Tracing your family history

Getting started

The first step to tracing your family history is to:

  • Speak to older members of your family - they're more likely to know the names or years of births and deaths of people who are no longer alive.
  • Gather as much information as possible, clues such as dates, addresses, areas or trades will be helpful in finding the right family.
  • See if you've any important documents. Useful documents are anything confirming key details in family members’ lives such as names, dates and relationships. They could be birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, adoption papers, family photographs, newspaper cuttings, wills or funeral cards.
  • Record the information you find out to help you keep track of what you know.

Local Studies Centres

Local Studies resources include historical newspapers, trade directories, parish records, burial records, census records, voter lists, photographs, and more.

Find a Local Studies Centre