• Important Update: Our New Email Domain

    Please note: We've updated our email domain to familyhistory.email. All our emails will be from this domain.

  • Do you love Genealogy? Why not write for us? we're looking for volunteers to write articles for Family history. Please contact us for further information.

The National Archives

I went up to the National Archive today.......how unhelpful were they? very!.....they dont hold much info on naval records.....they done the same thing to me as they done last time.....pointed me to a computer....which i could and have done at home and drew a blank!
After 3 hours of trawling thru their website and finding nothing....another member of staff told me that the first person i spoke to for help could have pointed me in the direction of ordering up the ship's log ...... by the time i eventually got the ships log (which wasn't useful for what i was looking for) i only had 20 minutes to look at it! wasted a whole day and came back with nothing :(
I was then told to try the London Met Archives......disappointed beyond disappointed!
I then asked what records they held on people in workhouses.....apparently not much......just government ruling and laws for poor houses and nothing that have help me anyway.....and again, i was pointed in the direction of the London Met Archive!
Everything you read basically points you in the direction of the National Archives....but when you get there....they tell you they dont have it and its held somewhere like timbuktu! then point to a computer which i can do at home as i have subscriptions..... unhelpful unhelpful unhelpful
Bring back paperwork and log books!

<removes moaning head> evening all :)
Re: The National Archive

Hi there, sorry you had a bad experience at TNA. I do not live near unfortunately, but have used their online service, and have used a researcher, which proved very helpful. Perhaps you just got someone who was fairly new? it can be so frustrating for us looking for info on family history and having to rely on staff to point us in the right direction , do not let it put you off, we all seem to have hit obstacles at times like this and it just makes itall the more worthwhile when we do get the info we need :)
Re: The National Archive


Some archivists are very unpleasant and unhelpful.

I went to a Cemetery in North London to find burials of ancestors and asked for the original big ledgers of burials and they kept snarling at me and humping and raving when I asked for another book. Its their job to do this for genealogists as well as funeral arrangers, headstone makers, relatives of recently deceased etc.

I dont always take for granted what an archivist in a record office says. They say they havent got certain records when I find later that they do have them.

One man in a Southwark record office who had been there for 16 years says that the office has no ratebooks pre 1880. But I looked in their indexes and found they had them from 1840, which was decades before he said they were from.

Sorry you have had a hard day but some people dont like doing what they are paid to do, they'd rather feather their own nest and do as little as possible.

Re: The National Archive

Hiya Ben

yep i make ya right there thanks for the heads up on southwark im gonna have to make a visit there soon as my nan was born in camberwell arghhhhhhh more stroppy archivists to endure lol

Re: The National Archive


When you even make the slightest contradiction to their records they say they have they accuse you of questioning their intelligence. If stroppy archivists can't stand the heat of researchers questions and requests for microfilm or microfice help then they should get out of the kitchen.

What I find offputting is when you ask them a question and they go "Hufffff" or you ask them to get a strongroom item they say "Let us know in advance before the next time you visit". Trouble is I live 120 miles from London.


Re: The National Archive

Hi, I have never been to tna,but Ipicked up on workhouse,there is a website for workhouse's and very interesting it is too.Marylebone workhouse features in it,very useful to me,because my gt.grangfather was there in the 1881 census,it was later called luxborough lodge and became an old people's home,I went there when I was small,because my grandad lived there,I can still remember it and the bread and jam we had for tea.Westminster archives have info. about it and I have a book about it,I think it was published by the marylebone soc.Hope this info.is useful.regards lily.
Re: The National Archive

Hi all,
just a thought, but it might be interesting to open this debate up with a vote to find out how many of our members have had this type of treatment ( I know I have) and to see if at some point we could not lobby the nat archives by either petition or letter for some kind of response or undertaking. What do others think
Re: The National Archive

hiya Patrick

sounds like a good idea to me things like this always makes me wonder just how much historical knowledge and training the staff at these archives have actually got or had......they never seem to be able any questions u throw at them.....and i got the excuse last week that the person that deals with WW1 wasnt there and when i went to the maritime museum, who also hold military archoves, the person that deals with all that was on maternity leave and there was no one to replace her..........i would love to be one of those heir hunters......but i dont s'pose i could do that without adequate historical knowledge and training and i certainly wouldnt b able to do that kind of work without a polite manner and without being very knowledgable .....so where do we start this debate?
Re: The National Archive


What I hate is when you ask an archivist something and they come up with the most ridiculous theories and believe that even the strangest things are true.