Bredon St. Giles ·

Family History


Many people are now becoming interested in their family history and are making enquiries about church records. For reasons of safety only the most recent records are kept here in Bredon. In fact the records only go back around 20 years or so. If you have questions that pertain to any period beyond this then please read on, as we have put together a whole list of suggestions as to how you might further your search.

Sources of Information

The addresses listed below may be helpful for anyone interested in family history. It is important to note that civil records of births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales began on 1 July 1837 and in Scotland on 1 January 1855. Prior to these dates one has to rely on Parish Records.

There are many other sources of information of interest to family historians, the major ones being census returns and wills. Family History is now a rapidly expanding hobby throughout the United Kingdom and there are so many books on the subject that it is difficult to recommend one of them but the Reader’s Digest ‘Explore Your Family’s Past’ is a useful introduction. There are a number of good magazines dealing with family history and include ‘The Family Tree Magazine’, obtainable from most news agents and ‘Ancestors’, obtainable from the Public record Office. An increasing amount of information is now also available in the Internet. Very few libraries and record centres will carry out research and those that do will almost invariably charge a fee. Requests for specific documents usually involves a charge.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Most people researching their family history start here even though the records are by no means complete. The Mormans have produced a vast index of entries for baptisms and marriages from parish records (i.e. many for the period prior to 1857) copies of which are available on microfiche or computer at most county records offices. There are also record centres at some of the Morman Church centres round the country and the librarians and volunteers are most helpful. They also have the facility for obtaining copies of some original documents. The nearest is:-

Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints
Family History Centre
Thirlestaine Rd
Tel. 01242 523433

Parish Registers for the period prior to 1857

Usually held in County Records offices. Phillimore’s ‘Atlas and Index of Parish Registers’ gives detailed lists of parishes by county and where the parish records are located. The following addresses are relevant for Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.

Worcester Library and History Centre
Trinity Street
Worcester WR1 2PW
Tel. 01905 766351

The Local Studies Library
Brunswick Road
Gloucester GL1 1HT
Tel. 01452 426979

Births, Marriages and Deaths in England after 1837

These records are kept at a branch of the Public Records Office which is at the following address:-

The Family Records Centre
1 Myddelton Street
London EC1R 1UW
Tel. 0208 392 5300 (general enquiries)

Census Returns

Census returns are available for the years 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 at the Family Records Centre in London shown above. The 1901 Census is now on the internet but access may be difficult depending on demand.


The probate act of 1857 required that all future applications for probate or administration be made to a newly established Court of Probate. The indexes may be searched at the following address:-

Principal Registry of the Family Division
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn
London WC1V 6NP
Tel 0207 936 7000

Wills prior to 1858 are kept in numerous locations and searching for them is complicated and difficult. Advice should be sought.

Military, Naval, Airforce and Government Records

These are held at the following centre:-

The Public Record Office
Ruskin Avenue
Surrey TW9 4DU
Tel. 0208 392 5200

Family History Societies

Many localities have there own Family History Societies made up of members interested in the subject. Details can be obtained from:-

The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) The Administrator PO Box 8857 Lutterworth LE17 9BJ Tel. 01455 203133

The Society of Genealogists

This is the national organisation for the serious researcher. It has an extensive library at the address given below and organises many lectures and Family History Fairs round the country. There is a significant computer section. They produce a magazine every two months. Membership is currently £32 per annum.

14 Charterhouse Buildings
Goswell Road
London EC1M 7BA

The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives

The members provide a research service but this can be an expensive alternative to doing the work oneself.

The Secretary
29 Badgers Close
West Sussex
RH12 5RU