Useful links

Computer based research

Family history: general and Cheshire

There is a bewildering number of courses, books and websites designed to give advice on how to start and information on the sources (both online and printed) you can use, so our 'Quick Guide' aims to pull together some useful advice on family history in general to assist you with your search, together with information specific to Cheshire where this exists.

Find My Past's Cheshire Collection has over 10 million Cheshire records

General family history websites

Non-Anglican records


Family history: Lancashire

Lancashire Parish Registers searchable online

Local history

Local History Magazine includes advice on getting started; information about local history courses and useful links.

History of Buildings

Sources for Building History: a guide to researching historic buildings in the British Isles. Includes numerous useful links.

Images of England is a ‘point in time’ photographic library of England’s listed buildings, recorded at the turn of the 21st century.

Cheshire and surrounding area

History and maps

Victoria County History.  Cheshire volumes online

Chester West and Chester Council Heritage pages include links to a number of services


Cheshire image bank includes digital images of Cheshire

Local Societies

Libraries, museum and heritage

Cheshire archaeology

Community archives

Business archives

Visiting the area 

Local authority websites

Warrington Grid for Learning Uniservity is a Learning Platform for Local Authorities and Schools in NW England

The National Archives

The National Archives website includes useful guides and factsheets for researching:

  • A-Z of Archive repositories
  • Family history (naming names and tracing places; people at work; the army and the navy; migrant ancestors; ancestors and the law)
  • Local history (land and people; local government and services; popular protest; the law; working lives)
  • Sources for schools
  • Online catalogue
  • Events, exhibitions and useful links
  • A-Z Research Information leaflets
  • Census returns online (chargeable)
  • The National Archives 'Discovery' database contains catalogues of archives held across England and dating from the 900s to the present day.


Online lists of available records

The Archives Hub provides a single point of access to descriptions of archives held in UK universities and colleges. At present these are primarily at collection-level, although where possible they are linked to complete catalogue descriptions. The Archives Hub forms one part of the UK's National Archives Network, alongside related networking projects.

General interest history

BBC History 2000 - Information about current television and radio programmes; special articles; education courses; events and activities all over the UK.

British History Online is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust, the aim is to support academic and personal users around the world in their learning, teaching and research.

Victoria County History .Founded in 1899 and originally dedicated to Queen Victoria, the VCH is an encyclopaedic record of England's places and people from earliest times to the present day.

HistoryWorld - History and Timelines

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Established by Royal Charter in 1917, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission pays tribute to the 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars. It is a non-profit-making organisation that was founded by Sir Fabian Ware. It has a searchable database.

The British Library Newspaper Library catalogue includes entries for over 52,000 newspaper and periodical titles. The collections include: all UK national daily and Sunday newspapers from 1801 to the present; most UK and Irish provincial newspapers, some dating from the early 18th century onwards; selected newspapers from around the world in European languages, some dating from the 17th century onwards; and a wide range of UK and Irish popular periodicals, covering all subjects from fashion, pop music and cinema, to sports, hobbies and trades

World War One commemoration links

Teaching and learning

Adoption queries

The formal process of adoption only commences in 1927.  The following websites are useful for those wishing to trace family members affected by the adoption process

For enquiries about all kinds of children's homes, a useful website is



About archives as a profession

Archives and Records Association - The ARA came into existence on 1 June 2010 and is the result of a merger of the National Council on Archives and the Association of Chief Archivists in Local Government with the Society of Archivists.