Manchester Information

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Manchester Records & Archives


Including sources for family history, genealogy and public records for Manchester, the Northwest region of England, as well as National Records & Archives.


Family Tree Searches - Important Note

We are unable to assist in personal genealogical or family history searches,
having neither the manpower, time nor resources to undertake such work.
So please don't ask!
However, some of the resources listed below might help in your endeavours.

Listed alphabetically:

  • A-Z of British Genealogical Research
    A guide to researching British ancestry both locally and at a distance. Information for the family historian wanting to know about the IGI, using parish registers, Civil Registration system, the 19th century Census returns and dozens of other archives. Website: www.genuki.org.uk/big/EmeryPaper.html .

  • Access to Archives
    The A2A database contains catalogues describing archives held throughout England and dating from the 900s to the present day. Website: www.a2a.org.uk ...which is soon to be changed to: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a.

  • AgLab Family History Research
    Service searching the Family Record Office in London including GRO certificates, census returns and wills. Website: www.aglab.co.uk .

  • Ancestors Reunited
    A collection of photographs of ancestors gravestones located anywhere in the UK.
    Website: www.ancestorsreunited.com .

  • Ancestral Eye
    Photographic service providing exclusive, tailor made portfolios of subjects relating to your family heritage. Based in England and covering the British Isles. Website: www.ancestraleye.com.

  • Ancestral Links
    Links to websites researching family history in the United Kingdom.
    Website: http://uk.geocities.com/ancestrallinks.

  • Beginning Genealogical Research for England & Wales
    A befginners guide to the basics of English & Welsh research.
    Website: www.oz.net/~markhow/ukbegin.htm .

  • Big Family
    Family history research for English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestry. Certificates of Births, Marriages and Deaths as well as professional research. Website: www.bigfamily.co.uk .

  • Bolton Archive & Local Studies Service
    The Archivist, Central Library, Civic Centre, Le Mans Crescent, Bolton BL1 1SE.
    Tel: 01204-332185. Fax: 01204-332225. Email: archives.library@bolton.gov.uk
    Archives: extensive records of local government, families, estates, individuals, trade and industry, clubs, societies, nonconformist churches, charities and other groups and organisations relating to the Bolton area, as well as maps and microfilms of Census returns.
    Website: www.gmcro.co.uk/guides/gmguide/reposit.htm

  • British Army Records at Ancestry.Com
    Website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/militaryhistory.

  • British Isles GenWeb
    Comprehensive help for family research in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Isle of Man and St Helena. Part of the WorldGenWeb Project.
    Website: www.britishislesgenweb.org.

  • Britain Forces Regiments
    Information and search facility on Britsh, Empire and Commonwealth military history including details of regiments and corps, uniforms, badges and wars. Links to internet resources related to British Forces and foreign campaigns. Website: www.regiments.org/milhist/uk/uk.htm .

  • British Telephone Directories from 1880
    Website: www.gmcro.co.uk/guides/gmguide/reposit.htm.

  • Burke's Peerage
    Burke's Peerage & Gentry - the definitive genealogical guide to the family histories of the British Isles.
    Website: www.burkes-peerage.net.

  • Bury Archive Service
    1st Floor, Derby Hall Annex, Edwin Street, Bury BL9 OAS
    Telephone 0161-797 6697. Email: archives@bury.gov.uk.
    Records of Local Authorities 1675 to the present including Poor Law, Electoral Registers, Rate Books, Building Plans, Nonconformist churches 1782-date, Political parties, Trade Unions, Tithe maps of parts of Bury and Prestwich parishes and Schools from 1726 to the present.
    Website: www.gmcro.co.uk/guides/gmguide/reposit.htm.

  • Census Searches
    Research services by the well-known genealogist, Lady Teviot, including family history and probate searches. Website: www.census-searches.co.uk.

