Hampshire Genealogical Society

HGS/HRO Joint Press Release

New one-stop-shop for family historians as Hampshire Genealogical Society creates new base in county Record Office

Finding out more about your ancestors is set to get easier as Hampshire Record Office in Winchester becomes the new home of the Hampshire Genealogical Society – with the Society’s volunteers and Record Office staff together offering a one-stop-shop of support for people researching their family history.

From Tuesday 3 August, Hampshire Genealogical Society will operate from the Record Office in central Winchester. On Tuesdays and Thursdays volunteers will be available to help anyone with Hampshire ancestors to research their family history. This is a free advisory service. Hampshire Genealogical Society also offer a paid service to undertake more detailed research.

Councillor Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Recreation, Heritage and Rural Affairs, said: “More people want to learn more about the past, fuelled by popular TV shows and the ease of finding historic documents online. Hampshire Record Office is a treasure trove of archived material that can help anyone with roots in the county to learn more about the past and make some amazing discoveries. This fantastic new partnership will support the work of our in-house team to help even more people to trace their family tree.”

The Chairman of Hampshire Genealogical Society, Paul Pinhorne, said: “I am delighted that we are moving to a new base that will enable our volunteers to work even more closely with the county’s Record Office. I’m confident this partnership will help the longer-term future of our society and deliver our key aim – helping more people to discover their family history. Our volunteers will operate a ‘one-stop-shop’ providing anyone who is curious about their Hampshire roots to find out more using the resources available at the Record Office and beyond. People can learn a lot online but a trip to the archives is essential if you want to know who your ancestors really were, what their lives were like and the world they lived in. This can be daunting and so this is where our knowledgeable volunteers can help. If you are interested in your ancestry, but would like advice on how to start, or are struggling with a research ‘brick wall’, please come and visit us at the Hampshire Record Office.”

Dr Nick Barrett, President of the Hampshire Genealogical Society, who led the team of researchers for the first four series of BBC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ said: “The Society is clearly thinking about the future as a result of the pandemic, rather than trying to recreate the past. This partnership is a bold step that will increase the visibility of the Society and demonstrate its importance to the Hampshire Archives and wider community by helping researchers connect people and places through time.”

To find out more about the Hampshire Genealogical Society’s new volunteer service, including the hours when volunteers will be available, visit: www.hgs-familyhistory.com.

The Hampshire Record Office is the home of 1,000 years of history and comprises Hampshire Archives and Local Studies and Wessex Film and Sound Archive. The award-winning landmark building in Winchester was opened by Her Majesty The Queen, in 1993. The collections are carefully housed in purpose-built accommodation with eight miles of shelving. You can find out more including opening hours, events and collections by visiting: www.hants.gov.uk/archives

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