Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2004 9:40
Subject: Archives in the England -
If you have ancestors in
the England, you may want to look at the following
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
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.