Family history and records
We have birth, death and marriage records for the area from 1837. We also have a collection of parish registers, with some records going back to 1576.
The register offices for Bournemouth and Christchurch and Poole register office can provide copies of birth, marriage and death certificates, as well as burial and cremation records. There is a charge for making copies of these records.
Our libraries give you free access to the library edition of Ancestry, the UK’s largest family history site.
Ancestry allows you access to censuses from 1841 to 1911, World War 2 military records, immigration and emigration lists and birth, marriage and death indexes from 1837 to 2004.
You can also view the complete 1911 census for free at seven locations in the UK. The nearest of these to us is the Devon Record Office.
Other ways of researching family history
Poole History Centre, based in a medieval wool warehouse at the back of Poole Museum, is home to an extensive library of original, digital and microfilm resources for anyone wishing to research local or family history.
If your ancestors lived locally, you could also use the resources of the:
- Dorset Family History Society
- Somerset and Dorset Family History Society
- Dorset History Centre
- Hampshire Records Office.
We can also provide details of family history researchers who, for a fee, will undertake research.