  • Cheshire & Chester Archive & Local Studies
    Their service collects and preserves historical records relating to both the ancient and modern county of Cheshire, the diocese and the City of Chester. It makes the records available for study free of charge by members of the public. It also provides a records management service for Cheshire County Council and houses the Local Studies Library. Website: www.cheshire.gov.uk/recoff/home.htm.

  • Cheshire Family History Society
    The Family History Society of Cheshire (FHSC) was founded in 1969 to advance the study of family history and genealogy, and helps researchers whose ancestors originated in Cheshire.
    Website: www.fhsc.org.uk.

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission
    The Commission's database lists the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars and the 23,000 cemeteries, memorials and other locations worldwide where they are commemorated. The register can also be searched for details of the 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action in the Second World War. Website: www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/search.aspx.

  • Discover Military History
    Medal cards, service records & more online at The National Archives.
    www.nationalarchives.gov.uk.

  • English Parish and Probate Records
    A database of historical parish and probate registers in England. Records date from the early 16th century to the late nineteenth. A few documents date from the twelfth century. Parish records, baptisms, marriages, and burials, etc. Website: www.ancestry.com?db=5877 .

  • English Genealogy Directory
    Website: http://www.gendir.com.

  • Entertainer Genealogy
    Resources for research of entertainer's families including circus, showmen, theatre and music hall. Mainly United Kingdom but also worldwide. Website: www.entertainer-genealogy.org.uk .

  • Family History Services
    Offers genealogical research services for families originating in England and Wales. Links to genealogy sites. Website: www.angelfire.com/sd/education4u/index.html .

  • Family Tree Magazine
    List and extracts of current month's articles as well as ifnroamtion on how to subscribe.
    Website: www.family-tree.co.uk.

  • FamilyLine
    UK family history researchers. Website: www.family-line.co.uk.

  • Federation of Family History Societies
    An international organisation based in the UK which represents, advises and supports over 220 family history societies and genealogical organisations worldwide. Website: http://ffhs.org.uk.

  • FamilySearch
    Based on, and provided by, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) database, another good place to start researching family history and genealogy.
    Website: www.familysearch.org

  • Federation of Family History Societies
    An international organistion whose principal aims are: to coordinate and assist the work of societies or other bodies interested in family history, genealogy and heraldry; to foster mutual cooperation and collaborative projects to help researches, and to represent the interests of our members, and family historians generally, especially in the preservation and availability of archival documents.
    Website: www.ffhs.org.uk

  • First World War Records
    Find your ancestors for free - Search 350 million records
    Website: www.GenesReunited.co.uk/war/records.

  • Genealogy & Family Reseach UK
    Online application form to apply to have the research done for you.
    Website: www.genealogyfamilyresearch.com.

  • Genealogy Guide
    A useful and friendly directory of where to start looking for those wishing to learn more about their family history and provides useful advice regarding tracing their family trees. What documents are available and what information do they hold? How to set about researching your family history? .
    Website: www.genealogy-guide.org.uk.

  • Genealogy Help for Private Researchers
    Genealogy Help provides help for UK family tree researchers. Includes census and parish records, also village histories and photographs. Website: www.genealogyhelp.co.uk.

  • General Register Office for England & Wales (GRO)
    Contains records of births, marriages and deaths for the UK. The GRO can often provide guidance and information if you are investigating your family genealogy, etc., and has a Traceline aimed at re-establishing contact between family and friends. Website: www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content .

  • Generation Link
    Professional company which helps to trace ancestors in the United Kingdom.
    Website: www.generationlink.co.uk .

  • Genes Connected
    GenesConnected - UK family tree and genealogy website where you can search for ancestors and build your family tree for free. English, Irish or Scottish ancestry search in a database of millions of names.
    Website: www.GenesConnected.com .

  • GENUKI - UK & Ireland Genealogy
    The Genuki web site provides an excellent starting point for those beginning to research their family history in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Website: www.genuki.org.uk/gs

  • Greater Manchester County Record Office
    GMCRO stores historical records relating to the Greater Manchester area, and to make them available for members of the public for research. Some records date back to 1197. Contains records of estate papers, birth, marriage or a death certificates, vehicle registration records, and can carry out searches via the post at an hourly research charge. Microfilm records available to the public. Website: www.gmcro.co.uk .

