Thursday, 11 February 2016

Searchroom secrets

HOOKED by the BBC TV series, and the humble beginnings or exciting secrets of celebrities, and keen to find out more about your own local ancestors? If so, perhaps you need to find out who we are!

Catherine Clark
Catherine Clark

Cumbria County Council’s Archive Service, locally via its Record Office and Local Studies Library on Scotch Street in Whitehaven, looks after many unique archive documents that could get you started filling out your family tree.

Our collections not only include church registers of baptism, marriage and burial from churches in West Cumbria but all sorts of other documents, photographs and maps and plans that could give you an idea of not just who your ancestors were but how they lived. Our local studies library, right inside our searchroom, gives you a chance to delve into a wealth of reference books and local studies files, perhaps to find out what has already been researched, or give you the crucial background to the locality. Coming in and looking through our collections is free-of-charge with friendly and experienced staff on hand to point you in the right direction but, unlike on the TV, once you get started there’ll be no celebrity researcher to do the work for you, you’ll have to assume the role of historical investigator. Many of the thousands of visitors who come in each year get really gripped by this, whether or not they find skeletons in their genealogical closet.

If your ancestry or local surroundings is of interest, or you’ve exhausted the range of resources on the family history websites, why don’t you pay us a visit – just like Lesley Garrett did when Who Do You Think You Are? first came to our TV screens.

To help you and to make readers aware of what is in our archives, The Whitehaven News will be running an occasional series of articles from the record office. – Catherine Clark, archivist.

Your local Archive: Cumbria Record Office, Scotch St, Whitehaven, CA28 7NL. gives further details and opening hours.

By Alan Cleaver
Published: July 29, 2010


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