Budding historians invited to explore their family's past

Budding historians in Telford are being invited to truly make November a month of remembrance by accessing free online resources to begin researching their family’s past.

Budding historians invited to explore their family's past
Anyone with a library membership can use Ancestry Library Edition for free at Telford and Wrekin’s libraries.

Ancestry Library Edition is one of the premier online resources to seek family history information including birth, death and marriage records, census material and World War service records.

The library service also has community history volunteers at Wellington Library on Wednesdays between 2-4pm and Fridays between 10.30am-12.30pm and at Southwater Library on Thursdays between 10.30am-noon.

Barry, one of the Community History volunteers who has been helping people research their family history for the past three years in Telford’s libraries, said: “I enjoy helping people and giving something back to the community. The people I help can either be new starters or those who have come up against a “brick wall” in their research.

“It doesn’t mean we are guaranteed to always find something but it is very gratifying when we do find information on their forebears and really exciting when we find a hidden treasure.”

Remembrance weekend will be marked with a talk by Martin Phillips at Southwater Library on Saturday 12 November from 11am-12.30pm.

The theme is the Great War under the Wrekin and the impact the First World War had on some aspects of everyday life in mid and south Shropshire and how families and communities suffered great losses.

Martin is the Local Heritage Education Manager with West Midlands for Historic England. His talk will draw heavily on extracts from the Wellington Journal and Shrewsbury News from the time of the war and the research that he has done with local schools.

Attendance at the talk is free but people are asked to reserve a place by visiting www.telford.gov.uk/libraries and click on the What’s On link to access the booking system.

Councillor Liz Clare, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Libraries, said: “Researching your family history is a fascinating thing to do and the resources available on the internet can unearth all sorts of fascinating things that you didn’t know.

“I have managed to get my father’s family back as far as 1503 and this is a chance for residents to find out how far back they can go. What a great opportunity to find out!

“I am also pleased that we are able to mark Remembrance weekend with an appropriate talk at our main libraries and I would encourage people to attend one of the talks and also take advantage of the resources we have available to research their history.”