Who do you think you are?

Many of us have wondered about our ancestors at one stage or another.  Where did they live, what did they do and how did their lives shape us?

Family histories can be fascinating and when you find a relative that achieved something special, often it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad because the story can bring a long deceased relative to life.

The problem is often knowing where to start but William Bundred,  Vice Chairman of the Cumbria Family History Society has the perfect answer. “The advice always is to start with yourself and then work backwards.  Your own birth certificate will have your parents names and then work down the certificate line which goes back to 1837 in England and Wales.”

Many searches can be done online but The Cumbria Family History Society is a charity founded to help members carry out their genealogy research. They specialise in Cumbria and the old counties of Cumberland and Westmorland and parts of Northern Lancashire and North Yorkshire.

A small yearly fee will put you in contact with a group of people who are fascinated in genealogy and many are more than willing to help with advice that could prove invaluable.  With members worldwide they are a dedicated group that spend many hours transcribing old documents or gravestones in local churches.

The society hold free drop in sessions on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 until 12:30 at the Archives in Carlisle.  A couple of volunteers will be on hand to help and offer advice.  Everyone is welcome to come along but in order to obtain a readers ticket for the archive you will need to complete a simple application form and produce official proof of your name, home address and signature when you arrive. There are 4 computers for the public to use and the volunteers will be the best resource you could have starting your genealogy search.

“It really is like detective work.” said William, “The results you find will depend on how much your willing to put in.”

Drop in one day, let the team point you in the right direction and who knows where it will take you?

For more information visit www.cumbriafhs.com or they have a Facebook group at Cumbria Family History Society.

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