20th Apr, 2021

Archive service to help Redditch residents trace their family trees

Harry Leach 11th Mar, 2021

BUDDING historians wanting to trace their ancestry can do so for free by using the county council’s Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service.

The service is ideal for anyone who wants to build their family tree but has no idea where to start.

Throughout lockdown it has provided free remote access to two key family history research websites – Ancestry.co.uk and Find My Past – formerly only available from public computers in libraries.

People can also book their place on a free webinar which will explain how to carry out the research at home.

Visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for ‘Research your Family Tree’ on March 18.

Paul Hudson, learning and outreach manager at Worcestershire Archive, said: “Our workshops and webinars have always been popular because they help people get the most out of these great family history websites, which are free to access with library membership.

“Getting your head around these websites isn’t always easy, but the webinars outline how they are arranged for those looking to get started.”

Lockdown has generated unprecedented customer demand for digital library services.

The number of library customers accessing Ancestry Library Edition increased by 200 per cent in February, compared to the same period in 2020.

Digital library membership has increased by 355 per cent in the last 12 months, according to the council, and downloads of eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines increased by 96 per cent, with Worcestershire residents downloading 157,992 titles.

County councillor Lucy Hodgson added: “Libraries are treasure troves of knowledge and information and I’m delighted that the ability to access family history resources remotely has been so well received by Worcestershire residents.”

Visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/waas for more information.

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