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Durham County Record Office Online Shop

Book places online for the events listed below.

If you would like to receive details of future events at the Record Office you can subscribe to our events mailing lists:

Subscribe to Third Thursday talks mailing list.
Subscribe to Branching Out family history sessions mailing list.

Events: January 2020

Family History for Beginners

Friday mornings, from 10.00am to 12 noon on 24 January, 31 January and 7 February 2020
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£30.00

Back by popular demand, this three week course is led by one of our archivists and is perfect for budding genealogists looking for some help getting started on your family tree.

The course covers the basics of family history, including civil registration, the census and parish registers. As well as looking at examples of each (drawn from our collections), there will be interactive activities to help participants understand how to use them for family history and opportunities for friendly advice from the tutor.

This event has started; we are no longer taking bookings.


Family History for Beginners

Thursday evenings, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm on 30 January, 6 February and 13 February 2020
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£30.00

Back by popular demand, this three week course is led by one of our archivists and is perfect for budding genealogists looking for some help getting started on your family tree.

The course covers the basics of family history, including civil registration, the census and parish registers. As well as looking at examples of each (drawn from our collections), there will be interactive activities to help participants understand how to use them for family history and opportunities for friendly advice from the tutor.

Events: February 2020

Branching Out: Burial and Cemetery Records

Monday 10 February 2020, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

Finding your ancestors' final resting place is challenging, but it can be done.

Find out how you might go about trying, what other records exist for civil and church burial grounds, what information they contain and where to find them.


Branching Out: Burial and Cemetery Records

Thursday 13 February 2020, from 10.00am to 12 noon
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

Finding your ancestors' final resting place is challenging, but it can be done.

Find out how you might go about trying, what other records exist for civil and church burial grounds, what information they contain and where to find them.

Events: March 2020

Third Thursday Talk: In Search of the Future - The Peterlee Archives
by Colin Robson, Community Arts Officer
Thursday 19 March 2020, from 6.30pm to 8pm
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£0.00

Colin has spent years researching the Record Office's collections on Peterlee and the Apollo Pavilion, the town's iconic and controversial 20th century landmark, with which he has forged an intimate bond.

In Colin's own words, "It might be a roundabout journey, but when looking to the future, the hard facts are what keep you straight."

This event is free (donations welcome on the day).

Advance booking essential.


Branching Out : Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Housing

Thursday 26 March 2020, from 10.00am to 12 noon
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

What were our ancestors' homes like? How common was home ownership? What housing was provided for miners and how did the system operate?

Uncover the social background to housing and gain an insight into how our ancestors lived.


Branching Out : Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Housing

Thursday 26 March 2020, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

What were our ancestors' homes like? How common was home ownership? What housing was provided for miners and how did the system operate?

Uncover the social background to housing and gain an insight into how our ancestors lived.

Events: April 2020

Branching Out: A Closer Look at the Census

Tuesday 21 April 2020, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

The census has never been so easy to access, but there is a lot beneath the surface. How was it taken? How was it different in Wales and Scotland?

Find out how the census worked and how accompanying records such as summary books may be able to help you in your research.


Branching Out: A Closer Look at the Census

Thursday 23 April 2020, from 10.00am to 12 noon
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

The census has never been so easy to access, but there is a lot beneath the surface. How was it taken? How was it different in Wales and Scotland?

Find out how the census worked and how accompanying records such as summary books may be able to help you in your research.


Family History for Beginners

Tuesday evenings, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm on 28 April, 5 May and 12 May 2020
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£30.00

Back by popular demand, this three week course is led by one of our archivists and is perfect for budding genealogists looking for some help getting started on your family tree.

The course covers the basics of family history, including civil registration, the census and parish registers. As well as looking at examples of each (drawn from our collections), there will be interactive activities to help participants understand how to use them for family history and opportunities for friendly advice from the tutor.


Third Thursday Talk: "We have come through" - Remembering VE Day, 1945
by Steve Shannon, military researcher
Thursday 30 April 2020, from 6.30pm to 8pm
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£0.00

Based on Durham County Record Office's own collections and exhibition, this talk will look at how Victory in Europe was celebrated by civilians and soldiers both in County Durham and in Europe not only on VE Day itself (Tuesday 8 May 1945), but also in the days, weeks and months that followed.

This event is free (donations welcome on the day).

Advance booking essential.

Events: May 2020

Family History for Beginners

Friday mornings, from 10.00am to 12 noon on 1 May, 15 May and 22 May 2020
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£30.00

Back by popular demand, this three week course is led by one of our archivists and is perfect for budding genealogists looking for some help getting started on your family tree.

The course covers the basics of family history, including civil registration, the census and parish registers. As well as looking at examples of each (drawn from our collections), there will be interactive activities to help participants understand how to use them for family history and opportunities for friendly advice from the tutor.


Branching Out: Irish Ancestors

Thursday 14 May 2020, from 10.00am to 12 noon
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

Tracing Irish ancestors is often held to be impossible because many important records no longer survive. But there are other records that do still exist and may be of use.

Uncover the background to Irish emigration and culture to better understand why families moved and what life was like for them both in Ireland and in their new homes.


