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History talk helps shine light on soldiers of the past

Feb 24, 2021 | Leisure & Lifestyle

Family historians can gain top tips on how to discover their ancestors’ military past at an online talk this week.

Durham County Record Office, which is run by Durham County Council, is continuing its successful Branching Out programme with an archivist-led talk about researching soldiers.

Aimed at people who already have some experience of family history, Branching Out is a series of weekly talks that focus on a different research topic each time. Previous offerings include understanding the social background of illegitimacy and the challenges it can pose to the family historian and accessing and understanding burial and cemetery records.

This month, participants will once again have a choice of morning or evening sessions, with talks talking place from 10am to 11am and from 6pm to 7pm on Thursday 25 February.

Dawn Layland, education and outreach archivist at Durham County Record Office, said: “Our Branching Out talks provide helpful hints for those wishing to research their past in more detail. County Durham boasts a proud military heritage and so many of us have ancestors who have served in the Armed Forces. This course will provide an insight into the types of records that are available, allowing family historians to discover more about this important part of their forebears’ lives.”

Cllr Joy Allen, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, said: “Our archive collections span almost 900 years and the Branching Out talks teach family historians how to get the most out of the documents available.

“The way we are delivering our talks has changed, as they are now online, but they still offer a fascinating opportunity for people to enhance their research skills. They are also a chance to connect with people with similar interests.”

The talk costs £5 and advanced booking is essential to receive the joining link.

To book a place, email record.office@durham.gov.uk. A link will then be sent to pay online. There are limited places available so early booking is also advised.