An exhibition touring the county’s libraries is encouraging residents to uncover the history of their past or present homes from an archive dating back almost 700 years.
The House History exhibition, called Raise the Roof, was created by North Yorkshire Council’s County Record Office and includes resources the public can use to investigate the history of their home and how it may have changed over time.
The records can help to pinpoint changes in ownership, former occupants, how the land has been used and the history of the wider area.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for libraries, Cllr Simon Myers, said: “The exhibition proved very popular when it was on display in the record office at the end of last year, so we are delighted to be able to share it with library-goers.
“The touring exhibition includes a range of material from historic maps, architectural drawings and old photographs to historic property deeds and electoral registers.
“Every home has its own unique history so we hope you can use your own detective skills to embark on a fascinating and rewarding journey into your home’s history.”
The exhibition includes maps charting 250 years in the 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 every house, and a bird’s eye view of Richmond from 1724 depicts houses in the town.
The House History display will tour the county this year and into early 2024. The following schedule has been confirmed:
· Harrogate Library until June 3.
· Ripon Library from June 12 to 30.
· Scarborough Library from July 5 to 31.
· Whitby Library from August 3 to 28.
· Great Ayton Discovery Centre from September 6 to 23.
· Pickering Library from October 5 to 29.
· Northallerton Library from November 1 to 28.
· Derwent Valley Bridge from December 2 to 23.
· The Globe Library Stokesley from January 10 to 31.
· Thirsk Community Library from February 6 to 29.
To delve into the history of your home, visitors can use the resources in the County Record Office search room, dating back nearly 700 years, either on microfilm or as the physical records.
They will have free access to online resources such as census records via the Ancestry and FindMyPast websites at libraries and the record office.
The touring exhibition is not about exploring the history of a specific house but guiding people to learn about their own home. It can be a complex study and which of the record office’s resources will be relevant depends on the age and location of the house.
An online guide has been launched which takes people through the different kinds of records and what they can find out from them. Read it at www.nycroblog.com/house-history.