Have you ever wondered who your ancestors were, where they came from and how far your County Durham roots go back? With just a few hours’ work, you might well be able to fill in any gaps in your family history at Durham County Record Office. 

Through the record office’s Branching Out programme, you can attend sessions on how to find information about civilians in the Second World War, how to trace ancestors before 1800 and how to use electoral registers for research.

Education and outreach archivist for Durham County Council, Dawn Leyland, said, “A lot of people struggle to make time for their family history, but in just two hours, you can find out more about your ancestors and, with expert help, spend an hour working on your own research.”

The sessions, which cost £10 each, are designed for people who have already begun tracing their family tree or have attended Durham County Record Office’s beginners’ course.

The first session, Tracing Ancestors Before 1800, will take place on Thursday 27th April. This session will be run twice, from 10 am to noon and from 6 pm to 8 pm. 

The next session, Civilian Ancestors in the Second World War, will be taking place on two occasions – from 6 pm to 8 pm on Tuesday 23rd May and from 10 am to noon on Thursday 25th May.

The third session, Electoral Registers and Trade Directories, will take place on Tuesday 13th June from 6 pm to 8 pm and on Thursday 15th June from 10 am to noon.

Durham County Record Office also runs beginners’ family history courses, which consist of three weekly sessions and cost £30 per person. The next beginners’ course will be held in June.

All sessions will be held at Durham County Record Office in Durham City. To book places or find out more information, please email record.office@durham.gov.uk or phone 03000 267 626.

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David writes about local news, thought provoking stories, and yearns to capture the community spirit with a unique writing style.


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