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Want to start researching your family history? Our resources at The Hive can help

  • 28th January 2015

Christmas and New Year is traditionally a time for families to gather and this may have inspired you to start researching your family history. But where do you start?

It is always best to start with what you already know and work backwards.

Record all the information that you know, your date and place of birth, marriage, spouse and children, then add any known details about your parents, siblings and grandparents. Check whether you already have any records such as birth, death or marriage certificates or perhaps newspaper cuttings, letters, photos or diaries.

Ask relatives if they can add any more information, they may have some relevant documents. Remember to write down any information that you find and where you found it.

Once you’ve gathered this information together, it’s time to start using official records. Some records such as the census and index to births, marriages and deaths are available online and access is available free of charge in The Hive and all Worcestershire libraries. For other records such as parish registers, wills, newspapers and trade directories you may need to visit your local archive. Many of the records for Worcestershire are available in the self-service area on level two at The Hive. This area is open seven days a week from 8.30am-10pm and there are useful guides and finding aids to help you find your way around. More information is available in the starting family history guide which is available on our website.

We also have a wealth of family history books which will provide you with details of additional sources as well as useful tips. Details are available on the library catalogue.

If you are interested in starting your research, but would like some more help we run a regular hour-long introduction to family history on the first Tuesday of every month 10am-11pm. If you are looking for something a bit more in-depth we have a two part ‘Starting Family History’ workshop, the first will be on Wed 4th & Wed 11th February 10am-12:30pm, with a second one on Sat 21st Feb & Saturday 28th Feb 10am-12:30pm. For more details or to book a place contact us on 01905 766352 or e-mail explorethepast@worcestershire.gov.uk

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