The guide to researching your family history.

Catherine Meades BSc DipGen QG
Cameo Family History

A series to lead you through the process of discovering your family’s story in simple steps, with some tips and tricks to help you through, round or over brick walls.

Part 6 – Parish Registers: In the Archives

If images of the original parish registers are available online, then you are lucky – these are the primary source material. However, if you are working just from indexes then you should consider verifying the data in the archives for the following reasons:

• The creation of an index allows for errors and omissions.
• The original register may include additional information not present in the index.
• By scanning the register, you may locate other family members missed when searching the index.

It is also important to remember that not all parish registers are online – in this case the only option is a visit to the archives.
There are four main archives covering the historical counties of Durham and Northumberland:

• Durham Record Office, County Hall Durham, DH1 5UL
• Northumberland Archives, Woodhorn, Ashington, NE63 9YF
• Tyne & Wear Archives, Discovery Museum, Newcastle, NE1 4JA
• Palace Green Library, University of Durham, Durham, DH1 3RM

Which archive(s) you need to visit will depend on the parish you are researching. Before visiting an archive, you should check out their website as this will include details of their procedures (for example, you may need to book) and opening times as well as giving access to their guidance documents and online catalogue.

For more information on the holdings of these various archives and advice on how to prepare for your visit, together with previous articles in this series, see the Cameo Family History Website:

Next month: Non-conformist Ancestors

Tel: 07855 556 384
Facebook: @cameofh

Get CONSETT MAGAZINE straight to your inbox.

* indicates required


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here