  • Greater Manchester Museum of Science and Industry Archives
    Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester M3 4JP. Tel: 0161-832-2244.
    Keeps Business records including engineering, machine tool, mill engines, electrical engineering, locomotive and motor car manufacture, textile (with fabric samples), photographic materials and chemical firms, photographs National Paper Museum, and offers a typescript guide to its collections. Also now keeps the Mining Reference Library, formerly kept by the Lancashire Mining Museum at Buile Hill, now closed, (See Main Entry). This collection has 15,000 volumes, including early works, as well as Coalmining, Metalliferous Mining and Quarrying records.

  • Greater Manchester Past Finder (GMPF)
    Record Offices of the ten metropolitan councils in Greater Manchester. They are Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, and Wigan councils - together with the Greater Manchester County Record Office (GMCRO) which is run jointly by the councils. The Record Offices collect, preserve and make accessible to the public important records of the life and history of their areas. The GMCRO provides certain technical services and cares for archives relating to the conurbation as a whole. Website: www.gmcro.co.uk/hlf/past_finder.htm .
  • Greater Manchester Record Office - Will & Probate
    Records include probate records, wills, inventories and the letters of administration granted to an executor where the deceased has not left a will. Indexes to probate granted in England and Wales 1858-1951 only.
    Website: www.gmcro.co.uk/family_history/wills.htm.

  • Irish Immigrants Search
    New York Port Arrival Records, 1846-1851 at Ancestry.Com.
    Website link: www.ancestry.com?db=5969.

  • Isle of Man Genealogy - Gedcom files
    Website: www.isle-of-man.com/interests/genealogy/gedcom/index.htm.

  • Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain
    Manchester Regional Group Chairman: Lorna Kay. Email: lorna.kay@talktalk.net.

  • Jewish Museum Archives
    190 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester M8 8LW. Tel: 0161-834 9879.
    Retains deposited records of the Jewish communities in the Greater Manchester region. For records of official Jewish organizations see Manchester City Archives (above).
    Website: www.manchesterjewishmuseum.com

  • John Rylands University Library of Manchester
    1). - At Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL. Contact: Main Library Archivist Tel: 0161-275 3738.
    Please note that a Manchester University Library card is needed and visits should preferably be by appointment. Keeps University archive, including papers of former staff, Business records including Guardian and other newspaper archives, records of English textile companies and of the Manchester Medical Society.
    2). - At Deansgate Building, Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH. Tel Administrator: 0161-834 5343
    Keeps Western and Eastern manuscripts - ancient, mediaeval and modern, as well as Family records including papers of many Cheshire and Lancashire families Business.
    Website: http://rylibweb.man.ac.uk/data1/dg/text/jrulmdg.html

  • Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society
    The main aims of the Society are t o advance the study of genealogy, heraldry, and family history, to find, publish, and make accessible relevant documents and records, to promote the preservation of these documents and records, especially by transcribing original sources, to collaborate with organisations and bodies who have custody of records and to operate an information service and build up a library.
    Website: www.lfhhs.org.uk

  • Lancashire Online Parish Clerk Project
    This site aims to extract and preserve the records from the various parishes of Lancshire and to provide online access to that data, free of charge, along with other data of value to family and local historians conducting research. Website: www.lan-opc.org.uk.

  • Lancashire Record Office
    Vast holdings of archives dating from the early 12th Century to the present day - general information for genealogists. Website: www.lancashire.gov.uk/education/d_lif/ro/index.asp.

  • Land Forces of Britain, the Empire & the Commonwealth
    Information and search facility on military history, regiments and corps, uniforms, badges and wars. Links to internet resources related to British Forces and foreign campaigns.
    Website: www.regiments.org/milhist/uk/uk.htm .

