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Northumberland County Council > Libraries > Free Family History > Family History Guide

Family History Guide

also known as: Family Tree Research, Researching your Family Tree.

Thinking about researching your family history? Use our resources to discover amazing and interesting facts about your ancestors.









We have books to help you start your family history research, these can be borrowed from your local library. All Northumberland Public Libraries lending books can be requested free of charge and delivered to your local Northumberland public library. Our books help you get started with your family history, give tips on Internet searching, and help make your research easier. Our local studies collections can show you what life was like in Northumberland so you can step back in time.

Click here to search the library catalogue to find out what family history books are available.

Use Ancestry for Free

Northumberland Libraries subscribe to and provide free access to the Ancestry Library Edition. Our subscription only allows you to use Ancestry Library Edition on library computers.

A huge amount of information is available from Ancestry. For example, census records from 1841 - 1911 for England and Wales, Birth, Marriages and Death Indexes from 1837, military information, medal information as well as a huge number of records from America and throughout the world.

We offer other online resources that can also help family historians for example Times Digital Archive and British Newspaper Archive. Why not save some money and make use of this invaluable tool when researching your family history.

For more information on Ancestry Library Edition please click here.

Ancestry Library Edition
Other Resources

Historical Searches of Birth, Death and Marriage Records

Each Register Office within Northumberland keeps the original Births, Deaths and Marriages Registers for its own District from 1837 to the present day.

For more information please click here.


Information on microfilm and microfiche

Some of our libraries have microfilm and microfiche readers enabling you to read local newspapers on microfilm from as early as 1855. Also available are Northumberland Census Records from 1841 - 1901. Other collections are available on microfilm and microfiche too.

To find out more information and what libraries have readers please click here.



If you want to see what the area your family lived in used to be like; Morpeth Library has a large collection of maps including 25 inch Ordnance Survey Maps of Northumberland dating from the 1860s.

For more information please click here.


Experienced staff to answer queries

library staff can offer help and guidance on family history if you need it. Library staff can offer advice on how to get started when researching your family tree and even assist if you have more complex queries.

For more information and contact details please click here.



Parish registers are not available in libraries. They are kept by the Northumberland Collections Service. They can be accessed through their facilities at Woodhorn Museum. The Local Studies library is also housed at Woodhorn.

Please click here to find out what else is available at Woodhorn.


Getting a copy of certificates

Certificates issued in Northumberland

You can order a copy of a certificate through our register offices if the certificate was issued in Northumberland after 1837 for just £10 per certificate (or £20 priority service). You can even order your certificate online or by telephone - for more information please click here.


Certificates issued outside Northumberland

For certificates issued outside Northumberland, contact the General Register Office. Click on the links below for:

Certificates issued in England and Wales

Certificates issued in Scotland

Certificates issued in Ireland

Useful Online Resources for Family History Research

Use our free online resources to research your family history with Ancestry, read historical newspaper articles or find out about famous figures past and present. Just click on the logos to find out more.

Please note Ancestry and British Newspaper Archive can only be used in Northumberland Libraries and not at home.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Times Digital Archive


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