View Full Version : Records Office - got the t-shirt!

27-08-09, 19:48
Well ok - not really but I'm no longer a records office virgin - I visited Devon Records Office during my holiday there in August.... WOW!!!

It's amazing and 3 hours was not enough!
I looked at a will and all records for 3 parishes I was interested in (Dad came to help too in case you're wondering how)

It was fantastic to see the records written by the curate at the time of the event.

I found one relative's burial details (22 years old) with the note "Blown up by gunpowder at the Haytor Granite Works" :eek::eek:

A few days later I visited the church he was buried at, but couldn't find him, maybe he had no headstone, they weren't well off.

I'm going to feel jealous of all visitors to ROs now :( ;)

Jeanette in Yorkshire
27-08-09, 19:51
Hia Sarah

Nice to see you here :D Glad you found time to do a bit of research. I'll be glad when the kids go back then I can get back to my RO trips ;)

27-08-09, 20:11
Lucky you babe I am also waiting hoping when Kes gets back to work that I can get some time to go there ;;;

27-08-09, 20:24
I am still a RO virgin! I did try to visit one once, but they had closed for one day only - I just got to peek through the door when someone came to tell me why I couldn't go in!

28-08-09, 13:52
There's nothing like going to a records office to bring your family to life. I remember going to Cambridge RO and then having found my ancestors in their records, going out to trace their footsteps in the streets where they lived.

Gravestones don't always survive and sadly lots of graveyards are overgrown and the stones illegible. But its a thrill to imagine our ancestors going to the church to be baptised or married or buried.

Similarly, finding a transcription online is no substitute for looking at a handwritten record mentioning your ancestor!

Ann L from Darlo
01-09-09, 22:39
I don't know how anyone can research their family history without going to RO---I love it and yes 3 hours isn't enough sometimes

01-09-09, 22:43
LOL Ann, was at Darlo library on Saturday for 6 hours & that wasn't enough time either :d

Ann L from Darlo
03-09-09, 18:56
Wow Jay G---I must get back to it after kids go back to school---may see you there.

Tilly Mint
03-09-09, 19:19
I have been twice now, i dont know what it is with me - i felt i was out right of my depth :eek:. i really struggled in there, people were kind and showed me what was what, but it went in one ear and out the other :o

I need to try again..........sometime.

Glad you enjoyed it and got some info lozaras:)

Uncle John
03-09-09, 19:44
I've only clocked up one visit. Had to be shown how to thread up a film reel but at least I didn't drop it on the floor.

03-09-09, 19:52
I think the Devon Records Office is quite modern compared to others (but I can't compare lol!)

I only got to looking at microfiche records and don't understand what UJ did with film reel.

I looked up the name of the parish in a ring binder and it gave me a list of what was to be found on each postcard-sized microfiche from the files.
Very easy to do.

Ann - I live in France so I have no option but to do most of my research by internet. I must admit that I was greatly relieved that someone as eminent as Merry admits to never having been into an RO though ;)

03-09-09, 20:50
I was greatly relieved that someone as eminent as Merry admits to never having been into an RO though ;)


I did go the 35 miles through mostly B roads to Dorchester but they had closed the RO for a one off special day whilst they tidied the records or something. Do you think they knew I was going to visit?

Oakum Picker
03-09-09, 21:05
I made my first trip to the RO 2 months after I started researching but that was when the only thing online was the IGI.

Mandy in Wiltshire
04-09-09, 11:48
Hi Sarah :)

I've never been to a Records Office before (although I wouldn't class myself as eminent as Merry :d ) but I've been to Kew twice lol.

I'm a member of the Devon Family History Society - are you? We've also got a Facebook group for the Society. Really must get to the Devon Records Office sometime soon, we keep saying we'll have a trip down there!

04-09-09, 13:44
Actually, I did once go to the Family History Centre in London and heaved the GRO ledgers about for a day once about 20 years ago, but I was so ignorant of what to look for I didn't find much!

04-09-09, 15:56
I have:

dropped a reel on the floor
inserted a reel the wrong way round in an automatic machine, so masses of tape shoots out in all directions
BROKEN the tape (twice)
rested a heavy book on a fragile register
not understood the records I have been looking at
forgotten to note down where I found a reference
not dated my research, so I can't see a logical thread in my thoughts
made UNREADABLE notes, so it wasn't much point taking them in the first place
misunderstood simple instructions of every kind
not looked for the first born in every marriage a few weeks before the wedding
But I love spending time in Record Offices and at least the dragons who used to terrify me when I started no longer breathe quite so many flames as they used to.

04-09-09, 16:53
The first time I went to Notts Archives one of the other people (a member of the public, not staff) told me off for not using the envelopes that the microfiches were stored in. But I was looking at the National Probate Calendar and it isn't in envelopes. I still hold a grudge against him!