Family History

  • 10th September 2015

Autumn is always a time when we see an increase in people coming  in and saying “I’m interested in starting my family history, where do I begin?”. You may be looking for a new activity now summer is over and  always wanted to have a go. You may be inspired by the latest series of Who Do You Think You Are? or maybe you’ve come across some family story  that you want to check out.

We are an ideal place to come to as we have a wealth of resources. We have on-line access to many national records, so we can help most people, but if you have Worcestershire ancestors we have an even greater range of information which can help.

We are used to people visiting to research family history and many members of staff research their own, so we can empathise with you. We also run a range of workshops to help you, with different options depending on what you need.

First Steps in Family History

We run monthly 1 hour introductions to our resources. Each session takes up to five people and although we can’t focus on your own family we will try to use them as examples to demonstrate the resources.

£5 – first Tuesday of the month 11:30am

Starting Family History

If you would like an in-depth look at family history and a deeper understanding of the sources then we run two part workshops. These look at the basic principles of how to research your family tree and the main sources such as civil registration, census, and parish registers. We’ll explain what they are and what they contain, as well as what they don’t contain. After each session there will be time to use the computers to put your learning into practice and start your research.

Workshops cost £15 and you can choose a Tuesday morning (29 Sept & 6 Oct) or Saturday morning (10 & 17 Oct)

Exploring Ancestry

One of the most useful places to search is the website, which contains civil registration indexes, census records and other key sources. We run specific workshops about the website to help you get the most out of it. Each one last two hours and we start in one of our meeting rooms before moving on to the computers to have a go at putting into practice what you’ve learnt. As the focus will be on the history sources and using the website participants should already be comfortable with using computers and the internet. Workshops are £6 each and you can choose to come to one or all three.

Starting Ancestry: The census (8 Oct 2pm) – an introduction to the website focusing on the census, the starting point for many people using Ancestry, looking at the background to this resource and how the way it was compiled can affect what you find or don’t find.

Further Ancestry: Beyond the Census (15 Oct 2pm) – moving on to other key resources for family history, including electoral registers, civil registration, parish records and military records.

What’s New on (22 Oct 2pm) – new sources are being added all the time and even if you use Ancestry regularly it’s hard to keep up to date. This workshop will look at what has been added over the past couple of years. This is ideal for those who have been using the website for a while and just want to find out what else is on there.

To book any of these go to For more details email or ring 01905 766352.

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