  • Manchester Archives and Local Studies
    The Principal Archivist, Central Library, St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 5PD. Tel: 0161-234 1980.
    Manchester Archives and Local Studies, on the first floor of the Central Library, is home to a wide range of materials relating to the history of Manchester, its organisations, its buildings and its people. Anyone studying the city and its history is welcome to use the range of reference facilities available. Collection includes microfilms of Parish Registers, Census Records, Electoral Registers, Town & City Directories, etc. Website: www.manchester.gov.uk/libraries/arls

  • Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society
    Founded in 1964 as the Manchester Genealogical Society, the Society encourages and supports family history research in the Greater Manchester area including Bolton and Oldham. Based at Clayton House in central Manchester. Website: www.mlfhs.org.uk

  • Manchester In Touch
    A facility available on the 'Manchester Online' website (by the Manchester Evening News newspaper). Specialises in reunited Mancunians, Lancastrians and ex-pats and in publicising reunions.
    Post your message free at www.manchesteronline.co.uk/intouch

  • National Archives - Military History Records
    Medal cards, service records & more online at The National Archives.
    www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

  • North West Film Archive
    Manchester Metropolitan University, Minshull House, 47-49 Chorlton Street, Manchester M1 3EU.
    Tel: 0161-247 3097. Fax: 0161-247 3098. Email: n.w.filmarchive@mmu.ac.uk
    By appointment only. The Archive keeps 21,000 items showing life in Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Merseyside from 1896 to the present. The collection includes cinema newsreels, documentaries publicity films, television programmes and home movies. Complimentary collections of photographs, taped interviews and ephemera related to the history of the region's film and cinema industries are also held.
    Website www.nwfa.mmu.ac.uk

  • North West Sound Archive
    Clitheroe Castle, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 1AZ.
    Contact - Sound Archivist Tel: 01200 427897. Email: nwsa@ed.lancscc.gov.uk
    100,000 recordings largely relating to the North West. By prior arrangement many recordings can be made available at The Greater Manchester Listening Centre based at GMCRO (above). Collections of regional and national significance - Solidarity, Radio Astronomy. Large collections of BBC and ILR programmes, and regional oral history material, dialect and western classical music. Free computer information search service and leaflet on archive available. Website: http://lancashire.gov.uk/education/lifelong/ro

  • Oldham Local Studies and Archives
    84 Union Street, Oldham OL1 1DN. Email: archives@oldham.gov.uk
    Tel: 0161-911 4654. Fax: 0161-911 4654.
    Holds records of predecessor authorities as well as Urban Districts of Chadderton, Crompton, Failsworth, Lees, Royton, Saddleworth, Springhead and Uppermill. Details of local Cooperative Society and textile trade unions, Higson antiquarian collection, Personal papers of Dame Sarah and Majory Lees of Werneth Park, including suffrage material, and the Rowbottom diaries: daily events in Oldham 1787-1829.
    Website: http://www.oldham.gov.uk/community

  • Parish the Thought
    www.parish-thethought.us
    A free record source for a growing list of parish and other record transcriptions of Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Sussex, with links to other sites of interest to genealogists. Many of the Lancashire transcriptions can be found indexed under their various parish names on the Lancashire OPC website:
    www.lan-opc.org.uk/index.html.

  • Peoples' History Museum: Labour History Archive & Study Centre
    The Labour History Archive and Study Centre (LHASC) is the only specialist repository for the political wing of the Labour movement. It holds records for working class political organisations from the Chartists to New Labour. Website: www.peopleshistorymuseum.org.uk .

  • Public Record Searches
    A service offered by a professional researcher who will search records held by the London Public Record Office for family histories of individuals who served in the military, the navy or in colonial positions in 17th to 19th centuries. Website: www.users.dircon.co.uk/~searcher.

  • Quaker Family History Society
    Information on the records held by the Society of Friends, a British-based society.
    Website: http://www.qfhs.co.uk.

