A new season of free family history walks and talks has just been announced by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums.
And the 2012 programme is the perfect place to begin researching your family’s past.
Most of these events take place at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum in Blandford Square, which not only houses the Tyne and Wear Archives, but examples of the area’s renowned maritime history and world-changing science and technology right through to fashion over the ages and a military display.
The museum is also bursting with interactive displays – making it the perfect place for young and old alike to learn and have fun together.
- January 23, 1.30pm-2.30pm, Discovery Museum. Researching ancestry on Tyneside and Wearside with family history author Keith Gregson
Get tips on researching your family history in the areas covering modern North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-Gateshead and Sunderland.
- February 1, 1.30pm-4pm, Discovery Museum. Planting the roots: A beginner’s guide to starting your family tree with genealogist Anthea Lang
How do you construct a family tree and what records are available to you? Bring your own family history documents if you have them.
- February 11-May 27: What’s Your Story? Discovering Family History, Discovery Musuem
This exciting new temporary exhibition will celebrate the family histories of local people.
Specially trained family historians and volunteers will offer help with searches within Tyne and Wear Archives, which are located at the Discovery Museum.
The exhibition will be touring other Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums venues, including Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and South Shields Museum and Art Gallery.
- February 11, 11am-1pm, Discovery Museum. Family fortunes: Using wills with family and local history lecturer Joyce Jackman
Wills and inventories are useful when trying to work out an ancestor’s social status. They can also be used to uncover family relationships.
- February 18, 11am-1pm, Discovery Museum. Decipher old handwriting with family history lecturer Wendy Stafford
Learn the basic skills that will help you to interpret and read old documents with confidence.
- March 7, 1.30pm-4pm, Discovery Museum
Branching out: Civil Registration with genealogist Anthea Lang
What can birth, marriage and death certificates tell you? Bring your own family history documents if you have them.
- March 12, 2pm-3pm, Discovery Museum. Looking after your family history treasures with the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums conservation team
This is a practical session to find out how to look after objects, costumes, medals, photographs and documents for future generations.
- March 25, 2.30pm-4.30pm, Jesmond Cemetery, Newcastle. Walking tour: Jesmond cemetery with Pat Lowery, Blue Badge Guide
A tour of Jesmond cemetery, the final resting place of many people who were instrumental in shaping Tyneside including Fenwick, Dobson and Armstrong.
- April 4, 1.30pm-4pm, Discovery Museum. Going for growth: Using the Census with experienced genealogist Anthea Lang
Hints and tips on how to start searching census records. Bring your own family history documents if you have them.
- April 29, 2.30pm-4.30pm, Discovery Museum. Walking tour: Hard Times and Horrible Histories with Pat Lowery, Blue Badge Guide
Find out about the harder side of life in Newcastle from poverty stricken slums, asylums and the workhouse to gruesome murders and hangings.
- May 22, 2pm-3.30pm, St James’ Church, Benwell, Newcastle. The churchyard as social history: A guided exploration of St James’ churchyard with Judith Green
Visit the graves of members of the rich and powerful families who lived in Benwell as well as local pitmen, traders and inhabitants of the workhouse.
Find out more on Tyne and Wear Archives and Musuems new family history website: www.whatsyourstory.org.uk