A rchivist ’s top tips
BEST WEBSITES TO AID YOUR RESEARCH
Durham County Record Office Archivist Liz Bregazzi: “Always make an appointment to ensure there is table space available for you. And use our website to research our records and catalogues before you visit, so that you can make the most of yo ur time with us.” The Durham County Record Office website ( www.durhamrecordoffice.org.uk), while rather dated, has lots of useful of information, including detailed guides to local sources. There are plans to move to a new platform in the next couple of years – one that will include an online payment system for research enquiries and ordering copies of documents and publications.
The local registration service ( www.durham. gov.uk/article/2256/Order-a-copy- of-acertificate) has 1.2 million records of birth, marriage and death registrations relating to the current geographical boundaries of County Durham. The site includes a searchable online marriage index from 1837-2012. You should also try the latest version of the FreeREG website ( freereg2.freereg.org.uk) along with its sister sites FreeBMD and FreeCEN.
The Durham Genealogy wiki is at familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/ Durham_ Genealogy, and FamilySearch also has the likes of the Durham Bishop’s Transcripts Collection – images of parish register transcripts from the Diocese of Durham.
If you have mining kin, the record office site has a Durham Collieries database ( www. durhamrecordoffice.org.uk/ Pages/ CoalMining.aspx). This page also links to the Mining Durham’s Hidden Depths project, where volunteers indexed records in the Durham Miners’ Association ( DMA) trade union archive. The project resulted in online indexes to a number of the records in the DMA collection. Volunteers have continued to index the records and the total number of names in the database reached almost 200,000 in July 2014. Finally, the Durham Mining Museum website ( dmm.org.uk) has material relating to County Durham collieries, including photos and details of people killed in accidents.
Other useful sites include the Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections site ( dur.ac.uk/library/asc), Cleveland, North Yorks & South Durham FHS ( clevelandfhs.org. uk) and Northumberland & Durham FHS ( ndfhs. org.uk). Specialist pay-per-view site durham recordsonline.com has more than four million parish and census records, plus burials, cemetery records and a “Petition to release Sunderland men who are prisoners of the Napoleonic Wars“.
Durham County Record Office's homepage
The website of Durham Mining Museum