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researching at records offices, libraries etc

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


TOR Report 2 Apr 2007 16:49

Bookmarking for 1st visit next month. T.O.R. ;o))

Brenda from Wales

Brenda from Wales Report 28 Oct 2006 11:14

Bookmarking for future use


Catherine Report 24 Sep 2006 21:07

Thanks for all your tips. I have just about exhausted all the searching I can do using the BMD indexes and census and need to venture to the records office. These tips will help a lot. Catherine


LindaRSJ Report 16 Sep 2006 20:13

Jennifer You can save the thread to your 'my documents' file. I just did it. Rename it for easy ref. and then pop it into a folder. You will then be able to add further tips as and when. Linda

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 16 Sep 2006 18:00

Family Records Centre,1 Myddelton Street, London EC1R 1UW - website: Some thoughts of mine: Family Records Centre - if you can travel there - Cross over Clerkenwell Road and when you reach the big Post Office on the left, turn into Exmouth Market on the right. At the end of this, you see the FRC as shown in magazine pictures. The entrance is on the right of the wedge-shaped building.; go up the steps or the ramp to the front door. There is an attendant who will want to check your bag. Best to go down to the basement to start with; here are toilets, refreshment area and cloakroom to leave coat (it gets warm upstairs). You will need a pound coin for a locker. Then go back up to where you came in. and then you walk through past the shop into big room dealing with BMD certificates. There is an information desk, also the counter where eventually you will fill out coloured request forms and pay for your orders. The main part of this floor contains three areas of registers, births, marriages and deaths. You just get as close as you can to the dates you want to start with, and then take down one book at a time and see what you can find. All the books are alphabetical by surname, you will see by the area given which name is the right one for you. Jot down the year, quarter, district, volume and page number; this is what goes on the request forms. The books are **heavy**. Just a matter of working round all the other people, and getting through the years you want. After a time you will want to take a break to fill up some request forms or take a walk downstairs. The floor above deals with census data; and there are interesting books. Leave enough time for the payment counter; quite a queue builds up from about 2 o'clock.


Mavis Report 3 Sep 2006 17:40


Jo Jo

Jo Jo Report 3 Sep 2006 17:32

Excellent tips, found at first that I looked through the same record more than once because I had not made a note of exactly what I had looked at on each visit. This was especially with the records that had none of my relatives in. JoJo


Mark Report 30 Aug 2006 12:08


~*~ Mo

~*~ Mo Report 31 Jul 2006 14:50


~*~ Mo

~*~ Mo Report 12 Jul 2006 21:13

My Best Tip.. would be dont get stressed out.. If your stressed, tired, anxious.. for any reason you will miss some vital part of the process you are following.. My very first visit two years ago.. I was doing really well had looked at loads of records...when I got them home and ready to sort through.. I had'nt written the Church down on two different lots and I had looked at so much my head was spinning..and could'nt remember...where I had been.. I now always write down the Church and film no on the sheet..before I proceed with anything... and I always number the sheets so I know what sort of order I have looked at things throughout the day.. Always ask for help from the staff if you are struggling...finding the info you want.. Durham RO.. is very friendly... very helpful... and very organised with their collections.. the staff are very Friendly and Helpful.. Always take plenty of work with you...!!!! As someone else may have the film / Fiche that you need .. that way you are not sitting around doing nothing while the records are in use.. Mo


Ann Report 12 Jul 2006 21:08

Could anyone tell me if I can take a digital camera or are they forbidden. I just wondered if there were some records that you cant photocopy. Ann


PomPom Report 12 Jul 2006 20:55


Janet in Yorkshire

Janet in Yorkshire Report 3 Jun 2006 17:50

Make a record of all docs/PR you read and note what you did NOT find in them - otherwise you may forget that your search was unsuccessful and repeat the exercise. Remember to bring ALL your notes home, the next person at the reader may not want them! Jay


≈≈≈Jenny≈≈≈ Report 3 Jun 2006 16:15

OK I think this is a really handy bit of info BUT......... I am such a newbie that I wont be going to any records offices as yet, ( Hey! I havent done too bad I'm back to 1788 just on census/BMD alone!), My plan is to do about 6 generations to get the 'bones' s'cuse the pun ,of the family and then trawl for the interesting stuff later, so MY Question is ...... How do I keep this thread for future reference , or does it go the the great thread shredder (try saying that without your teeth!) in the sky? Thanks - what a lovely day - hubbie gone to the TT so the garden and the comp all to myself. Bliss! Jen

Joe ex Bexleyheath

Joe ex Bexleyheath Report 8 May 2006 20:50

Before leaving for the Records Office check whether a Readers Card is required and some want a photograph to be put on, so sometimes easier to take passport pics with you unless the Office has photograph facilities - I think this is the case with the British Library for example. Readers Cards issed by one Office are generally accepted in others. On the other hand there are many that do not require them I can say that Greenwich, Faversham, Sittingbourne, Bexleyheath, Canterbury,Huntingdon, FRC, LMA - cards are NOT required. Oxford and Chelmsford - card required (unless any of these have changed systems). Also regarding parish registers - If you are unfamiliar with the district try and determine which parishes you wish to search in advance - the number of parishes covered by one Office can be considerable, even within one town.


Wendy Report 8 May 2006 19:03

When switching from one parish or census date to another - start a new page and for heaven's sake put the heading on EACH page and number them!!! When researching more than one tree in a parish/census, record each family name on separate page!!!. Have spent many a good month trying to work out which was Smith or Jones. Also makes impossible to file as a paper trail when you have 5 different family names on the same page. PS If you are visiting as a couple a) don't sit next to me b)don't whisper to each other - it's even more distracting than normal volume. Only joking - always happy to help newbies at Winchester Records Office - honest. Wendy


Laurie Report 7 May 2006 15:48

Was really great at Kew, took the camera and was able to photograph pages from old logs - and download straight on to computer. Take all your gear in clear container. read as much as you can on resources before you get there. cheers Laurie

Glen In Tinsel Knickers

Glen In Tinsel Knickers Report 7 May 2006 15:39

bookmarking for later


Carol Report 30 Aug 2005 11:07

I always note at the top of my notes the date and the record office/library I'm at, helps when I check back later to see where/what I found. Also, never throw old notebooks out, it's amazing what you find when you look at them again months later - I found that I'd noted the entry for my 4xgreatgrandfather in the 1851 census, but had misread his age as 24, so didn't think he was the person I was looking for, he was and his age was really 74, his (2nd) wife's age was 25!! Take those propelling type pencils with you, they're great and you don't have to stop to sharpen them. Also a magnifying glass, very useful. Check if the record office has it's catalogue online, or check A2A first, can save time when you get there, as someone has already mentioned time passes so quick when you're there and you don't want to waste any of it!! Make sure you know where you are going - sounds obvious, but I nearly walked a long way the wrong way in Norwich earlier this year, fortunately I realised my mistake before I'd gone too far!! Carol


KathleenBell Report 29 Aug 2005 22:49

Take loose change with you as some record offices have self service printers which need change. If you can't find what you are looking for in Parish Records, don't forget to look at non-conformist records. I wasted a whole session looking for baptisms which I later found in the non-conformist records. Kath. x