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Tracing your family history online

We have a huge range of family history material, but there are some fantastic resources online too.

As a library member, you get access to some of the best subscription sites for free! You'll just need to use your library card number and PIN.


Ancestry is generally considered to be the leading website for anyone doing family history research. It contains masses of genealogical information including census information for England and Wales from 1841-1901.

As a library member, you can access Ancestry at Your Library for free by using your library card number and PIN.


Findmypast is one of the leading family history websites and is the commercial partner for Staffordshire Archives and Heritage.  Images of the following key Staffordshire resources are available on the site: Anglican parish registers of baptism, marriage and burial, 1538-1900; Diocese of Lichfield wills and inventories, c.1521-1858; Diocese of Lichfield marriage bonds, 1636-1893.

As a library member, you can access Findmypast at Your Library for free by using your library card number and PIN.

The International Genealogical Index (IGI)

You can search The International Genealogical Index (IGI) online. This is a record of births, baptisms and marriages put together by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.


FreeBMD is a site containing information on the registration of births, marriages and deaths in this country, from 1837.

The information is added by volunteers, so the site is not yet complete, but it may contain that missing piece of information that you are looking for.

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography gives you the life stories of over 50,000 people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from Julius Caesar to those who died in recent times.

This is another subscription site that you can access for free as a library member by using your library card number and PIN.

In the archives

In addition to the family history resources available at Your Library, the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service has a wealth of original sources available. The Family History Resources page on their website gives an overview of what is held at each of their offices - in Stafford, Lichfield and Stoke on Trent - as well as links to their online resources. The William Salt Library, Stafford has the most extensive local studies holdings in Staffordshire. Please see the Finding Records page on their website for details of what they hold.

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