Researching Family History
Tracing family history is exciting and rewarding but can be time consuming and complicated. Here at Leicestershire Register Office we receive enquiries from all over the world, and while we cannot always provide the answers it is our aim to help you as much as possible. So where do you start? See below for answers to the following questions.
- Where do I begin?
- How far do the Register Office's records go back?
- Where can I get help tracing my family's history?
- What information do I need to obtain an old birth marriage or death certificate?
- Further Information
The first step is to gather all the information you can from relatives, names, dates, addresses, ancestor's religions, any documents such as wills, family bibles, newspaper cuttings, birth, death and marriage certificates. Draw up a basic family tree to give you an idea of the gaps that you will need to fill. Then work backwards using information known already about relatives.
If for example you know your Grandmother's date and place of birth, apply for her birth certificate and this will give you her parents full names including her mother's maiden surname. Your next step would be to search for her parents' marriage certificate which you should find through searching the family records indexes.
Civil registration of births, deaths and marriages started on 1 July 1837 and so our records go back to then (please note we only hold records for the Leicestershire area). Before July 1837, the Churches recorded baptisms, burials and marriages.
Registration staff at Leicestershire will be more than willing to help you as much as possible and there are many groups and organisations specialising in family history or Genealogy that should be able to help. You could try searching on the internet, or visit your local library and there are many books written on the subject.
We will need to know the name, year and the registration district, and any other information you may have. If you are unsure about any of the information, you will need to search the 'Family Records Indexes'. Please contact the Registration Offices for further information.
Researching Family History is becoming a fast growing, popular past time for many people. The process can be time consuming, fascinating and at times frustrating and upsetting.
The Registration Services can help you to gather information that can help in your searches.
We have created a time line of the Registration Services since 1837. Have a look at the Important Dates in Registration page.
Leicestershire County Council have a number of services and resources to help you find out more about local and family history:
Page Last Updated: 26 March 2009