  • Rochdale Local Studies Library
    Touchstones Rochdale, The Esplanade, Rochdale OL16 1AQ.
    Tel: 01706-864915. Email: localstudies@rochdale.gov.uk
    Archival material includes Municipal and other Administrative records, Trades Union and Political Records, Rochdale Pioneers Minutes, Industrial and Commercial Records, Manor Records, Family Records. They also carry, on microfilm, local census returns, parish registers, Burgess Rolls, 1858-1881, Wills 1553-1810, as well as Poor Law and Landowners records.
    Website: www.rochdale.gov.uk/living/libraries.asp?url=lslocs

  • Salford City Archives Service
    Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Peel Park, The Crescent, Salford M5 4WU.
    Tel: 0161-736 2649. Fax: 0161-745 9490. Email: salford.museum@salford.gov.uk.
    The Archive holds a huge collection of photographs, documents and newspapers relating to Salford's past. These include Local authority records including Poor Law Union, Public records including Quarter Sessions, Coroner (Salford City) transferred to Greater Manchester County Record Office, Religious including Nonconformist, Family records, Trade Unions and details of societies and charities.
    Website: www.gmcro.co.uk/guides/gmguide/reposit.htm .

  • Scottish Record Offices and Archives on the Web
    Arranged alphabetically by county. Website: http://www.oz.net/~markhow/scotsros.htm .

  • Society of Genealogists
    Our Library is the foremost in the British Isles with a large collection of family histories, civil registration and census material, and the widest collection of Parish Register copies in the country (over 9,000). They are arranged with local histories, poll books and directories, other topographical material, and the publications of county records. Website: www.sog.org.uk.

  • Stockport Archive Service
    The Archivist, Central Library, Wellington Road South, Stockport SK1 3RS.
    Tel: 0161- 474 4530. Email: localheritage.library@stockport.gov.uk.
    Keeps Local authority records, Public records including Borough Magistrates Court, Hospital records, Family records including the Bradshaw-Isherwood estate, and publishes a Guide to Stockport Family History. Website: www.gmcro.co.uk/guides/gmguide/reposit.htm .

  • Tameside Archive Service
    Closed on October 9th 2004 for 3 months during move to a brand new building next to the Central Library, Old Street in Ashton-under-Lyne. Tel: 0161-338 2708 and 3831. Fax: 0161-303 8289.
    Email: archives@mail.tameside.gov.uk
    Keeps Local authority records including Turnpike Trust (Saltersbrook), Public records including Hospital, Religious records including Nonconformist, Family records including Clarke family of Hyde, Stamford estate, Business including Trade Unions and Manchester Regiment archives. Also offers a free guide to the archive collection: " Tracing your Family" .
    Website: www.tameside.gov.uk/leisure/new/lh23.htm .

  • Trafford Library Local Studies Service
    The Local Studies Librarian, Trafford Local Studies Centre, Sale Library,
    Sale Waterside, Sale M33 7ZF. Tel: 0161-912 3013. Email: trafflocals@trafford.gov.uk.
    Records include St. Catherine's House Index 1837-2000, Census Returns for the Trafford District 1841-1901, Parish Registers on microfilm, Local Newspapers, maps, Gas Industry Genealogical Index, Rate Books, Electoral Registers, Local Authority records, Local Societies and a photographic collection. Offers 2 guides for free: "Trafford Local Studies and Archives" and "Sources for Family History" .
    Website: www.gmcro.co.uk/guides/gmguide/reposit.htm .

  • UKBMD - UK Births, Marriages & Deaths
    This site provides links to many websites that offer online details of births, marriages and deaths and offers links to many UK census transcriptions. You can also select and search for websites that are dedicated to providing online information for genealogists researching births, marriages and deaths in the UK. Website: www.ukbmd.org.uk.

  • UK Family History Online
    Links to public records, registers, plus news, events, and advice.
    Website: www.familyrecords.gov.uk.

  • UK Family History Research
    A comprehensive genealogy service, tracing family history throughout UK.
    Website: http://web.ukonline.co.uk/gordonh/index.html .

