I have previously extolled the virtues of the fantastic resource local County Records Offices are (see blog from last July) and I have a really good example of why you should visit them.
In my case the one I use the most is the Leicestershire & Rutland County Record Office in Wigston Magna. Following my recent article in the Rutland Mercury on Manorial records, Jenny Moran the Senior Archivist, kindly contacted me with an update on where we are with getting the Leicestershire records included in the Manorial Documents Register. The Record Office is part of the National Archives programme and so the Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland records will be included in due course. This is great news for this generally underused resource which can provide reach seams of information for family historians.
Jenny also confirmed that early next year they hope their parish registers, wills and electoral rolls will be available online through a partnership with Find My Past which will be of great benefit to genealogists the world over!
They are holding an open day on Saturday 24th September 10-3.30. This will be on a World War One theme and includes a costumed re-enactment of the entire Somme campaign.
What I think this highlights is that the record offices are not static, dusty and mysterious places of secrets but they are run by very knowledgeable people who are pro-active, helpful and bring history alive. If you have never been before the open day might be a good place to make a start! As I mentioned before…if we do not use the miles of amazing resources on their shelves and the knowledge the archivists have in their heads there is a danger that in the future we won’t have access to this invaluable service at all – how sad would that be?