Branching Out: Irish Ancestors

Thursday 14 May 2020, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

Tracing Irish ancestors is often held to be impossible because many important records no longer survive. But there are other records that do still exist and may be of use.

Uncover the background to Irish emigration and culture to better understand why families moved and what life was like for them both in Ireland and in their new homes.


Third Thursday Talk: Charles and Mary Farrow - Survivors of War, Victims of Influenza
by Gillian Hunt, local historian
Thursday 21 May 2020, from 12.30pm to 1.15pm
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£0.00

Charles and Mary Farrow's story is one of local and social history, courage, romance and final tragedy in the 1918 flu epidemic.

We'll go from Hartlepool to Gainford via the rugby pitches of Co. Durham, the First World War battlefields of France and the Middle East, Durham University, an Oxford College and a "lost" eye witness account of the Hartlepool bombardment, leading to an emotional conclusion to Gillian's research project on Remembrance Sunday 2018.

This event is free (donations welcome on the day).

Advance booking essential.

Events: July 2020

Third Thursday Talk: Crime in 1860s Durham City - An analysis of Durham City Police records
by John Sheen, local historian
Thursday 16 July 2020, from 6.30pm to 8pm
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£0.00

The records of people committed to the lock-up by Durham City Police in the 1850s and 1860s are rare survivors in the Durham municipal records.

They have scarcely been opened in over 160 years. Now transcribed into a spreadsheet the data can be manipulated and reveals some interesting facts regarding criminality in the city at that time.

This event is free (donations welcome on the day).

Advance booking essential.

Events: September 2020

Third Thursday Talk: "What can I tell you?" - The value of diaries in archives
by Victoria Oxberry, archivist
Thursday 17 September 2020, from 12.30pm to 1.15pm
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£0.00

Diaries give us a unique perspective on anything and everything, from the mundane to the world changing, and they are a valuable historical resource.

This talk will look at the idea of diary writing and why people do it, give examples from Durham County Record Office's collections, and explain why it is important that we keep collecting them.

This event is free (donations welcome on the day).

Advance booking essential.


Branching Out: Guide to Online Sources

Monday 21 September 2020, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

The Internet is awash with family history resources of varying quality, but how do you choose?

Find out which sites suit your areas of research and uncover some useful resources. Some are even available for free.


Branching Out: Guide to Online Sources

Thursday 24 September 2020, from 10.00am to 12 noon
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

The Internet is awash with family history resources of varying quality, but how do you choose?

Find out which sites suit your areas of research and uncover some useful resources. Some are even available for free.


Family History for Beginners

Monday evenings, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm on 28 September, 5 October and 12 October 2020
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£30.00

Back by popular demand, this three week course is led by one of our archivists and is perfect for budding genealogists looking for some help getting started on your family tree.

The course covers the basics of family history, including civil registration, the census and parish registers. As well as looking at examples of each (drawn from our collections), there will be interactive activities to help participants understand how to use them for family history and opportunities for friendly advice from the tutor.

Events: October 2020

Family History for Beginners

Thursday mornings, from 10.00am to 12 noon on 1 October, 8 October and 15 October 2020
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£30.00

Back by popular demand, this three week course is led by one of our archivists and is perfect for budding genealogists looking for some help getting started on your family tree.

The course covers the basics of family history, including civil registration, the census and parish registers. As well as looking at examples of each (drawn from our collections), there will be interactive activities to help participants understand how to use them for family history and opportunities for friendly advice from the tutor.


Branching Out: The Victorian Workhouse

Thursday 22 October 2020, from 10.00am to 12 noon
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

The workhouse casts a spectre even in modern times, but what was it like for those of our ancestors who were unfortunate enough to find themselves there?

Find out about daily life in the workhouse, for both staff and inmates and how surviving records can help you discover more about them.


Branching Out: The Victorian Workhouse

Thursday 22 October 2020, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

The workhouse casts a spectre even in modern times, but what was it like for those of our ancestors who were unfortunate enough to find themselves there?

Find out about daily life in the workhouse, for both staff and inmates and how surviving records can help you discover more about them.

Events: November 2020

Third Thursday Talk: Adventurers and Pirates - The Hetton Coal Company, 1820
by John Banham, local historian
Thursday 19 November 2020, from 6.30pm to 8pm
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£0.00

Two hundred years ago, the Hetton Coal Company created the breakthrough that allowed the development of the East Durham Coalfield. It also built a railway which used George Stephenson's steam locomotives three years before the opening of the Stockton & Darlington railway.

However, the business methods employed were sometimes questionable and this talk will look at the men who were seen as "adventurers and pirates" by one contemporary.

The Hetton partners are not well-known figures but they had a big impact on the history of County Durham.

This event is free (donations welcome on the day).

Advance booking essential.


Branching Out: Illegitimacy

Monday 23 November 2020, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

What happened to children born out of wedlock? Was it always considered shameful? Is it ever possible to find out who the father was?

Discover the social background to illegitimacy, as well as what records survive and how you can find out more.


Branching Out: Illegitimacy

Thursday 26 November 2020, from 10.00am to 12 noon
Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL
£10.00

What happened to children born out of wedlock? Was it always considered shameful? Is it ever possible to find out who the father was?

Discover the social background to illegitimacy, as well as what records survive and how you can find out more.


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