Coal miners, newlyweds and baptised babies can all be discovered at Durham County Record Office this autumn.

The archives’ popular family history courses are returning, with sessions for both beginners and more experienced genealogists.

Durham County Council education and outreach archivist Dawn Layland said: “These courses are a great way to learn how to research your family tree in a friendly and easy to understand way”.

“You’ll also learn about the Record Office and the resources we have that can help.”

Beginners’ Family History courses, consisting of three sessions covering civil registration, the census and parish registers, take place on consecutive Thursday mornings, 10am to noon, from September 29, and Monday evenings, 6pm to 8pm, from October 3.

The popular course – which costs £30 to attend – introduces you not only to family history, but to the Record Office and the sources it has that can help you discover your ancestry.

It is aimed at those who have never done any family history research before or would like a refresher.

“Branching Out” sessions, priced £10 per session, are also being held for people who are happy with the basics.

Each one includes an hour long talk followed by time to browse the archives with advice and support on hand.

Three different sessions, on Coal Miner Ancestors in County Durham, Tracing Descendants and Burial and Cemetery Records, take place around once a month on Thursday mornings, 10am to noon, and various evenings, 6pm to 8pm, from September 22.

For more information and to see the exact dates of the sessions available visit www.durhamrecordoffice.org.uk