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National Archives & Government Sites

The National Archives

The National Archives The National Archives is the UK governments archive office, whose aim is to preserve historical records for future generations to see.  Records date back to the Domesday Book, right through to the present day and include both academic and family history sources..  Records that have been scanned can be purchased in PDF format.

Discovery is now the primary way to search the National Archives collections. Indexes are free to search and some records can be downloaded in PDF format for a nominal fee. Other documents can be ordered through the National Archives: Order Copies of Documents service.

Some of the records you will find at Discovery are included below, but there are many more.

  • Wills between 1384 and 1858
  • WW1 Campaign Medals / WW2 Seamen's Medals
  • Royal Navy and Royal Marine Service records

Run in partnership with the National Archives:

  • Ancestors on Board - This site provides UK outbound passenger lists 1890-1960 and is run by in association with the National Archives.

Other Government Websites

  • GOV.UK - This provides information on obtaining birth, marriage and death certificates from the General Register Office GRO who provide an Online Ordering Service for Certificates.
  • Land Registry - The Land Registry hold details about the title deeds of properties, which may be useful to you if you are trying to trace the history of a property.  For a small fee you can download title deeds from this website.
  • Office for National Statistics - The ONS is a government department and is the main provider of official statistics about the UK.
  • Wills & Probate Records - The Probate Service is part of Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS).  Here you can find guidance on how you can obtain copies of wills and grants of probate or administration.  The section Probate Records and Family History advises how documents can be obtained.