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Record Offices

Local Studies Centres

LDS Family History Centres

Family History Societies

Local History Societies



Record Offices are the main repositories for archived records specifically relating to the local area they serve. Key genealogical sources held in Record Offices normally include:

  In addition several Record Offices provide access to microfilm/fiche copies of:

Most counties have a single Record Office serving the whole county. Several counties have multiple Record Offices serving different areas or boroughs within the county. For example there are three Record Offices within Devon - one for north Devon, one for west Devon and one for east/mid/south Devon. Yorkshire (always a law until itself) has no less than 16 Record Offices within its boundaries.

The level of information provided on the web sites of different Record Offices varies considerably. Some, such as the Cheshire Archives provide a comprehensive guide to their collections, facilities provided, research services offered and their location together with an online catalogue to their holdings which you can search on. Others only provide minimal contact information on their web site. The entry for each Record Office on this web site indicates how helpful or not the listed Record Office's web site is.

If there is no online catalogue facility provided on the web site of the Record Office you are interested in, there are alternative national online catalogue facilities you can use:

  • ARCHON which is an online catalogue operated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission and covers archived records held in Record Offices in both England and Wales (and the rest of the British Isles)
  • Access to Archives (A2A) which is an online catalogue operated by the Public Record Office and covers archived records held in Record Offices within England
  • Archives Network Wales (ANW) which is an online catalogue operated by Archives Council Wales and covers archived records held in Record Offices across Wales.
This page last updated: 1 February 2006