North Yorkshire County Record Office - Local and Family History Day 2014

17Mar

Robert explaining the powers of the Poor Law Unions to an interested visitorThe event was held on Saturday 15th March in the spacious and comfortable Pavilions of Harrogate venue on a bright sunny day. Robert Blenkarn and I arrived shortly after the 8:00 a.m. opening time, giving us time to set up our display and then sit with a welcome coffee and bacon bun before the event opened to the public at 10:00 a.m. David Joy joined us in time to greet the first, of what became a steady stream of, visitors throughout the day.

At 11:30 the Chairman of the County Council, County Councillor Bernard Batemen officially opened the show and, as part of his opening speech, thanked our neighbouring stand, the Great Ayton History Society + Stokesley Society Heritage Project, and ourselves for attending and representing the northern part of the region. 

There were 40 Society and Trade Stands present with themes ranging from local and social history to Iron -Age Archaeology in Nidderdale, researching the history of your home and writing your memoirs.  As we no longer hold the Parish Registers at the Teesside Archives, the theme of our diplay was 'Beyond the Parish Registers'. It showed alternative sources to research e.g. Workhouse Registers, Removal Orders, Poor Law Union documents, Bastardy Orders, School Records, Church Records and Shipping Registers. This theme attracted a lot of interest from visitors, many of whom had not heard of these sources of information.

Four talks, which were well attended by visitors, were held during the day. In the morning Emma Wells presented 'The Secrets behind your Front Door: discovering the history of your home', followed by Peter Higginbotham with 'Gruelling Experiences: three centuries of the workhouse, with particular reference to Yorkshire'. The afternoon began with George Redmonds presenting 'The Future in Surname Studies: links with demography, archaeology, genetics, landscape history...' and ended with Sue McGeever and 'Hats and Huts' ladies of the YMCA Women's Auxiliary on the Western Front'.

The day was very successful. We met a lot of interesting people, had a chat with one of our members, Anne Marshall, and enrolled a new member Janice Burke. Welcome Janice.

Thank you to Linda Turnbull and colleagues at NYCRO for a well organised and interesting event.

Anne Clayton