We are visiting England last two weeks of August,2014 and trying to find family information near Kendal. That is where my family originated. Not sure who to contact before we arrive there to try and get family information.
A googling of "kendal genealogy" will give you a few places to start. Often the local library will have a goodish size genealogy department, both at the very local level and at the major library in the county.
Get in with the local genealogy society and you will get loads of help.
Also try with the county - "cumbria genealogy".
Use something like the Ancestry app and you can get loads of information before you start.
Wander the graveyards of the church(s) where your predecessors may have memorials - how long ago?
Get hold of the parish records - either at the county records office, or at the church, or on the app.
Start at your library at home! Most public libraries have a genealogist on staff. They help you out - for free. And most public libraries have the ancestry website accessible for free from their public computers.
Hi Thomas, A number of years I was looking online for information about my great grandfather who was the schoolmaster in Gamblesby which is in Cumbria near Penrith. I found quite a few sites and I just went looking for them. Of course, I can't find exactly what I found then, or if I have it's changed a lot! But there are some resources.
First it seems that the Cumbria Council has a site that you might want to explore. It seems to have lots and lots of suggestions.
Second, there is the Cumbria Family History Society which may have other information. It looks like it is a membership organization so there my be some fees.
Third, I found this site which is a more general history site. This is a marvelous site with information about the history of the places in Cumbria. You have to check it out! I looked up Gamblesby and found info on the school where my great-grandfather taught. Your bit on Kendal has hot links. I'm jealous. :)
BTW there is a great book by Fraser, Steel Bonnets which is a history of the Rievers in the border area. It's a bit further north than Kendal, but really interesting history. Hexham has a great little museum on it. Actually, here's another link that has interesting history on the Border.
Here's a list of the historical societies in Cumbria.
And if your family was landed here's the Manorial Records. :)
It's a lovely place to visit. I hope you have great trip.