GenTraveling – Archives in the UK


Hello GenTravelers!

Wherever your GenTravels might take you – do yourself a favor and plan a visit to the closest archive in the area!

I recently read an article by Chris Paton in the UK’s FamilyTree Magazine (the August 2016 issues) titled “Why visit an archive” which pointed out the obvious – but sometimes we need to be reminded of the obvious! Right?

If you’re traveling to the UK for research, be sure to read the full article.  Here are a few highlights that I appreciated:

“Every record collection that is hosted by an online genealogy site is source from an archive repository somewhere, but the vast holdings….are a mere drop in the ocean compared to what exists in the wider world.”

(That quote really reminded me of our ‘What is Iceberg Genealogy blog post!)

Author, Chris Paton gives especially good details on the three national repositories in the UK and mentions all of them have excellent online catalogs. So, be sure to do your homework!


Make sure you know opening hours and what you need to bring with you to gain access to records you want to look at. Chris writes, “there are different bank holidays in operation across Britain and Northern Ireland” and “in Scotland…there are fair days across the country that may see an archive in Glasgow closed on one day but its equivalent still open in Edinburgh!”

“Finally, bear in mind that the most useful asset in any archive is its archivist…To be blunt, archivists are gods for genealogists.”


So, are you planning your GenTraveling yet? Where do you plan to go? Be sure to share your GenTraveling Bucket list on our Bucket List Page.  GenTraveling: It’s the Real Deal Thrill!




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