Good news for genealogists

SANDRA McKay, the reference services officer at the Central Library in Hartlepool
SANDRA McKay, the reference services officer at the Central Library in Hartlepool

GENEALOGISTS have been given a double boost in their quest for more knowledge.

The Central Library, in York Road, Hartlepool, has announced two new facilities which will help people who are researching their family trees.

The first comes courtesy of the Teesside Archives. The library now has copies of electoral rolls which stretch back to the 1850s and cover areas of Hartlepool including Stranton.

Central Library reference services officer Sandra McKay told Family Roots that the electoral rolls were not a complete record of residents in the relevant area at the time. That’s because they only included people who had qualified to vote, and not every section of society had the vote in those days, she said.

But Sandra added: “It is still a very useful tool. It shows where the people lived in town and which were the built-up areas at the time.”

The library has also acquired an index of plans for houses and for the alterations of houses that had already been built.

Sandra said: “The original plans are held at the Teesside archives. It gives the names of people who applied for planning permission to build, and what they wanted to do, such as building a stable for their horses or asking for permission for three new houses.”

She said that index covered the 1870s to the 1920s.

The Central Library’s reference section has 500 years of recorded history and is regularly used by genealogists to find out more about their relatives.

Up to 30 people at a time use Hartlepool’s Tracing Your Ancestors service which runs each Wednesday, from 10am to 12pm. People can research their past with library staff on hand to offer advice.

As well as hundreds of years of Census records, the library also has parish records for St Hilda’s, in Hartlepool, going back to 1500 AD. It also has them for All Saints Church, in Stranton.

Anyone wanting more information can contact the library’s reference section on (01429) 242909.