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researching at records offices, libraries etc

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Joy Report 21 Jun 2018 20:50

Even though there is a lot of information and there are many records available online, records offices are still useful, whether visited personally or by email / post / telephone.


Kim Report 29 Aug 2011 16:52

And try to get a little booklet on deciphering old handwriting if you're going to look at at really old documents, filmed or original and see if you can practise on the images on (go to homepage, look for collections, click on Europe and scroll down until you get to one of the collections, such as Norfolk, which lets you look at the filmed parish registers.

Be sure of want you want to do before you go and make a "shopping list". Don't forget to take any background information you have with you. Check on familysearch to see if you can access some of what you need point in going to Norfolk (say) archives to look at images which are freely available on the internet, better use of time to concentrate on those parishes which have not been filmed/digitised.

Do take plenty of pencils, change for photocopying and proof of address, such as a utility bill, in case you need a CARN (archives network reader's ticket) and do not already have one. I understand that two passport photos may also be required now.

Try not to get too frustrated if the document you want to look at has been damaged by fire or flood and is illegible. Somebody's law states that every page will be perfectly legible...except the one you want!

Kim in Hull
Who's off to Cambs and Peterborough Archives next week


Kim Report 29 Aug 2011 16:33

Fully agree with grannyfranny about using a notebook rather than loose sheets - much less likely to lose, can keep data in the correct sequence, etc. I try to buy page-to-a-day diaries once they've been reduced - plenty of pages for not too much money. THAT SAID, last time I was in the National Archives they don't want you to take more than 20 sheets of loose paper into the search room.




LD Report 26 Jul 2011 13:42

I take a little gift to Archives offices when I go, it's amazing how much more helpful they are after !


Joy Report 21 Jun 2011 13:07

May be useful for Joe :)

Gwyn in Kent

Gwyn in Kent Report 6 Apr 2011 18:46

Good luck Vicki.
I hope you find some useful information.
It's a bit like being a child in a sweet shop. You don't know what to go for first.
Time soon goes, but I hope it's an enjoyable visit.



Vicki Report 6 Apr 2011 16:53

Have read this thread as well which tells you exactly the sort of things you would want to know - am getting nervous thinking about tomorrow as it will be 1st time I've been to Stafford RO - they sound nice on the phone though & will give me an introductory tour and talk!!!! It's still scarey though...... guess we are all pretty much the same when doing something new for the first time.

Thanks to everyone,



Kiwibird Report 22 Apr 2010 00:50



grannyfranny Report 7 Feb 2010 13:36

I've read through these excellent tips with interest. My tip would be to never write on scraps of paper about ANYTHING, not just genealogy, if you write in a notebook you can always find the info again.

And can I just say how much I enjoyed researching at the Kendal office those years back. They let you look at the original records, often written on parchment so the writing had to fit round the imperfections. In one parish record from the 1760's, in the small space at the bottom of each page the vicar had written notes such as 'the price of corn is .. and the price of potatoes is...'. One page he wrote 'there is a sickness in the village, lots of people have had it but no one has died. The symptoms are.....'. What a fantastic historical record, I was so busy reading that I almost forgot to look for my rellies!


Joy Report 28 Nov 2009 22:32

For new readers


Joy Report 6 Nov 2009 11:07

given a nudge for new readers.


Joy Report 14 Oct 2009 21:16



Joy Report 27 Sep 2009 10:13



Joy Report 22 Sep 2009 15:54

- for Tetley


Joy Report 17 Aug 2009 23:01



Joy Report 13 Feb 2009 19:10



Joy Report 3 Feb 2009 21:48

- for Samantha


Joy Report 25 Jan 2009 11:01

nudged for Norm


Rebecca Report 2 Oct 2008 18:02

is is possible to search local archives online


HeatherofOz Report 2 Oct 2008 17:28

Derbyshire Records Office Matlock.

I thoroughly recommend them. They are the most friendly, helpful and efficient people I have come across. By phone or by mail they are very efficient. I sent of a search request and received an answer with the required information and photocopies within a week. Heather