A rchivist ’s top tips


Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - AROUND BRITAIN -

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

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