Sunday, 22 November 2009

Family trees and more for free at RCT libraries

Ever thought about researching your family tree - but don’t know where to start? Why not make the library your first port of call?

Rhondda Cynon Taf libraries offer a wide variety of resources to help people in their local and family history research. Resources include books, newspapers and periodicals, photographs, maps and plans, illustrations, directories, electoral registers, records and census returns.

There is also free internet access to the whole host of websites aimed at helping people discover their roots, including This is available in libraries free of charge and the latest addition to this database includes a searchable list of all British Prisoners of War captured in Europe during World War II.

Libraries in
Aberdare, Pontypridd and Treorchy have dedicated Local History sections with experienced staff on hand to offer assistance and advice. Each Local History section contains microfilm/microfiche readers and family history related resources including:

· Census returns

· Historical Ordnance Survey and Tithe maps

· Local newspapers

· Electoral registers

· Trade directories

· Burial records

If you are a beginner or simply wish to learn more about family history, why not join family history classes at
Aberdare and Pontypridd Libraries?

Cllr Robert Bevan,
Rhondda Cynon Taf Cabinet Member for Culture and Recreation, said: "Our libraries are a fantastic resource for people interested in finding out more about their family history. All of our libraries have books that can get you started by explaining the methods you should use and the places you should look to find out about your ancestors."

Welsh Libraries Champion Ruth Jones and celebrity genealogist Cat Whiteaway are currently spearheading a campaign to encourage more people to use their local libraries when researching their family trees or local area.

Cat, who studies the history of families and the line of descent from their ancestors, said: "I wouldn’t be able to produce my radio and television programmes without the help of libraries."

To see a detailed list of family history sources held at Aberdare, Pontypridd and Treorchy library please visit:

For more information email:

Membership of all Rhondda Cynon Taf’s libraries is free and everyone living or working within the county borough is welcome to join. Find out more by visiting


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