What a strange time! We are once again going into a lockdown period and the Winter season is nearing when very often many of us turn to researching our family history. Why not give it a go? Not sure where to start, read on.
5 steps to start your family history research
Step 1 –start with yourself noting any events, dates and places, working back to your parents and to previous generations as far as you can.
Step 2 – ask members of the family for their memories, make a note or record the information for future use.
Step 3 – look for evidence – certificates, photographs, newspaper cuttings etc, the attic is a good place to start.
Step 4 – organise the information you have collected so far, create a family tree on paper or electronically, there are plenty of free options online.
Step 5 – create a list of what needs further research, search the Library website to see what is available and for further help contact the Enquiries Service
If you have already done some research here are a few tips when researching further.
10 tips to move forward with your research
- Remember to make a note of the resources you have searched, even if nothing was found, it will save duplicate the search in the future.
- Read widely about the resources that are available and how to interpret the information.
- Remember when using parish registers they record baptisms, marriages and burials and certificates record births, marriages and deaths.
- When parish registers are difficult to read or parts missing, use bishop’s transcripts to fill the gaps if they have survived.
- Can’t find members of your family in the parish registers, look in nearby nonconformist records.
- When looking at the 1841 census remember that the age for those over 15 have been rounded down to the nearest 5 this helps when trying to search for a birth/baptism.
- By the 1911 census a lot more information is asked including – how many years married, how many children born to the marriage and how many still alive.
- When you come across a death it is always worth searching to see if a will was left.
- Newspapers are always a great source of information about people, places and events especially when they can be searched online.
- After searching the general resources, why not venture to search other collections such as estate, solicitors, manorial records, Great Sessions and a variety of other collections available through the Library website and catalogue.
Good luck with the searching and enjoy!
Beryl Evans, Research Services Manager
This post is also available in: Welsh