Help, Advice and Research Aids
When you need help to research your family history the Society offers eight services and guides to overcome the inevitable ‘brick wall’ everyone finds in their family history.
This web page will give you the details you need to compile when either talking or writing to someone for help.
Remember we do not know your family, where they lived and at what time in history these events took place. You need to put the information and its sources in a chronological order. If the sources have been proved and are not just index references, say so. If the details are family myths, legends or shaggy dog stories, say so every family has them and some may even have a modicum of truth.
The Research Aid guides, leaflets and flow charts may help you gather your thoughts and present them to a Society volunteer in a logical and easily understandable fashion.
Even if you cannot get to the library read the leaflet and ask yourself ‘have I compiled the details someone else needs to be able to help me?’ Suppose you decide to employ a professional researcher, the more poorly presented the information the more it will cost you. Time is money.
Similarly, the more poorly presented to our volunteers the more time it will take and the less enthusiastic they will be to help solve the problem. It also means you will use up the time they have to help others.
Please take care as poorly presented information makes if difficult for the researches to find and confirm data is correct
The meetings are a one-way dialogue and of general subjects. There is a Q and A session at the end of each talk. When you arrive at a meeting ask at the reception desk for someone who may be able to answer your questions. Alternatively visit the help desk. The more people you talk to the more help you will get or ideas on possible sources.
The workshops provide a two-way dialogue and can be aimed at more specific subjects. For workshops speak or email the workshop coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org to suggest subjects for which you need help. We appreciate this service is not available for out of area or overseas members, but perhaps once a subject is covered a summary or set of notes can be produced for members. It will depend on the workshop leader, but if you don’t ask…
The answers may also help others in their family research and perhaps they were too shy to ask themselves.
These can be found on our eshop pages. One publication that is a must; according to one of our task holders; is ‘West Kent Sources, A guide to Family and Local History Research in the Diocese of Rochester.’ The paper copies are of the third edition. It covers all parishes in the Diocese of Rochester, which extends west of the River Medway.
The Society has also published ‘School Records, A supplement to West Kent Sources, A guide to the locations of school records in the Diocese of Rochester’ published in 2004.
[Do not worry if your ancestors strayed east of the river Medway as David Wright has written and published a companion volume ‘East Kent parishes, a guide for genealogists, local historians and other researchers in the diocese of Canterbury’. It covers the remaining area of Kent].
These aids are useful irrespective of what county their families lived. These pages are single A4 pdf leaflets that can be downloaded from this site (see below) at no charge to members. Templates for birth briefs and record keeping sheets are also available.
Members of the Society can view (and download) the following exclusive Research Aid PDFs by 'clicking' on the button below to access the 'Research Aid Diagrams & Charts' page within the Members Only Area Area (M.O.A.).
- Tracing your Ancestors – Basic Steps Diagram.
- House and Land Research Documents and Records Diagram.
- House History Books - Research Diagram.
- House History – Museums, Archives & Libraries Diagram.
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