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Family history


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Family history (family)
We have a large collection of varied material
Gateshead Archive at the Central Library holds many resources to help you trace your ancestry. 

Our collections

Burgess rolls and electoral registers

We hold records of people registered to vote in Gateshead dating back to 1832. Please note that the voting age and boundaries of Gateshead have changed over the years. You can visit our Local Studies catalogue to see which voters lists we hold.

Church records

We hold many records on microfilm including baptisms, marriages, banns and burials for anglican, catholic, and non-conformist churches. Church records can provide useful family information from before 1837 when civil registration began, such as full names and occupations. The main church in Gateshead was St Mary's and all marriages and burials were held there until 1825. You can visit our Local Studies catalogue and search for church records.


Our local trade directories date from 1778 to 1977. These contain civic, business and personal information about residents. They are useful in tracing family members between census returns. 

First World War collection 

Our first world war collection is a great resource to help you trace military ancestors. The collection includes:

Other family history records 

We hold lots of other items that can be useful for family history including. 

  • indexes and inscriptions
  • wills
  • marriage bonds
  • poll books

Online resources 

During the government lockdown for Covid-19 the Ancestry web site is available for use from home. Please go to and login with your library ticket number and 4 digit PIN code using the 'my account'  link at the top of the page. You will then be presented with access to the Ancestry site. This contains records from England, Scotland and Wales including:

•    birth, marriage and death records 1837 to 2005
•    census from 1841 to 1911
•    UK parish records, electoral register and probate records

How we can help you

Staff are on hand to guide you in using our archive. We can take queries if we are not able to answer them on the spot. 

We also recommend booking ahead if you want to use a microfilm reader or if you would like to view special collections. 

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Family History Surgeries

St Mary's Heritage Centre runs regular free drop-in sessions with dedicated family history volunteers. Bring along your ongoing research, especially any dates and certificates that you've already discovered. The sessions run most Tuesdays and once a month on a Saturday. Contact the venue for more information.

Birth, marriage and death certificates

Gateshead Council holds a limited amount of information on birth, deaths and marriages. Historical searches pages

Tracing a burial

Copies of burial and cremation records can be requested on Gateshead Council's burial and cremation records page

Gateshead Libraries

Central Library, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead NE8 4LN
0191 433 8410

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