A series of popular talks showing people how to research their family history will return this month.

Durham County Record Office is continuing its successful online family history courses through September.

Aimed at beginners or those who would like to refresh their knowledge, the course comprises of three talks showing what sources are used by family historians and how archives held at the Record Office can help people in their search. 

The talks are bookable individually, and participants can attend the 10am to 11am or 6pm to 7pm sessions for the following dates:

  • Wednesday, 21 September – Civil registration
  • Wednesday, 28 September – The Census
  • Wednesday, 5 October – Parish registers

For those who want to develop their family history knowledge, the Record Office is also running a talk as part of its regular Branching Out programme, with the topic of this session being Catholic Ancestors. Budding historians can book the 10am to 11am or 6pm to 7pm online sessions on Thursday, 22 September.

Each session costs £5 and can be booked using the Record Office’s online shop at https://recordofficeshop.durham.gov.uk/pgEventResult

Booking in advance is needed to receive the joining link and early booking is advised as there are limited places available.

Dawn Layland, Durham County Council’s education and outreach archivist, said: “We are delighted to be hosting these talks, covering some exciting topics, from family ancestry to the county’s rich history.

“These events always prove very popular, so I’d encourage anyone interested to book a place to avoid missing out.”

The Record Office will also be running its Third Thursday Talk this month with a look into the experiences of Durham Light Infantry (DLI) soldiers serving in Korea in 1952.

Seventy years ago, on 7 September 1952, the soldiers of the DLI 1st Battalion landed in Korea to serve with the Commonwealth Division and soon found themselves living and fighting in trenches and dug outs as their grandfathers had done during the First World War.

Most of these soldiers were young National Servicemen, called-up to serve two years in the Army, though many of the officers and sergeants were veterans of the Second World War.

Marvellous Diggers – the 1st Battalion DLI in Korea, 1952 to 1953, by military researcher Steve Shannon, explores the experiences of these soldiers during the Korean War through photographs, documents and newspapers held by the Record Office; key objects from the DLI Collection; and the memories of DLI veterans, who were interviewed in the 1990s for the Imperial War Museum.

The talk will take place on Thursday, 15 September 2022, from 10.30am to 11.30am and there will also be an accompanying online exhibition on the Record Office website at www.durhamrecordoffice.org.uk/exhibitions


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