions of either 10am - 11am or 6pm - 7pm on Tuesday 17 June for the talk on wills and on Thursday 8 July for tracing ancestors before 1800. Each session costs £10 and can be booked using the Record Office's online shop. Booking in advance is essential in order to receive the joining link. Early booking is advised as there are limited places available.

Popular sessions 

Dawn Layland, education and outreach archivist at Durham County Record Office, said: "Family history sessions have proved incredibly popular in recent times and although we understand that many people find it difficult to know where to start researching, the course provides plenty of help to take those initial steps.

"I'd encourage anyone interested in making a start in researching their family history to get involved and book a place."

To book a place, visit the Record Office online shop.