Training will be offered for the History Research Volunteers and will begin on the 26th May 2021.
We will be meeting for an informal virtual cup of tea before the first training session (we’ll try to arrange a date that suits everyone) where you can ask any questions about what’s involved and what’s required. This is your chance to figure out whether this is for you or whether you want to jump the ship after all!
Three archival training workshops will take place on Zoom and are hosted by the County Durham Record Office:
Workshop 1 – Introduction to Archives and Local History, Wed, 26th May, 6pm
Getting to know what the Record Office is and how to search their database. Focusing on 19th century and later sources, we’ll be looking at trade directories, maps, parish registers and other sources that are available digitally.
Workshop 2 – Reading Old Handwriting, Wed, 9th June 6pm
A class on how to read documents from the 1700s, possibly looking at one or two early records. The examples will be local, from Barnard Castle if possible.
Workshop 3 – Barnard Castle in the 1700s, Wed, 16th June 6pm
We’ll have a look at what documents exist and how to understand them.
This is a unique opportunity to delve into the archive to try and find answers that have been lost to the maelstrom of time. For example:
- The Reformation (mid 1500s): was Barnard Castle more ‘Catholic’ or Reformed? How did the changes in worship and tradition impact the church? Were they welcomed or not?
- The Commonwealth (mid 1600): this saw the appointed clergy booted out of office and churches being used in very different ways (some as stables) – what happened in Barnard Castle?
- The upheavals of the arrival of William and Mary (1685): Clergy had sworn an oath of loyalty to the crowned King James II. When he declared himself to be Roman Catholic he was ‘deposed’ and the Protestant William of Orange and his wife Mary were invited to take the throne. Having sworn an oath to James, many clergy felt they could not break their oath and were removed from office. What happened in Barnard Castle?
- The whole of the 1700s is assumed to be a period of decline, but there is no evidence of either at the church. What happened in Barnard Castle and St Mary’s?
Our project is funded by the National Lottery, which allows us to pay for your training. We only have a very limited number of spaces available in our training workshops, and the project cannot succeed without the help of dedicated research volunteers, so please only sign up if you are currently prepared to commit time to this opportunity on an ongoing basis.