Researching Your Family History
WYAS holds many records that can help you discover more about your family history. We are always happy to help you with any questions you might have and to move on with your research. We offer some brief tips below with suggestions about how to start and a guide to the sources we hold that might be useful.
- It is easiest to start with what you know and work back to the unknown – so start with yourself. Find out as much as you can, talk to your parents and other relatives and gather old family papers such as:
- Birth, marriage and death certificates, school reports, letters, newspaper cuttings, photographs and diaries.
- These should give you information about where your ancestors lived, worked, went to school or church.
- Maybe someone in your family has already started to research your ancestors, although it is advisable to double check any information you are given. You can check whether anyone else has compiled a family tree or researched your surname online. Try websites such as:
- Keep a record of everything you found and where you found it otherwise you could end up wasting time by looking for the same information more than once.
- It is helpful to read introductions to family history research in book form (Local Studies Libraries usually have a good selection) or on web sites such as:
- Search for baptisms, marriages, and burials on Ancestry.co.uk for entries from our Church of England and Non-conformists parish registers.
- Once you have gathered the family documents and got some background then you are ready to visit us and we can add to your information using our records including: church registers, school records, electoral registers, deeds, maps, wills and many others!
If you are not able to visit we can search our collections for you as part of our paid research service. Click Here for more information.