Author Topic: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew  (Read 3644 times)

Offline barryd

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 15:03 BST (UK) »
Greenrig has explained what you need to do before leaving for Kew.

............................Number one tip is to PREPARE for your research...................................

The same advice if a research trip to Salt Lake City and its Genealogical Library is planned.

Those who do not prepare will be floundering. Six months to a year preparing would be advisable.

Offline Mart 'n' Al

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 15:11 BST (UK) »
Barry, thanks.  I should have added that I am 30-40 minutes away on a bus, armed with a brand new 60+ Oyster card, which I can use for 10 days before I even reach 60!!, and there is a giant M&S next door as well.  I am going to count my first visit as purely educational, but perhaps have a dip into the 1939 records.  Who knows, I might be volunteering for helping someone not so close before long!

M

Offline Lensmeister

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #11 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 15:30 BST (UK) »
No advice to give apart from enjoy yourself and good luck
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Offline Mean_genie

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #12 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 16:24 BST (UK) »
Enjoy your day. You have the right approach, treating it as your 'orientation visit', and since you don't live too far away, you know you can always go back another day. Unfortunately the tours and 'New to Kew' sessions haven't been run for a few years, but the staff on the Start Here desk will always point you in the right direction.

But Bookbox is right to suggest you set yourself a task, it's a good way of figuring out how the various systems work, and whether you need to look at digitised records or originals (or possibly microfilm, but there is very little of that these days). The research guides are the place to start, and there are more than 200 in the family history category, so there must be a few you like the look of  ;). http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/?research-category=family-history

PS New caterers have recently taken over the restaurant and coffee bars, and I can recommend the lemon doughnuts!


Online Jebber

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #13 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 16:51 BST (UK) »
They used to do short Familiarisation Tours, presumably they  they still do, if so , it is well worth  booking one.
CHOULES All ,  COKER Harwich Essex & Rochester Kent 
COLE Gt. Oakley, & Lt. Oakley, Essex.
DUNCAN Kent
EVERITT Colchester,  Dovercourt & Harwich Essex
GULLIVER/GULLOFER Fifehead Magdalen Dorset
HORSCROFT Kent.
KING Sturminster Newton, Dorset. MONK Odiham Ham.
SCOTT Wrabness, Essex
WILKINS Stour Provost, Dorset.
WICKHAM All in North Essex.
WICKHAM Medway Towns, Kent from 1880
WICKHAM, Ipswich, Suffolk.

Offline dawnsh

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #14 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 17:15 BST (UK) »
go on a sunny day, get your lunch at m&s before you go into the grounds, say hello to the birds on the water, mind the poop, have a coffee in the cafe and eat your lunch, browse the book shop,  stroll round the gallery/museum next door, drop your stuff into a locker (remember its' number) have a look at the 1939 online, read the family history magazines in the racks, go into the library and have a look at the Kellys and Post Office directories, pick a county of interest and see what else is on the shelves as well as fhs members magzines.

Use the screens in the LDS sections, they have subs to all sorts of sites.

Take a camera and you can take photos.

Remember a paper pad and pencils, you can use your laptop and their wifi.

order your readers ticket for another visit.

Lucky you with your oyster card, mine's still 5 years away unless the mayor moves the goal posts.
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Offline Caw1

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #15 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 17:35 BST (UK) »
Like you I was apprehensive about my first visit, but my fears were soon allayed!

I wanted to look for specific records so I applied online for a readers ticket and I preebooked the documents online, as advised, all the details are in TNA's Discovery section.

I also posted that I was visiting and if anyone wanted any lookups I'd be happy to do so. Folks not from Uk are not able to get there and I was able to oblige. It made the day interesting too!

My daughter came with me and she thoroughly enjoyed her visit too.

There is also the area right at the back with books to look through.

Have a great day

Caroline
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Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #16 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 18:02 BST (UK) »
I plan on going, partly out of curiosity, and partly for my research.  I'm fortunate to live reasonably close.  What can I expect?  I am sure there are staff(!), but how will I know how to do what I want to do?  I'd be grateful for any advice, and stories of your first visit.  I've read their web site.  I don't want to waste my time.

Martin

As you live close to Kew then the commonly given advice, prepare for your research; have specific targets and aims, will most possibly work well for you.
However for those who live far from Kew and for the more experienced researcher the scatter-gun approach more often than not reaps rewards.

The scatter gun method entails scanning the catalogue and ordering any record with the name you are researching. When the relevant film or document arrives print the entry or photograph it and move on to the next, you will have all the time in the world to read it when you get home. Use whatever media is available, print, photocopy, photograph, usb stick etc. to take a copy of the record and move on to the next.

I explained this technique to a friend of mine a number of years ago when I visited Kew with her (she had been lecturing in Family History for about 10 years at the time and a great believer in the specific research technique). She decided to give “my” way a try and needless to say when she was browsing through her trawl on the long train journey home the benefits soon became clear. An ancestor that she had been looking for without any luck was in her haul along with his brother (both in London) and not Yorkshire where family legend had them remaining. These were just two of the brick walls destroyed by the scatter-gun.
Specific research has a time and place as do the more unconventional forms of research.
For the distant researcher it often pays dividends to glean as many records as possible in the time available (just make sure you source each record).
Cheers
Guy
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Offline Caw1

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Re: I'm daunted by prospects of my first visit to The National Archive at Kew
« Reply #17 on: Wednesday 19 July 17 18:59 BST (UK) »
What a great tip Guy, have to say I would never have thought of doing that but will definitely employ your suggestion next time I visit.

Thank you for some good advice.


Caroline
Guy - UK,USA
Bangerter -UK,Australia,Switzerland
Harriss - UK, Australia
Merrall - UK
Swinnock - UK
Lloyd - UK