  • UK Family Search
    Free online search databases and other resources for those researching their family tree.
    Website: http://users.breathe.co.uk/mjack/

  • UK Genealogy - Lancashire
    Includes old maps, UK genealogy search facility, Electoral Roll search, Birth Adoption Records and other useful information for family searches. Website: www.ukgenealogy.co.uk/lan.htm.

  • UK Genealogy
    Portal for UK research. Website: www.ukgenealogy.co.uk .

  • UK Genealogy, Heraldry & History
    Free United Kingdom genealogy resources online including parish registers, herald's visitations and a name database. Website: www.uk-genealogy.org.uk.

  • UK Genealogy Webring
    Containing an index of Web pages relating to genealogy or family history, site submit facility and contact information. Website: www.kbnet.co.uk/brianp/webring.html .

  • UK Place Names
    Searchable database comprising more than 60,000 UK placenames.
    Website: www.digital-documents.co.uk/archi/placename.htm .

  • UK Ancestor
    A family and local history directory, specific to the UK. Includes forums, projects, transcriptions and extracts, links & more. Website: www.ukancestor.com .

  • United Kingdom & Ireland Records
    United Kingdom and Ireland Records. Searchable database contains records of births, marriages, deaths and censuses, etc. Website: http://userdb.rootsweb.com/uki.

  • Universities Consortium of Research Libaries (COPAC)
    Copac, based at the University of Manchester, is a union catalogue which provides free access to the merged online catalogues of 24 major university research libraries in the UK and Ireland, as well as the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, and the National Library of Wales/Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru.
    Website: http://copac.ac.uk .

  • Wales - The Family Business
    A genealogical and historical research service for North Wales and the surrounding region.
    Website: www.thefamily-business.co.uk .

  • War Records 1914-1918
    Death indices for all WWI battles, army lists, roll calls & records. www.findmypast.com.

  • Webster Genealogy Research Site
    Search facilities of the 1881 census and links to websites in the UK.
    Website: www.webby1.fsnet.co.uk .

  • Wigan Family & Local History Society
    Promotion and encouragement of research into family and local history. Our aim is to provide support, help, ideas and advice for members and non-members alike. Attendance fee is £1.00 for members and £1.50 for visitors. Light refreshments are served after the meeting which usually last about one hour.
    Postal Mail Enquiries: Tony Haslam, 15 Welbeck Road, Ashton in Makerfield, Wigan WN4 8AR.
    Email: wigan.fhs@gmail.com. Website: http://www.wiganworld.co.uk/familyhistory/.

  • Wigan Record Office
    Contact: The Archivist, Town Hall, Leigh, Wigan WN7 2DY.
    Tel: 01942-404430. Fax: 01942-404425. Email: heritage@wlct.org
    Collection includes Local authority records including Poor Law Unions for Leigh and Wigan, Public records including Quarter Sessions and Petty Sessions, Coroner reports, Hospital records, Census microfilms, Religious records including Parish, Methodist and other Nonconformist churches, Family records including Anderton of Ince, Crawford of Haigh estate, Holt, Leigh family, Standish of Standish, The Edward Hall collection of diaries, Trade Unions records and societies. Offers a range of guides to the archives and specialist local topics. Website www.wlct.org/Culture/Heritage/archives.htm.

  • World War I Records
    Find your ancestors for free - Search 350 million records. www.GenesReunited.co.uk/war/records .

  • Yorkshire: Huddersfield & District Family History Society
    The Society caters particularly for those researching and with interests in the Metropolitan District of Kirklees, which comprises Batley, Colne Valley, Denby Dale, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, Holme Valley, Kirkburton, Meltham, Mirfield and Spen Valley. Within its boundaries lie the 11 ancient parishes of Almondbury, Batley, Birstall, Dewsbury, Emley, Hartshead, Huddersfield, Kirkburton, Kirkheaton, Mirfield and Thornhill. Website: www.hdfhs.org.uk.

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This page last updated 23 Nov 12.