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Sources for family historians

For local and national history resources please see  Local History Resources at Staffordshire Record Office

Anglican Parish Registers

Free access to the 'Staffordshire Collection' on Findmypast, at archive service points and libraries in Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent. Currently this contains around 3,000 parish registers, with 4 million entries, 1538-1900.

Registers of baptism, marriage and burial for the vast majority of Staffordshire parishes, some dating from 1538.  Most registers starting 1925 or earlier (1950 or earlier in urban areas) are available on microfiche only.

We publish a guide to the parish registers and bishop's transcripts held across the Archive Service.  For your free download please go to the  Guides to Sources page.  This guide was last updated in July 2015. 

Bishops Transcripts

Contemporary copies of the registers of parishes in the present diocese of Lichfield, c1660 to c1880, with north and east Warwickshire parishes to c.1840 and Derbyshire parishes to c1860.

We publish a guide to the parish registers and bishop's transcripts held across the Archive Service. For your free download please go to the  Guides to Sources page. This guide was last updated in July 2015. 

We always advise a check in the parish registers prior to consulting the Bishops' Transcripts.

Nonconformist Registers

Registers of baptisms and marriages for many Staffordshire nonconformist churches from the late eighteenth century, and registers of deaths or burials for some churches.  Most registers starting 1925 or earlier are available on microfiche only.  We also hold duplicate microfilms of nonconformist registers held by The National Archives, including those of the Society of Friends (Quakers).

We publish a guide to the nonconformist registers held across the Archive Service.  For your free download please go to the  Guides to Sources page. 

Roman Catholic Registers

Registers of baptisms, marriages and deaths for some Roman Catholic churches in Staffordshire from the archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham.  Available on microfilm only.

Marriage Bonds and Allegations

Applications for marriage licences filed in the Consistory Court of Lichfield and the courts of the various Peculiar jurisdictions, 1660 onwards. Consitory Court marriage bonds are now available online through Findmypast. Records from the peculiar jurisdictions will be made available shortly.

Wills, Inventories and Probate papers

Wills proved in the Consistory Court of Lichfield and in the corts of the Peculiar jurisdictions, c1520-1858, with related inventories and probate papers. Wills proved in the Consistory Court are available online through Findmypast. Wills proved in the peculiar courts will be made available shortly.

Volumes of copy wills proved in the Lichfield District Probate Registry, 1858-1928.

National Probate Calendars, 1858-1943, on microfiche.

Census Returns and Indexes

Census returns for the historic county of Staffordshire, 1841-1901, on microfiche and some adjacent areas on microfilm.

1881 census indexes for Staffordshire and neighbouring counties on microfiche and Great Britain on CD-rom.

1851 census surname indexes for most of the county in hard copy and on CR-rom.

1871 census surname indexes for North Staffordshire in hard copy and on CD-rom.

1891 census surname indexes for the Black Country on CD-ROM.


Free access to Ancestry.com in our reading room.

General Register Office Indexes

We hold the General Register Office Indexes to Births, Marriages and Deaths in England and Wales on microfiche from 1837 to 1960.  The registers to which they relate are held by local register offices and the General Register Office in Southport.

International Genealogical Index

We hold the IGI for the British Isles on microfiche.  

Electoral Registers

Registers of electors from 1832.  Please note that there are some gaps in our holdings, notably the entire county 1909-1917, and large parts of Staffordshire (Stoke on Trent, Newcastle and those parts of the county now in the West Midlands conurbation) from 1918 onwards.

The electoral registers for 1832-1901 and 1908 are now available on microfiche only for preservation reasons.

We publish a guide to the electoral registers held across the Archive Service. For your free download please go to the  Guides to Sources page.

Parish Poor Law Records

Papers of parish overseers of the poor, seventeenth to nineteenth centuries.  Holdings for individual parishes vary enormously, but may include overseers' accounts, settlement examinations, settlement certificates, removal orders, relief lists, apprenticeship indentures and apprenticeship registers.

Records of Poor Law Unions, 1837-1930

The poor law union records of most use for family historians are the admission and discharge registers of the Poor Law Institutions (commonly known as workhouses), and relief lists.  Please note, however, that these records have not survived for all unions.

Indexes to the surviving admission and discharge registers are available on our Staffordshire Name Indexes website.

Patient Records of County Asylums, later Mental Hospitals

We hold patient records for all three County Asylums : St. George's Hospital, Stafford; St. Edward's Hospital, Cheddleton; and St. Matthew's Hospital, Burntwood.  Please note that access to information in these records relating to living persons is affected by the Data Protection Act.  For further assistance please email us.

Cemetery Records on CD-ROM

Records of many cemeteries in Staffordshire from 19th to 20th centuries.

Divorce Indexes on CD-ROM

The indexes are to petitions for divorce submitted to the following courts :

  • Court for Divorce and matrimonial Cases, 1858-1873
  • Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the Supreme Court of Judicature, 1873-1958
  • District registries of the Supreme Court of Judicature, 1922-1958

A wide variety of other records are also useful for family history research.

Family History Club

Family History Club is now well-established at Staffordshire Record Office for people to meet and exchange information on a regular basis. Please visit the Club page for more information. 

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