If you would like to discover how to trace your ancestors or find out about local history, one Abergavenny volunteer is more than happy to help.

George Beale has such a passion for history that he gives up his free time every week helping others trace their family trees.

He runs relaxed and informative sessions at Abergavenny Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but is also happy to fit in sessions for people on other days.

George explained: “I help people trace their family history and the sessions have proved very popular. Anyone can come along and research their family history.

“I help people to use free resources like Ancestry.com and Findmypast.com. There is a massive amount of information out there, you just need to know where and how to look for it.”

Ruth Lawton found the support invaluable: “I started coming here a few weeks ago to find out some things about my family history.

“George has been really helpful and I have found out lots of things I had never thought of before. I have really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to finding out more about my relatives’ pasts in the near future.”

Monmouthshire County Council aims to support and enable volunteers to make a major contribution to creating sustainable and resilient communities. It also aims to raise the profile of volunteering opportunities in the county and celebrate the achievements of volunteers in the area.

Cabinet member for innovation, enterprise and leisure, councillor Bob Greenland said: “I applaud the work George undertakes in order to help people research their family trees.

“Volunteering work such as this is sociable, fun and can be as flexible as you want to make it. In George’s case, he has decided to offer structured support to help people wishing to investigate their family tree, but who do not necessarily know where to start.

“It must be incredibly rewarding watching people uncover details about their family’s past that they didn’t know.”

All libraries in Monmouthshire offer free internet access for library members to view:
• local and national census records
• 19th century British newspapers
• Times Digital Archive 1785-1985
• Dictionary of National Biography
• Ancestry and Find My Past

You can also find a wide range of books on family and local history and researching your family tree.

To find out more about volunteering in Monmouthshire, call 01633 644420, email owenwilce@monmouthshire.gov.uk or go to www.monmouthshire.gov.uk