Find out how to uncover the hidden history of your home | New

Fascinating insight into the history of North Yorkshire houses is made available to the public through records dating back almost 700 years.

Home history research comes second only to family history when it comes to topics on which staff at the North Yorkshire County Records Office are interviewed.

To help anyone curious to find out more about their home – and perhaps spark new interest – the County Record Office is hosting an exhibition and launching an online guide that will show people the resources available locally to help them learn more about their home.

The exhibition is not about exploring the history of a specific house, but about guiding people in their own search to learn more about their own house. This can be a complex study, and the records office resources that will be relevant depend on the age and location of the house.

“Everyone’s home is unique and each home will have its own story to tell,” said Margaret Boustead, head of archives and records management. “This exhibition is not about country houses or elite residences, but about everyday homes and what people might discover about them.”

The exhibit highlights resources people can use to discover the fascinating history of their home and the people who once lived there. Items from the archives covering almost 700 years, from the early 1300s to the 1970s, will be on display, including historical maps, architectural drawings, old photographs and title deeds.

This includes a series of maps tracing 250 years of development of the village of Alne, near Easingwold. A map of Fingall, between Bedale and Leyburn, from 1627 includes the names of the inhabitants of each house, and a bird’s eye view of Richmond from 1724 shows the houses in the town. A later map from 1773, which numbers each house, can be cross-referenced with numbers in an associated burgage book revealing who lived in each house.

The exhibition begins at the County Record Office in Malpas Road, Northallerton, today (Tuesday 11th October) and will run until Tuesday 31st January except between 24th December and 2nd January inclusive. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and no reservation is required.

There will be hotlines on Monday October 31 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday November 9 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. where archivists will be on hand to answer your questions and let you know where to start your research.

The online house history research guide walks people through the different types of records and what they can uncover from them. Read the guide online here.

County Record Office Executive Member in Charge, Cllr Greg White, said: ‘Researching the history of the house can tell us a lot about the past and the places we call home. It can also help us learn more about the people who lived there and strengthen our connection to our past and the place we live.

“Our county records office contains a wonderful array of resources you can use to begin your journey of discovery.”

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