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Wiltshire family history

Would you like you like to trace your family history?
Are you trying to find out more about a town or parish in Wiltshire or Swindon?

The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre brings together the archaeology, archive, buildings record, conservation and museum advisory services together with the county local studies library.
Staff are available to answer enquiries whether in person at the centre, or via telephone letter and email.

The History Centre also runs events, activities and lectures which may help you with your research.

  • Staff are available to answer enquiries whether in person at the centre, or via telephone letter and email
  • Direct enquiries to the research/help desk team can be sent to: archives@wiltshire.gov.uk

Enquiries normally relate to:

  • Family history
  • History of a house or piece of land
  • History of a community
  • Research into a particular subject or topic

Before making an enquiry it is worth checking the detailed guides on the History Centre website to see if your question has already been answered online.
A paid research service is available for prolonged searches, if you are unable to visit the Centre in person.  


The Copy Certificate Team at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre holds:

  • Birth
  • Marriage
  • Civil partnership
  • Deaths records, dating back to 1837

You can order certificates of these events, which hold clues to your family history.
You can contact them at certificates@wiltshire.gov.uk

Swindon Collection of local studies and family history has resources which can help you research your family history.

The History Centre and your local library in Wiltshire provide free access to Ancestry.co.uk 

  • The National Archives is the UK government's official archive, containing over 1,000 years of history
  • ScotlandsPeople is the official Scottish genealogy resource
  • The National Library of Wales is acknowledged as the principal centre for researching Welsh genealogy, and has resources and facilities for researching the history of your family
  • The Public Records Office for Northern Ireland (PRONI) is the official archive for Northern Ireland and holds sources for family history research
  • The National Archives of Ireland holds many of the records which are relevant to Irish genealogy and local history
  • The General Register Office holds birth, adoption, marriage, civil partnership and deaths records, some dating back to 1837. You can order certificates of these events, which hold clues to your family history

You can order:

  • Birth
  • Marriage
  • Death
  • Civil partnership
  • Adoption certificates

online from the copy certificate team. Contact them at certificates@wiltshire.gov.uk

The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre also hold indexes to:

  • Civil registration births
  • Marriages
  • Deaths

You can obtain a copy certificate for a birth, marriage or death that was registered in Wiltshire (excluding Swindon).

  • Cemetery records are held by individual cemeteries
  • The History Centre also holds some historical records
  • The Wiltshire Wills project is currently in the process of taking digital images of every item within the archive held of 105,000 historic wills dating from 1540 to 1858 and making them available to view online
  • The Wiltshire and Swindon archive catalogue gives access to wills and other probate records of the diocese of Salisbury which used to cover not only Wiltshire but also Berkshire (under certain circumstances) and parts of Dorset and Devon
  • Wiltshire Community History contains information on 261 Wiltshire communities covering the whole of the Wiltshire County Council administered area of the county
  • Parish register lists a summary of the list of parish registers held by the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives
  • The registers are not available online
  • Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre holds an number of online catalogues that can help you with your research
  • You can also visit the Centre in person, or visit one of the county’s libraries

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Last updated: 25 January 2018 | Last reviewed: 25 January 2018