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Tips for first time visitors to local records cent

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Kate Report 6 Jan 2008 17:22

Thanks for such a fantastic thread. Always wanted to go to the Records Office but never had the courage as I had no idea what to do.

Going to try and get there in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks again.

Kate x


Madmeg Report 7 Jan 2008 01:56

Sorry, but you all seem to be mentioning other threads, but I don't know how to find them. Can someone advise?

I've been to 3 records offices now and found nothing of use, other than sheer frustrating, freezing cold hands (take gloves) and nothing to eat or drink for miles.



Amanda S

Amanda S Report 7 Jan 2008 16:07


I hope you thoroughly enjoy your "maiden visit" to the records centre. It can be an extremely rewarding experience: you get such a buzz when you find that elusive piece of information.

Word of warning: it can become addictive!

Amanda x


Kate Report 7 Jan 2008 21:31

Thanks Miss Marple and Ann. I am visiting the Wakefield Office and I believe it's best to ring and arrange a visit as it can become really busy.

Thanks again to everyone who has my confidence up enough to go.


Kate x


Pauline Report 7 Jan 2008 22:27

Please can you explaine to me what threads are i am new to GRU.
Thank you Polly.

Amanda S

Amanda S Report 9 Jan 2008 12:07


This is a thread that we are all posting on now, i.e. a threaded conversation.

Amanda x


Sarahh Report 9 Jan 2008 12:36

I'm also looking into going to one of these for the 1st time, just gathering the rellies from my tree I'd want to search about 1st so I don't end up coming out not remembering any info of what I went to look for in the first place.

As I've never been to one before, can you search for more or less anything of that rellie?

I do know at one point a rellie and his kids on my mothers side were in a workhouse at some point and was wondering if I'd be able to find more info on this time in their lifes at one of these records centres?


Neil Report 16 Apr 2008 18:19

Bumping this as i am off for my first record office visit tomorrow and wanted to re-read this thread!


Kate Report 16 Apr 2008 18:47

To add to what Miss Marple and Jill have said, it is polite to be quieter. I am not a short-tempered person but I was in Preston records office on Saturday and a couple were behind me on separate microfiche readers, talking away. I very nearly turned round and asked them to be quiet, but I didn't.

It's not so much the talking as the fact that it can be so distracting to be trying to study records carefully when there is any kind of noise around you, especially if you yourself are being careful not to make any noise.


Julie Report 16 Apr 2008 19:43

Keep a note of which records you have searched.or if you go back you'll end up searching them all again (like i did )


andie Report 16 Apr 2008 20:44

i have been thinking of going to the records office at matlock in derbyshire which i believe is where the records are for derby.

i have been on the web site and i am waiting till the children go away with there father on hols, as i dont get that much free time.

all the tips on here have all been noted and have answered alot of the questions that were on my mind.

would a passport do for an id, i dont have an id card, although i have been asked for one once before.

i have never been anywhere like this before and i think its bewildering.

the advice everyone is giving boost confidence



Neil Report 16 Apr 2008 21:08

Andie - i think passport plus utility bill (they ask for photo plus proof of address and i dont think address is on passport is it?)


andie Report 16 Apr 2008 22:57

you have to write your own address on it,

sorry i didnt answer sooner had to be taxi service for daughter.

i dont even have a driving licence with photo on it coz that would have done, mines still pink or is it green, i suppose i could take that

thanks for advice



Neil Report 20 Apr 2008 21:08

Big thanks to all the tips on here - managed to find some superb info at Glamorgan Record office. Crew lists which included my Great Grandfather along with an Inquest report into his death!


Neil Report 25 Sep 2008 18:02


Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 25 Jan 2009 11:01

nudged for Norm

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 3 Feb 2009 21:48

- for Samantha


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 3 Feb 2009 22:59

If I can add to what has already been said, especially if it is your first visit to an archive.

Phone ahead to book
Tell them you it will be your first visit and are there any rules - these have mainly been covered, but it helps to set the ground for you.

If there are any particular records you want to track down (besides Parish records) eg Workhouse/Asylum admissons, let them know in advance as they may be in the original book and you need a desk.

If you are VERY lucky, they may already have found the entry you want on one and located another for you to look at for details.

There is usually a member of staff hovering around the catolgues (which give index numbers for documents) who will point you in the right direction for looking things up.

A microfilm reader room can get VERY HOT if there are lot of machines in use - dress in layers!!!


Jacqueline Report 13 Feb 2009 19:34

Researchers in Scotland may like to know that Reg House in Edinburgh do taster sessions which gives a few hours free in the morning or afternoon to do research. The usual cost is £10 for the full day but you can come and go as you please all day after paying.

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 16 Apr 2009 22:26