Family history

Photo of page from Compton censusIt can be difficult to start looking for your family history. Use the steps below to help you begin your search.

Talk to your family

Get information from relatives and look at any certificates, photographs and documents that they own.

Note down dates and events that are of interest.

Use online sources

  • The Staffordshire Collection on Findmypast.  Access to the 'Staffordshire Collection' is free in archives and libraries in Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent. A list of what is online is given below, and Diocese of Lichfield wills and inventories c.1520-1858 will be made available in the winter of 2015/2016.  Fur further information see our digitisation project page.
      • Parish registers for Staffordshire, 1538-1900: around 3,000 registers, containing 4 million names
      • Marriage allegations and bonds for the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Lichfield, 1636-1893.  These records cover Staffordshire, Derbyshire, north Shropshire and north Warwickshire.
  • Staffordshire Names Indexes holds a wealth of indexes including  
      • Calendars of Prisoners at Staffordshire Quarter Sessions, 1777-1880
      • Staffordshire Police Force Registers, 1842-1920
      • Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry wills, 1650-1730
      • Staffordshire Apprentices, 1600-1900
      • Workhouse Admissions and Discharges, 1836-1900
      • Manor of Newcastle copyhold tenants, 1700-1832
  • The Sutherland Index covers mainly Longton, Newcastle under Lyme and Trentham areas.

Visit a record office

After gathering information from family and online, plan a visit to a record office.

Always contact the record office before you visit.  We are also happy to answer any queries by email. 

Offices hold different records, so please check that the ones you want are available at the office before visiting:

We also sell publications which may help.

Use other services

Copying services - to obtain paper copies or digital images of records.  Fees are charged for these services.

Research services - to request a member of staff to carry out research on your behalf.  Fees are charged for this service.

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