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local centres



There is a wealth of archived records to be found in county based repositories and other local centres of genealogical information.

Of particular value are local council Record Offices which hold local archived records, many of which are not accessible even in copy form anywhere else. The further back you go in tracing your family tree, the more critical Record Offices are likely to be in progressing your research. Much administration before the 19th century was conducted at the local level with:

  • locally managed registration of births, marriages and deaths
  • locally controlled prisons and workhouses
  • agricultural estates (manors) being the key units of administration
  The archived records for this local level administration (parish registers, manorial records, etc.) are normally held at Record Offices.

Other very useful local centres providing access to genealogical sources are the Family History Centres run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (more commonly known as the Mormons). There are no less than 80 of these centres spread across England and Wales (and over 4,000 world wide). They are effectively branches of the vast and comprehensive Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and as such provide access to a wide variety of extremely valuable sources of information for genealogists.

There is at least one local Family History Society in every county in England and Wales. Many counties have several (Yorkshire has around 20). It is well worth joining your local Family History Society plus those in counties where your ancestors came from. The contacts you will make could prove invaluable in progressing your family tree.

This page last updated: 31 December 2016