MGM 2007 - Canal Genealogy Explored At Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum

By Chloé Titcomb | 27 April 2007
a photograph of a row of cottages next to a canalside

Museum, Stoke Bruerne by Bryan Douglas. Courtesy Northampton Camera Club

A one-day workshop will be held in a canal museum in Northamptonshire to help family historians discover if they have any canal boat ancestors.

Held at Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum on Sunday May 6, the event has been organised as part of Museums and Galleries Month 2007 and will be led by Lorna York, a canal boat genealogist.

“There are definitely people in the local area of Stoke Bruerne who will have canal boat ancestors, which we can research at the workshop”, said Lorna, “and many of them will be connected in some way.”

The Museum is well placed to help people in their quest for family as it is housed in a restored corn mill in the scenic village of Stoke Bruerne on the Grand Union Canal.

a photograph showing a series of moored boats on a canalside

Evening Light at Stoke Bruerne by Anne Harley. Courtesy Northampton Camera Club

Its collection vividly portrays the unique history of a 200 year old waterway transport system through working models, videos, pictorial and three dimensional displays.

The waterways archives contain a wealth of information such as wage sheets and workmen's timetables, which can provide the name, job title and age of the employee, along with boat inspector registers, which detail the name and address of the boat owner.

Teresa Wilmshurst, Senior Project Archivist, said: “While the information contained in these documents and many others is fascinating within itself, they can be a treasure trove for people interested in researching their family history.”

During her workshop, Lorna York will guide people in their pursuit of canal boat family history and demonstrate how she has managed to build up her own archive of almost 5,000 boat people when tracing her own family history.

In recent years, researching family history has become more and more popular as records become more freely available and the workshop at Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum will demonstrate how to make use of the vast collection of boat people records.

a photograph of a canal boat with liveried lettering on it

Porthole, By Sydney Harley. Courtesy Northampton Camera Club

An exhibition exploring family history at the Canal Museum opens on June 20 and runs until July 31 2007.

If anyone would like to attend the free workshop at Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum, places can be booked by contacting Caroline Jones on 01452 318224.

All photographs courtesy Northampton Photographic Club taken from a current exhibition of photographs of the Grand Union Canal running at the Museum until mid June 2007. Contact the Museum for more details.

Shows the Renaissance in the Regions logo.

Chloé Titcomb is a Renaissance funded student journalist covering MGM events in the East Midlands. Renaissance is the groundbreaking initiative to transform England's regional museums, led by MLA, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

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