County Durham’s residents will soon have the chance to learn how to trace their family histories.

This spring will see the return of the popular Family History Course at Durham County Record Office.

The course will teach beginners the techniques and knowledge they need to start researching their family trees.

The first sessions will use the Wood family, from Metal Bridge, Ferryhill, as an example, thereby providing a step-by-step guide to the family research process.

Course participants will learn how to deal with important sources, such as the Census, civic registration, and parish records. Guidance will also be given on using certain tools, like the microfilm readers that are used to examine Durham’s Census records and Parish registers.

The education and outreach archivist at Durham County Council, Dawn Leyland, said, “This is a great chance to get started on your family tree and find out about the fantastic resources available on your doorstep to help you.”

The course, which lasts for three weeks, will be held at Durham County Record Office, County Hall.

The course will take place on Tuesday evenings, between 6.00 pm and 8.00 pm, on 24th April, 1st May and 8th May. Sessions will also be held on Thursday mornings between 10.00 am and noon on 26th April, 3rd May and 10th May.

The cost is £30 per person per course. Because places on the course are limited, they must be booked in advance. As demand is expected to be high, anybody interested in securing a place is advised to book now to avoid disappointment.

To make a booking or to get further information, please telephone 03000 267 626 or email record.office@durham.gov.uk.  

In more news about Durham County Record Office, plans are afoot to move its incredible archive of documents – which would stretch for five miles if laid out in one line – to a new home. The documents span 900 years of County Durham history.

(The featured image shows the wedding of Edith Wood and William Harvey in 1911.)

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