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
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:

  • Access to Archives

    The A2A database contains catalogues describing archives held throughout
    England and dating from the 900s to the present day. Website:
    …which is soon to be changed to:

  • AgLab Family History

    Service searching the Family Record Office in London including GRO certificates,
    census returns and wills. Website: .

  • Ancestors Reunited

    A collection of photographs of ancestors gravestones located anywhere
    in the UK.
    Website: .

  • 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:

  • Ancestral Links

    Links to websites researching family history in the United Kingdom.


  • Beginning Genealogical
    Research for England & Wales
    A befginners guide to the basics of English & Welsh research.
    Website: .

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

  • 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: 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.

  • British Army Records
    at Ancestry.Com


  • British Isles

    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.

  • Britain Forces
    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:

  • British Telephone
    Directories from 1880

  • Burke’s Peerage

    Burke’s Peerage & Gentry – the definitive genealogical guide to
    the family histories of the British Isles.

  • Bury Archive Service
    1st Floor, Derby Hall Annex, Edwin Street, Bury BL9 OAS
    Telephone 0161-797 6697. Email:
    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.

  • Census Searches

    Research services by the well-known genealogist, Lady Teviot, including
    family history and probate searches. Website:

  • 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:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Discover Military

    Medal cards, service records & more online at The National Archives.

  • 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: .

  • English Genealogy


  • Entertainer Genealogy

    Resources for research of entertainer’s families including circus, showmen,
    theatre and music hall. Mainly United Kingdom but also worldwide. Website: .

  • Family History

    Offers genealogical research services for families originating in England
    and Wales. Links to genealogy sites. Website:

  • Family Tree Magazine

    List and extracts of current month’s articles as well as ifnroamtion
    on how to subscribe.

  • FamilyLine

    UK family history researchers. Website:

  • 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:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • First World War

    Find your ancestors for free – Search 350 million records

  • Genealogy &
    Family Reseach UK

    Online application form to apply to have the research done for you.

  • 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? .

  • 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:

  • General Register
    Office for England & Wales
    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:

  • Generation Link

    Professional company which helps to trace ancestors in the United Kingdom.
    Website: .

  • 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: .

  • 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.

  • 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: .

  • 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: .
  • 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

  • Irish Immigrants

    New York Port Arrival Records, 1846-1851 at Ancestry.Com.
    Website link:

  • Isle of Man Genealogy
    – Gedcom files


  • Jewish Genealogical
    Society of Great Britain

    Manchester Regional Group Chairman: Lorna Kay. Email:

  • Jewish Museum

    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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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:

  • Lancashire Record

    Vast holdings of archives dating from the early 12th Century to the
    present day – general information for genealogists. Website:

  • 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: .

  • 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.

  • 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:

  • Manchester In

    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

  • National Archives
    – Military History Records

    Medal cards, service records & more online at The National Archives.

  • North West Film

    Manchester Metropolitan University, Minshull House, 47-49 Chorlton Street,
    Manchester M1 3EU.
    Tel: 0161-247 3097. Fax: 0161-247 3098. Email:
    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.


  • North West Sound

    Clitheroe Castle, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 1AZ.
    Contact – Sound Archivist Tel: 01200 427897. Email:
    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:

  • Oldham Local Studies
    and Archives

    84 Union Street, Oldham OL1 1DN. Email:
    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.

  • Parish the Thought
    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:

  • 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: .

  • Public Record

    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:

  • Quaker Family
    History Society

    Information on the records held by the Society of Friends, a British-based

  • Rochdale Local
    Studies Library

    Touchstones Rochdale, The Esplanade, Rochdale OL16 1AQ.
    Tel: 01706-864915. Email:
    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.


  • Salford City Archives

    Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Peel Park, The Crescent, Salford M5
    Tel: 0161-736 2649. Fax: 0161-745 9490. Email:
    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: .

  • Scottish Record
    Offices and Archives on the Web

    Arranged alphabetically by county. Website:

  • 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.

  • Stockport Archive

    The Archivist, Central Library, Wellington Road South, Stockport SK1
    Tel: 0161- 474 4530. Email:
    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: .

  • Tameside Archive

    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.
    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: .

  • 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:
    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: .

  • 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:

  • UK Family History

    Links to public records, registers, plus news, events, and advice.

  • UK Family History

    A comprehensive genealogy service, tracing family history throughout
    Website: .

  • UK Family Search

    Free online search databases and other resources for those researching
    their family tree.

  • UK Genealogy –

    Includes old maps, UK genealogy search facility, Electoral Roll search,
    Birth Adoption Records and other useful information for family searches.

  • UK Genealogy
    Portal for UK research. Website: .

  • UK Genealogy,
    Heraldry & History

    Free United Kingdom genealogy resources online including parish registers,
    herald’s visitations and a name database. Website:

  • UK Genealogy Webring

    Containing an index of Web pages relating to genealogy or family history,
    site submit facility and contact information. Website:

  • UK Place Names

    Searchable database comprising more than 60,000 UK placenames.
    Website: .

  • UK Ancestor

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

  • United Kingdom
    & Ireland Records

    United Kingdom and Ireland Records. Searchable database contains records
    of births, marriages, deaths and censuses, etc. Website:

  • 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: .

  • Wales – The Family

    A genealogical and historical research service for North Wales and the
    surrounding region.
    Website: .

  • War Records
    Death indices for all WWI battles, army lists, roll calls & records.

  • Webster Genealogy
    Research Site

    Search facilities of the 1881 census and links to websites in the UK.
    Website: .

  • 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: Website:

  • Wigan Record Office

    Contact: The Archivist, Town Hall, Leigh, Wigan WN7 2DY.
    Tel: 01942-404430. Fax: 01942-404425. Email:
    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

  • World War I Records
    Find your ancestors for free – Search 350 million 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:

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