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Re: Archives in the England - catalogue listings

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  • Leslie
    MessageThanks for the great tip! I have not really begun English research, except I know where my family came from and have the BMDs, but no stories . A
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 5 5:49 AM
      Thanks for the great tip!  I have not really begun English research, except I know where my family came from and have the BMDs, but no "stories".  A search on the name and, noting locations, revealed quite a few goodies to be followed up sometime!
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2004 9:40 PM
      Subject: Archives in the England - catalogue listings

      Hi everyone:
      If you have ancestors in the England, you may want to look at the following website.
      This website, "A2A" meaning "Access to Archives", is a free searchable database of the catalogues from over 340 different archives in England.
      The different archives, whether they are local record offices, local libraries, universities, museums, specialist institutions, or national institutions, are contributing their catalogue listings to this database. The description of their catalogue items is more detailed than just a title - it is more like a finding aid. So it is worth a look by genealogists.
      Although the website gave a "disclaimer" about not being set up for family history research or as an index of surnames, I found that when I did use a surname as my keyword, I got a lot of results. But if my surname was very common or was the name of a place or street, I got a lot of hits that wouldn't help me. When I used the surname "Laughton", I discovered that there are several villages named "Laughton" and that the search result pertained to one of the villages. But there were instances where the surname "Laughton" was part of the description of the material. Some material from the archives is fairly recent: i.e.  W. Laughton was objecting to a road going through his property - from a local council material. 
      I found that using a village or parish name as the keyword brought up quite a few results. Some of the collections that were described could be very helpful, and I will put them on my list of research to do at the archive that was cited.
      The material that is described is not on the internet. This is just a list of material that is held by some of the archives in England. I can check the website of the archive of interest and see whether they do any research (for money). I could also consider hiring a researcher or finding a relative to look at something that I thought would be particularly helpful.
      This website was mentioned in an article by Mark Stevens, Archivist for the Berkshire Record Office, in the latest issue (Volume 28, September 2004, page 4) of the "Berkshire Family Historian", published by the Berkshire Family History Society.
      I'm not sure that I have described this website very clearly, so you'll have to visit it yourself to see what I'm rambling on about.
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