ARCHIVISTS will show family historians how to get the best results from their online research in expert genealogy talks starting today.

Durham County Record Office offers a series of regular Branching Out courses aimed at those who are already familiar with the basics of family history and who would like to know more about specific research topics.

This latest talk looks at the online sources people can use to trace their ancestry, exploring the websites currently available, comparing the big names and discovering what else is available, including where records may be accessed for free.

Dawn Layland, the education and outreach archivist, said: “There are a host of websites clamouring for a slice of the genealogy market.

“While online sources are amazingly accessible and can provide quick results, the number of websites, all offering different services, can be overwhelming and confusing.

“This talk will help people to find their way through the maze of offers and advertising claims, explaining what records and resources are available on a free, pay per view and subscription basis, and the benefits and drawbacks of all the main sources.”

Following the talk, there will be an opportunity to browse and use the Record Office facilities with support from an archivist.

The talk runs twice, today from 6pm to 8pm and on Thursday 23 May from 10am to 12 noon.

Tickets, £10 per person, must be booked in advance and are available online at or by calling 03000-267-619.