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Family history

Local history - family history

Gateshead Archive at the Central Library has great resources to trace your ancestry.

Find My Past
Other family history records
First World War collection
Birth, marriage and death certificates

Tracing a burial
Church records

Directories
Family history surgeries
Burgess rolls and electoral registers
How we can help you

Our collections

Find My Past

You can access Find My Past (opens new window) free of charge in our libraries. It provides access to the following collections for family and house history research:

  • birth, marriage, death and parish records

  • churches and religion

  • census, land and surveys

  • directories and social history

  • education and work

  • institutions and organisations

  • military, armed forces and conflict

  • travel and migration

Find My Past (opens new window) is also the official home of the 1939 Register. It is the only surviving record that bridges the 1921-1951 census gap. This makes it a very important twentieth century British genealogical document.

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

First World War collection

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

Birth, marriage and death certificates

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

Tracing a burial

You can request copies of records on Gateshead Council's burial and cremation records page

Church records

We hold microfilm records of baptisms, marriages, banns and burials. These cover Anglican, catholic, and non-conformist churches. Church records can provide useful family information from before 1837. This is when civil registration including full names and occupations began. 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.

Directories

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. 

Family history surgeries

 runs free drop-in sessions with dedicated family history volunteers. Bring along your research, especially any dates and certificates that you've already discovered. For details of dates and times of surgeries and to book a place visit Eventbrite (opens new window)

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.

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.

Email us: libraries@gateshead.gov.uk

Gateshead Libraries

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

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