Winner of the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award 2013

Dedicated to the history and heritage of the town of Brixham in Devon

Family History Group

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Our family history group meets from 7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. every other Thursday evening.

The group was started on October 8th 2009 by a small group of keen amateur ‘family historians’ who have been and still are researching their own heritage. The group has access to many 'online' sites and to census information covering the periods 1841 - 1911.

The 1911 census is of particular interest as it was the first to be completed in the householders own hand. The information that was recorded included the number of years married, the number of children born alive and how many were still surviving. Sometimes, even the number of rooms that a large family lived and slept in was recorded.

From the censuses, we can discover how families evolved over the years. We can see their birth dates and occupations, their children and, of course, their address. This then leads us on to more research. Birth, marriage and death certificates can be applied for, which give us more information, such as their parents' names and whether they were able to write or had signed with their mark. We can also learn about the witnesses at their marriages, their cause of death and who was the informant of the death. The research tools now available are endless and inevitably lead us on to finding war graves, citations, emigration details, criminal records, probate and wills.

Since we started we have located a huge amount of information for our ‘students’. They have become aware of family members they did not know existed and, along the way, many surprises have been revealed!
We work on a one to one basis with each enquirer and carry out as much or as little research as is requested.
We just ask for a ‘starting name‘, approximate birth year and believed area of birth to begin our searches.
We hold our own archives, and therefore find that, in some cases, we can provide additional information for local families.

We are fortunate in that we are a service point for Devon Records so therefore hold microfiche copies of Parish Registers for the majority of Brixham Churches, Kingswear and Churston. Again, we are lucky enough to have our very own Phil Perrett who is a ‘whiz-kid‘ on Brixham families and the area in general. Local families might well find that they have a connection to Phil by the time his research is complete!

We also provide services where we can research on your behalf, and please remember that you do not have to have been born locally for us to help you.

Donations to the museum for these services are as follows:-

Thursday evening group working with one of our team
£10 for members
£12 for non-members

Researching on your behalf for your ancestors and family members
£20 per family for a maximum of two hours (£10 per hour thereafter if required)
£12 for more general enquiries e.g. House history

Reseaching yourself with the help of our computer database and microfiche Parish Registers

For further details, please contact the museum. Each enquiry is dealt with on a 'first come, first served' basis and booking is essential if you would like to join us on one of our friendly Thursday evenings.

Family history enquiries can be dealt with from Tuesdays to Fridays. We are not able to offer a service on Saturday mornings.

We look forward to hearing from you,