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Durham University

Special Collections

Useful links and key sources elsewhere

Introductory guides for researching your family history

If you are new to family history research, the following guides are recommended, or membership of the Family History Society (below).

Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths (from 1837)

After 1837, records of the registration of births, marriages and deaths provide the main initial source for family history research. Information and indexes for these records are available at the following websites.

For the period before 1837, church records of baptisms, marriages and burials provide similar information though in a less uniform, decentralised and often incomplete manner. See information on the County Record Office website (below) or our page on Bishops' Transcripts.

Other sources of help and information